September 25, 2013

Goodreads, it is censorship!

To be honest I wasn’t planning on any posts this week except my usual Wednesday Wishes post. However, I feel compelled to get my view point out there in cyberspace.

Goodreads is doing a good job of keeping there new policy under wraps, and I hadn’t even heard about the changes until today. After stewing on it all day I went from calm to slightly annoyed. Then it hit me, I am ticked!

For those of you who haven’t heard Goodreads has made an update to it’s terms. Mainly concerning reviews. Now I’ve always noticed that Goodreads states not to use the authors name in the reviews and such, just reference it such as “Stephanie Meyers writing is lovely”. Now they’re saying reviews that explicitly criticize the author and not the book are being deleted period. Or if they’re bullying the author basically. Which I support!

However, if reviews that express that the author bullied the reviewer or interacted negatively to them, or other friends,they don’t want that reviewer. Well that’s not acceptable!


However, Goodreads is taking it farther. Shelves can be deleted now. “Due to author” shelves are being deleted, but “awesome authors” and “fave(orite) authors” shelves are being left behind. Now I’m not going to point out all of the cases, but these are the ones that stand out to me. But I think that sets the tone. Negative things about authors bad, positive good. Amazon anyone?

Yes, I can see their points on the reviews. No. I can not see their points on readers shelves! This is how members keep track of things and if they want to have “due to author” (what does it even really mean?) or “least favorite authors” isn’t that they’re right? It’s not all happy love and if you want to remember that you didn’t like some authors what’s wrong with that?

Goodreads always, ALWAYS, states that they are for the reader, not the author. However, they’re really covering their butts not to upset them. If the way an author acted or treated someone is a reason that reader won’t read the book or isn’t going to support them, that’s an honest view point to me.

Plus, they’re still not making a site wide announcement about these changes, probably in fear that the fall out will be worse. Twenty-one members were affected without the new policy being posted.  (Though I have suspicions if that was really the number.) Yes, they apologized and it’s now posted so they’re can censor away. Even there new updates are pussy footing around notify members and simply deleting what they want. Notice the bold text in the image below.


But it just seems unfair that our bookshelves are being questioned and judged now. Yes, I understand that we the members are storing our stuff on the Goodreads website for free.  Yet without the dedicated members who have helped to build Goodreads to it’s current point, it feels like a slap. Two words. Goodreads Librarians. It’s not been added to the Terms of Use page, I think they need to put some new shelf stuff about what you can and can’t do with your bookshelves.

What I will state is I’m 100% for deleting reviews that bully or bash the author and do not review the book. Heck, I’ve flagged some of those reviews. I’m fine with that, and I support actions that need to be taken. Because as much as I like to say Goodreads members are friendly (which they are) there are some members like any online community that take things too far. (Though I wonder where Goodreads was when authors were bashing and abusing reader/reviewer members.)

In no way can I find any reason to support bookshelf censorship. No. Readers should be able to have “rude author to deal with” as a legit shelf. If someone wants some type of wacked out vulgar titles shelf, fine by me.

All right I’ll stop. While I’m not the most eloquent response out there, it feels good to get my two cents out there. I encourage everyone to read up on it and form your own opinions and would love to hear about what you think.

Here are some additional posts that I enjoyed reading on the matter:

  1. Goodreads Feedback discussion > Announcements > Important Note Regarding Reviews
  2. ComPost
  3. Lit Reactor
  4. Mashable (This one is my fave!)

No comments: