If you’ve been visiting this site for a little while, you’ll know that Stop the GR Bullies populates their posts with lies and half-truths. If you’re an accused “bully” you’ll know how it feels to be the victim of these lies. My concern, and one of the reasons I started this site, was that people who are new to Goodreads or book blogging would come across STGRB and think they were telling the truth. Which is why I’m really glad that some wonderful person has established a site that tells the truth about Stop the GR Bullies once and for all. It’s called Readers Have Rights, and the tagline is “What Stop the GR Bullies is really all about”. Love it!
When STGRB first appeared, I was outraged.
I was shocked that someone could be so nasty, vicious and vile. Over book reviews.
The personal attacks made me feel sick.
People suffered real life consequences.
Several left Goodreads and shut down their book blogs because it just wasn’t a fun place to be any more.
Meanwhile, STGRB continued to post half-lies and outright lies.
I got mad again.
I started this blog to try and balance STGRB’s lies with some truth.
STGRB wrote more lies.
They became focused on conspiracy theories.
It was actually kind of funny.
They got stupider. And stupider.
It had always been difficult to follow their faulty logic and long, rambling posts, which were poorly written and showcased on an atrociously-designed site. But somehow, they got worse. They made less and less sense.
And they were just plain boring.
Post after post was so boring I couldn’t even read through them, let alone critique them.
I realised that anyone not suffering from Speshul Snowflake Syndrome knows that STGRB are liars and hypocrites, driven by the revenge fantasy of one very petty, sick woman.
My care factor dropped to zero. I’m not even mad about STGRB any more. Their stupidity isn’t even amusing. It’s just boring.
So I probably won’t be updating this blog any more. I might, if I feel like I have something to say, but at the moment there’s not a lot.
Stay cool, book community.
Let’s go back to reading and talking about books and forgetting that Melissa Douthit and her cronies exist, ‘kay?
I’ve been pretty quiet on here lately. Mostly because I haven’t got much to say. Sure, STGRB are still posting their ridiculous conspiracy theories, but that’s the thing – they’re so ridiculous it’s not even worth commenting on them. They’re really running with this whole “Bix 6” conspiracy that the reviewers they accuse of bullying are somehow in cahoots with publishers and Amazon. It’s just laughable. They’re also increasingly obsessed with the Amazon forums. All in all, they’re totally boring. Their posts are incoherant, repetitive and just plain dull. I couldn’t even be bothered to read through the recent ones, let alone post about them. That, combined with the fact that they’re pretty much harmless now (everyone with a smidgen of sense knows STGRB is a vindictive personal vendetta without much truth or logic) means I haven’t been updating this blog.
Apparently Carroll Bryant – y’know, the middle aged guy who illegally used a model’s photo and pretended it was himself, who cosied up to teenage bloggers and has an unhealthy obsession with one in particular, who caused a shitstorm on Goodreads a few months back, and who peppers his speech liberally with “LOL” – has taken it upon himself to pull me out of my boredom by trolling this site. Not just trolling this site, but trying to get others involved, too. He’s over at STGRB begging people to come over here and comment. Seems he can’t handle it on his own.
Now, looking at STGRB’s own definition of what makes a bully – is Carroll harassing? Check. Insulting? Check. Teaming up on? Well, trying to. Verbally attacking? Check. Sending friends after? Triple check. Too bad for him that his little friends didn’t take his bait. But it’s another example of the type of people STGRB and their associates are. That’d be bullies – by their own definition – and hypocrites, for those who need it spelled out (hi, Carroll!).
Oh, and Carroll, I’m done with you. You can “LOL” till your dick falls off, but I won’t be responding to you. You’re not even worth the miniscule amount of energy it takes to type. I’m bored again.
As for STGRB… the whole “Ann Somerville (‘Looney Tunes’ – nice) is Minerva” thing is getting old (like so many of their claims). Because I’m not, as I’ve said repeatedly. Their “proof” was that Ann knew the IP address of one of my trolls. You’d think they’d realise that people can talk about that stuff in private, considering their obsession with the Badly Behaving Authors group on Goodreads. They’re desperate to get their eyeballs in there. I guess today is their lucky day, because here’s a snapshot. Unfortunately for them, all it reveals is how wrong they are.
As usual, Stop the GR Bullies add two and two and come up with 167. I’ve mentioned before that they claimed I was Ann Somerville based on no proof. Now they think they have proof, because Ann happened to know that a troll on her site was the same person who trolled this site.
