Over the weekend, a certain article was posted by a certain author. (I refuse to post her name as she seems to be basking in the attention.) I said a few words. And then I remained mum on the subject because I didn't want to become more frustrated than I already had.
But after seeing tweets (and Tumblr posts, apparently) that she has posted since, and how people are actually backing her actions? I feel the need to say more.
First off, let's start with the obvious: STALKING IS NEVER OKAY.
I can't believe this is even up for discussion right now.
Secondly: This author was NOT being catfished. Seriously, the fact that she even tried to use that as a reason is insane. When a book reviewer uses an online identity, this does not mean that they are pretending to be someone else to trick you. It's called keeping their personal life separate from their online life. Because, fun fact, people like to do that. (A perfect example of why people do this? Look at all of the threats females - and males - are receiving for speaking out about GamerGate.) Just because said reviewer, who is more than allowed to voice their HONEST opinion of a book, didn't use their real name does NOT mean you have the right to track them down in real life.
The fact that book bloggers now feel threatened? That is beyond wrong.
Most bloggers do this for free. They review books and promote books because they want to! They love reading, and they love sharing books they've enjoyed. They should not have to worry that, if they decide to post a one-star review, that their safety will be at risk. That's bullshit. (Excuse my language.)
I try to not post reviews lower than three stars on my blog, only because I feel as though it wouldn't be professional for me to do so, but I always post honest reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Always. Just because I do not like a book, it doesn't mean that someone else won't like it.
Fun fact #2: Every reader reads a book differently. This is important. This is why various reviews are important. Bad reviews can actually help to sell a book.
I just... how can someone even think that it would be okay to stalk someone over a freaking one-star review? How does that make any damn sense?
I'm getting tired of tweets saying that what she did was justified because the reviewer was a troll. Just because the reviewer had a made-up online identity (again, we can't prove this as the only evidence we even have of this is the crazed author's words) does not mean it is okay to stalk them. She rented a car in advance. She located her home address. She managed to get her work phone number. She knew what the lady's dog looked like. This isn't okay. NONE of this is okay. This is a breach of privacy that no blogger should ever have to endure.
This reviewer did NOT threaten the author's life. She simply stated how she felt in a review.
But the author? She threatened the reviewer's anonymity - she threatened the reviewer's life by taking it to the level that she did. She sent a person into to hiding, fearful for their own safety, all because of a freaking one-star review on her book.
I'm sorry, when the hell did stalking become okay? When the heck did it become okay to make someone feel as though their safety was at risk? When did it become okay to stop treating people as human beings? Maybe she did use a made-up online persona (if she did, it would STILL not be any of the author's business). Maybe she wanted to separate her blogging life from her real life - maybe she considered book blogging to be an escape. What right did this author have to take that away from her? What right did this author have to take her voice away from her? Because that is what a review is, someone using their voice to say what they feel, what they think. It's their voice.
I have never been so disgusted by an author as I have by this one. I have no interest in supporting her work, or any author that supports her, for that matter.
I just want to end this rant on this note:
Book bloggers, you are incredibly appreciated. Please know this. I would hate to see more bloggers leave the community simply because of the disgusting actions of one unstable author. We appreciate you guys, more than you know, and I hate that any of you are feeling uncomfortable, because it never should have come to this.