Bullying is a serious issue, one that sadly has a strong hold in the online community, but the term is being thrown around a little too much these days. STGRB is one such group that needs to be careful they don’t cry wolf.
For those of you who don’t know what STGRB stands for (and I didn’t until recently either), it stands for Stop The GoodReads Bullies. From what I’ve read, they are a group of people who have banded together to stop reviewers ‘bullying’ authors in their reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and other writing/book forums.
Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t some reviews out there that are obvious attacks on the author, those do need to stop, but my pickle is with the use of groups like STGRB to back up people who have hurt feelings over not getting a shining 5 star review.
I have witnessed some heated debates over what an author should do if they get a review they don’t like on Goodreads or Amazon and it seems that the general consensus is that you should leave the reviewer alone, but if you feel strongly about it, contact the administrators of the site and ask to have it removed.
The instance that has been thrust into the spotlight this morning occurred on Thursday, 30th August 2012 and involved one of the top reviewers on Goodreads for Australia.
I believe that this satirical review of the book, is creative and would have taken some time to craft and it is obviously an attempt at a unique review style. Is it pushing the boundaries – yes. Is it punchy and highlighting a controversial point of the book – yes. This is how Elle became one of the top reviewers on Goodreads, by creating funny, interesting and witty reviews. What it isn’t about, is personally attacking the author (it is clearly not a real interview with the author), nor a slight on Mexican/Hispanic people (merely highlighting one of the foibles of the characters), nor do I believe it is bullying.
Bullying by definition is repeated, aggressive behaviour intended to hurt another person either, mentally, physically or verbally.