This is almost as good as the time they claimed Anna Karenina from the Amazon forums was multiple other bloggers because she wrote about colours, and they had colours in their names. FYI, STGRB: Normal people do this thing, it’s called communicating. It means that more than one person can know something. Like, an IP address of someone who has trolled multiple sites.
Of course, STGRB will probably take this post as confirmation I AM Ann Somerville, coz they’re dense like that. Any one who has ever seen Ann’s blog would have to wonder why she would bother to create a pseudonym to post under, since she pulls no punches on her own blog. The truth? She wouldn’t. She hasn’t. More truth: Ann is so much smarter than them, it took her approximately 10 minutes to figure out who I actually am. In fact, most people against STGRB actually know who I am, which makes their gleeful, childish crowing even more hilarious.
What’s not hilarious is the disgusting way they talk about Ann. They commonly refer to her as “Looney Tune” and their latest post features a vile “poem” attacking Ann called “Ode to a Loon”. This is not only immature, ableist and downright nasty – it’s bullying, even by their own definition. Humiliating, insulting, gossiping, name-calling, teaming up on, verbally attacking, spreading false rumours and attempting to destroy reputations with lies? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check and triple check. You could also add in harassing and sending friends after if you believe, as I do, that “Linda”/”Stop Them”, the owner of the troll IP in question, is associated with STGRB.
Well done, STGRB. You’re really fighting the good fight.
Hello my little owls! Have you missed me? I’m sorry for not posting in awhile, but I haven’t abandoned you. I just reached my tolerance limit for stupidity and hypocrisy and couldn’t visit STGRB for awhile without breaking out in hives. Because boy, have they been stupid lately. My favourites:
- They made a whole post consisting solely of comments from their visitors. Apparently that’s a “dedication” to them. Hey STGRB, you know everyone can see the comments on the actual posts, right? You don’t need to repost them. Way to make it look like you actually have something to say, though.
- They attacked Lucy again, as well as Foz Meadows (I’ll post about this in more detail soon).
- They wrote a post called “Review Writing 101” – but don’t let the name fool you into thinking they actually have some original thoughts to impart. No, they just copy-pasted the posts of two other writers – one of them being Kat Kennedy, in yet another attack on her. They took a tongue-in-cheek post and reported it as literal to make her look nasty and stupid. Too bad they’re the only ones that ended up looking that way. It’s actually pretty hilarious.
- They dragged up some old wank about someone called Robin Sulliven being banned from Absolute Write last year. Which has no relevance to anything on Goodreads or, y’know, the present time. Well, except for the fact that Melissa Douthit set herself up as a champion for Robin, deliberately trolling Absolute Write and getting herself banned in the process (see the comments on this post). Why is this relevant? Well, who else would care about this old drama other than the obsessive self-appointed author avenger, Melissa Douthit? Oh, that’s right, her old neighbour, Athena Parker. Of course. I totally believe they are two separate people. Right. (BTW, Robin herself doesn’t appear to have been active online since the beginning of the year).
- Here’s where things get really good: In a post entitled “The Amazon Review Mafia, Part 2”, they seize on a comment made by someone called “Deltaforce” on their previous post, stating that basically, the “bully” reviewers are employees of publishing houses, trying to eliminate the indie “competition. I actually laughed out loud when I read this. It’s just so preposterous. Of course, STGRB love a good conspiracy theory, so they spent the greater part of a week “investigating”. The results of their efforts? An old email from a “fan” claiming to have been deleted from Goodreads for flagging one review, corroborated by the vague assertion that “several independent authors” that Athena “knows” were also deleted for doing “absolutely nothing” (Aside – gosh, that woman gets around, doesn’t she? She was Douthit’s old neighbour and she just happens to know other indie authors? But she’s not one herself? Impressive!). Then there’s an email from a “site visitor” that was actually sent to Goodreads, whinging about the Badly Behaving Authors group. Apparently it’s meaningful because Goodreads hasn’t responded… maybe they’re unconscious from so much headdesking at all the stupid. There’s also screenshots of a short comment “John Green” made on an Amazon forum mocking “G. Faso” and “D. Brimson”, and a comment made by a “John” on STGRB – which both prove nothing at all. Then they link to and copy-paste from a post written by notorious BBA Jaq D. Hawkins, in which she whines about how her books are rated/shelved. Then they say that many of the “active reviewers” on Goodreads have friends in common, and most of their accounts are protected. This is simply shocking! Or, you know, completely normal for a social networking site. FFS, they really have no idea how Goodreads works, do they? Oh, and the fact that their profiles are set to private? It couldn’t be because there’s obsessive stalkers targeting their group of friends and outing their personal information, could it? Of course not, that would be too logical for the minds of STGRB. It’s clearly evidence those bullies are hiding something. Ha! Finally, STGRB post a screenshot of an Amazon discussion in which most of the posts have been deleted by Amazon, saying the forums are “littered” with these “missing” pages. This is actually true, but it’s not because of some Big Six conspiracy – it’s because of badly behaving self-published authors who spam the Kindle forums with self-promotion, which is not allowed. It’s not rocket science, kiddos. Unfortunately, STGRB aren’t done yet – they claim that the fact that the reviews they’ve been flagging haven’t been deleted is evidence that GR supports and encourages “bullying of authors”. Or there’s another option. Call me crazy, but it could be because the flagged reviews are not actually bullying. That what STGRB claims is bullying is not. And that the speshul snowflakes who throw tantrums and troll reviews somehow violate the Goodreads TOS and get their asses banned. Just maybe.
- STGRB followed up this poor excuse for an investigation with two more posts which are copy-pastes of other people’s work, both of which are tl;dr but which I assume are supposedly supporting their conspiracy that the Big 6 publishers are out to get poor little self-published authors. Or something. Oh, and then they start quoting Jesus.
Kat Kennedy is one of Stop the GR Bullies’ favourite targets. As with Part One on Kat, I’m going to stick to STGRB’s initial post on her for this analysis, otherwise we’d be here all day. But I will be posting on their subsequent attacks soon.
Of course, the post as it appears today on STGRB is not how it was originally published. Gossamer Obessessions has proof they edited out Kat’s personal info, as they did with The Holy Terror, but this time that’s not all they removed [Clarification: Kat has pointed out that STGRB never actually had her real information in the first place, so there wasn’t much to edit in this respect – they edited more heavily in regards to the below comments]. They also took out the lovely content that stated that Kat is an “unemployed housewife who stays at home, drinks, and sometimes takes care of her children, that is when she is not drinking, tweeting, or waging her holy war against authors.”
Dear STGRB: Just because you delete something, it doesn’t mean it’s gone. Remember, the internet is forever. Not that it matters all that much, because what they’ve left up is still pretty damn nasty, claiming that she personally attacks authors, and then noting that they are “eagerly awaiting” the release of Kat’s book, presumably so they can “revenge review” (something they claim to be against).
Quick, what time is it?
Awkward. I don’t know how that got there. No, Troy, it’s not party time – it’s checklist time! Are STGRB…
1. Harassing? Not directly. But the original post, which detailed Kat’s alleged real name and location, plus the fact they’ve stalked her Twitter and posted comments out of context, certainly suggests harassment has taken place.
2. Humiliating? Their intention is obviously to humiliate her – why else would they make statements about her professional life, alcohol consumption or parenting abilities?
3. Insulting? Yes. They’re not only falsely accusing Kat of bullying, they’re also implying she’s a terrorist (note the use of the word “jihad”), on top of explicitly stating she does nothing but stay at home, drink, attack authors and barely takes care of her children. I’m insulted, and they’re not even talking about me.
4. Gossiping? Yes, they’re engaging in gossip.
5. Name calling? Not specifically.
6. Teaming up on? Yes. Stitch is their “information gatherer”, Athena wrote this post, and Johnny Be Good and some of the site’s “minions” get nasty in the comments (see below). They even state “all of us here at STGRB” – openly declaring their team work.
7. Verbally attacking? Yes – see comments for “insulting”.
8. Sending friends after? Yes – Stitch would have been “sent after” Kat to get those screengrabs, plus the way they report the “good news” about Kat publishing a book implies their followers should attack that book – a message that was received loud and clear, judging by the comments posted below.
9. Writing a bully review? No, it’s not a review.
10. Spreading false rumours? Yes. They have NO EVIDENCE that Kat is unemployed and does nothing but stay at home, drink, “wage holy war” against authors, Tweet and neglect her children. And no, her obviously joking tweets that are taken out of context are not evidence.
11. Attempting to destroy reputations with lies? Yes! Again, everything they’ve leveled against Kat has no foundation in the truth, and they clearly want to destroy her reputation and future writing career, as evidenced by the threatening tone of their last paragraph in particular.
12. Trashing an author’s book just to get revenge? Well, not yet, but the implication that they plan on doing this in the future is definitely there.
Well, look at that, STGRB are once again guilty of the bullying behaviour they accuse others of. The comments are even worse, with “Anons” making fun of Kat’s age and appearance. You stay classy, Stop the GR Bullies.
I wasn’t going to post on what STGRB have done to Kat Kennedy (yes, she is the victim) yet, but seeing as they have such a massive hard on for her and keep dragging her through their shit, I moved it up the priority list. They’re so obsessed with her that I’m going to have to separate their attacks (yes, attacks) into multiple posts or it will be TL;DR. First, let’s take a look at her supposed crimes, as outlined in their initial post on her, and weigh up whether she’s guilty of being a bully (click here for a refresher on what a bully is… and isn’t): STGRB claim she’s the “biggest offender” thanks to the “Scandalous Scandals” part of her “Buzz Worthy News” posts on Cuddlebuggery, which they allege sets Kat’s “minions” on a “witch hunt”.
They name the “attack” on M.R. Mathias. Firstly, what he was commenting on was NOT a review, but a list. Even though our friends at STGRB don’t seem to be overly concerned with facts, I am, so I just wanted to clear that up. Whether or not his initial comments were harmless, I can’t say, because they’ve been deleted. But all of his comments that haven’t been deleted are most definitely hostile in tone, while at least two call people names:
But that’s not the only lie STGRB are telling about the situation. Note how Kat’s comments on the list (see below) are all made on June 5th. STGRB claims that after this, Kat posted about Mathias in a Buzz Worthy News post. But in fact the only two times (one, two) Mathias is mentioned on Cuddlebuggery are in posts created BEFORE June 5th, and have no connection to this drama. They do, however, establish what a douchebag Mathias is. But that’s besides the point right now – the point being, STGRB are liars. As for Kat, well, this is the sum total of her “attack” on Mathias:
None of these comments are using strength or influence to intimidate or harm someone who is weaker, nor are they harrassing, name-calling, gossiping, sending friends after, writing a bully review, spreading false rumours, attempting to destroy a reputation with lies, or trashing an author’s book to get revenge. They could possibly be interpreted as insulting or verbally attacking (though that implies a viciousness that isn’t present here), but even if that was the case, they are confined to one incident (note: the posts on Cuddlebuggery are not insulting – merely stating facts) and as we’ve already discussed, this does not amount to bullying. I have a feeling STGRB would also count this as “teaming up on”, but this was not an orchestrated attack on a victim – it was Mathias who repeatedly came into the reviewer’s space (i.e. her list) and used hostility against her and her friends, who merely pointed out how ridiculous he was being and told him to go away. So Kat was not bullying Mathias. Of course, that’s not all she’s accused of. Next up, we have the “attack” on Rebecca Hamilton – according to STGRB, Rebecca was attacked on the Absolute Write Water Cooler, Kat wrote about it in Buzz Worthy News, Rebecca “tried to explain her position”, and Kat and her “minions” responded with an attack.
Now, at the time all this went down, Hamilton had 40,000 followers on Twitter, a number that has since increased to 67,000. Kat Kennedy, on the other hand, currently has just over 500 Twitter followers, while Cuddlebuggery has close to 1200. Based on those statistics, who in this situation has more strength and influence? Certainly not Kat, meaning she can’t actually use either to harm or intimidate Hamilton. Meaning she is NOT A BULLY. As for the 12 page long comment thread they mention, if you actually go and read it, you’ll see that Kat and her “minions” did not, in fact, attack with “insults and jabs” or twist Hamilton’s words around. Indeed, Kat responded with calm logic, which admittedly is such a foreign concept to the peeps at STGRB, I can understand why it might confuse them.
So to sum up: Based on the evidence provided by STGRB in their first post on Kat Kennedy, she is not the bully they claim her to be.
Come back tomorrow for proof that STGRB are guilty of bullying Kat.
Before we go into Stop the GR Bullies’ version of what bullying is, let’s look at the actual definition, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, shall we?
noun (plural bullies) a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
verb (bullies, bullying, bullied) [with object] use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.
Pop quiz time! Who has more strength or influence?
a) An author, who is a public figure, a professional (i.e. gets paid – although they should also act in a professional manner), and often has other professionals (agents, editors, publicists. publishers etc) to support them.
b) A reader, who is a private citizen and/or an amateur reviewer (i.e. unpaid – and under no obligation, therefore, to act professionally BTW), posting reviews and opinions on personal blogs and/or social networking sites.
If you answered a) then congratulations, you are right! If you answered b) then you probably live in a fantasy land. I hope it’s nice there.
I’m not saying it would be impossible for a reader/reviewer to bully an author, but it is extremely unlikely – and very, very rare. In fact I can’t think of one incident in recent, or even distant, memory that would constitute a reader actually bullying an author. It’s certainly not a widespread issue as the person(s) behind Stop the GR Bullies would have everyone believe.
Also, while it’s not in the definition above, all official and reputable sources on bullying highlight how bullying involves repeat offenses. It’s not a one-off thing. It’s systematic, ongoing harassment.
When isn’t it bullying?
Bullying isn’t a one-off incident – a friend being in a bad mood one day, calling you names and then apologising later. It’s when name-calling or threats continue that it becomes bullying.
Let’s just keep that in our pockets for later. In the meantime, let’s look at how Stop the GR Bullies defines bullying:
The definition: Verb. Subject to aggressive pressure or intimidation. Make repeated small-scale attacks on (an enemy).
It is bullying? Yes. Notice how the characteristics of intimidation and repetition match up with what defines bullying. STGRB has this one right (though whether anyone they accuse is actually guilty of it is another story, for another post).
The definition: Adjective. Causing someone to feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect.
It is bullying? In most cases, yes, because to injure someone’s dignity or self-respect generally requires being in a position of strength or authority over them.
The definition: Verb. Speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse.
It is bullying? Not necessarily. Insults can be bullying, but only if they are repeated on a regular basis. Insulting somebody one time does not constitute bullying – which STGRB do not make clear (as usual).
The definition: Verb. Engage in gossip.
Is it bullying? No. It can be, in very specific circumstances, but gossip in general is not bullying.
5. Name calling
The definition: There isn’t an official definition for name-calling, because it’s an example of “insulting”.
Is it bullying? See comments for “insulting”.
6. Teaming up on
The definition: This doesn’t even make sense. To “team up” means to form a team. So if we’re being literal, “teaming up on” means “forming a team on”, which sounds like something you do in debating. Like, “I formed a team on the cons of carbon tax.” It still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Of course, we can infer that what STGRB actually means is that bullying behaviour involves teaming up against someone.
Is it bullying? As it’s stated, no. But if we take it to mean teaming up against someone, then it could be considered bullying.
7. Verbally attacking
The definition: Ugh. Did the person who created this list just use a thesaurus in hopes of padding it out? Verbally attacking is the exact same thing as “insulting”.
Is it bullying? See comments for “insulting”. Again.
8. Sending friends after
The definition: This is so vague it doesn’t make sense either. Sending friends after… squirrels? Your crush? A runaway kite? Ha, this is actually kinda fun. OK, OK, once again we can infer (though we really shouldn’t have to, it kinda defeats the purpose of a list like this) that they mean sending friends after a victim. Which is the same as “teaming up on” [sic].
Is it bullying? In a very specific set of circumstances, it may be. But not as it’s been (barely) described here.
9. Writing a bully review
The definition: So this is not, like, a Thing. But if we use the official definition of “bully” (and not one that the peeps at Stop the GR Bullies have arbitrarily invented), then a bully review is… well, impossible. Because a bully is a person. But if, again, we use our powers of deduction (they’re really getting a workout here), we can determine that STGRB actually means a bullying review. Which would be a review that uses “superior strength or influence to intimidate”.
Is it bullying? Well, yes, of course a bullying review is bullying. But as mentioned above, in what world (other than the STGRB fantasy land) do amateur (a.k.a. hobby) reviewers have superior strength or influence to an author? Not on Goodreads, that’s for sure.
10. Spreading false rumours
The definition: Tautology alert! Ignoring the useless “false”, a rumour is defined as “a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.”
Is it bullying? It could be, in a few specific contexts – like the schoolyard – but in general, not so much.
11. Attempting to destroy reputations with lies
The definition: Otherwise known as libel (if written) or slander (if spoken). I don’t know why they haven’t just called a spade a spade. Oh wait, yeah I do – it’s because they don’t know what either term actually means.
Is it bullying? Eh. Kinda, but kinda not. I guess it could be considered bullying, though really it’s a whole separate issue.
12. Trashing an author’s book just to get revenge
The definition: I got nothing. This is paradoxically so vague and yet weirdly specific. Revenge for what? Writing a horrible book? Or is it a more personal matter? Like, maybe the author stole the reviewer’s spouse or gave him or her a wedgie one time… or something. Seriously, though, revenge is defined as “the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for a wrong suffered at their hands.” Yep, we’re talking about reviews here, people.
Is it bullying? This is another one that I doubt is even possible. If it is, I’d like to see how, coz it sounds better than the storyline of The Bold and the Beautiful last week.
So, what can we deduce (here we go again!) from all this? For so-called anti-bullying campaigners, Stop the GR Bullies does not have the strongest grasp on what bullying actually is. Colour me surprised.