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message 1: by Kara, Director, Customer Care (last edited Nov 18, 2013 12:11PM) (new)

Kara | 1580 comments Mod
ETA: FAQ now pasted below

Hi everyone,

Over the last week, we have received a number of questions about what is allowed in reviews and on shelves. In response, we’ve put together some answers. We’re sorry about any confusion, and we hope this is helpful and clarifies our policy.

Can I still talk about the author in my review?

Yes, you can talk about the author in a book review – the author is often a relevant part of a book. If it’s an autobiography or memoir, then you might end up expressing an opinion about the life of the author and the behavior described in the book. And, in fiction, often it’s relevant to understand an author’s background and how it influenced the story, the characters or the setting.

However, there is a line between relevant criticism and unhelpful, ad hominem attacks or off-topic reviews that single out individual readers or authors. Reviews-- or shelves--that cross this line are not allowed.

Can I still be critical in my book reviews?

Yes, you can be critical about books in your reviews – this hasn’t changed. We love the passion that our members bring to their book reviews and welcome all opinions of a book, good or bad. If you take a look at our review guidelines, you'll see under "what is allowed":
We allow harsh critical statements that apply to the book or the writing in it, such as "This guy can't write a lick," or "This book is absolute trash." Again, honest opinions about books are always going to be welcome and encouraged on Goodreads.

So what has changed?

We are making some changes to better enforce our existing guidelines with the goal to help Goodreads work better for all our members. In the past, if we found a review that was an ad hominem attack or an off-topic comment about a reader or author, we removed it from the community reviews section of the book page, notified the reviewer, and kept the review on the reviewer’s profile. Now, these reviews will be deleted entirely from the site.

In addition, we are now applying this guideline to shelves. If a shelf functions as an ad hominem attack or off-topic comment about a reader or author, we will delete it from the site.

What happens when you discover a review or shelf that needs to be deleted?

If we determine that something does not fit within our guidelines, we will send the member the content of the review or shelf for his or her personal records and delete it from the site. For reviews or shelves that were created before the updated guidelines were announced on September 20, we will also give the members advance notice before taking action.

What if I see inappropriate behavior from other members?

The best way to handle any behavior that you think is inappropriate is to flag it for us to review or email us at support@goodreads.com. We will deal with it promptly.

Right after you made the recent changes to how you handle reviews, did you delete any shelves or reviews without advance notice?

Yes – as we put these moderation guidelines into place, we began to delete reviews and shelves that were not within guidelines and sent notifications to the members in question. In retrospect, we should have notified the members before removing their reviews/shelves and provided them with a copy of their content. We will provide the deleted content to those members for their own individual records.

At one point we also mistakenly deleted a shelf called “Due-to-author”. We know that this caused confusion to people and we were not clear in our previous response about this. “Due-to-author” is a shelf that is allowed on the site. We’ve apologized to the member in question and will provide the member their data.

What are examples of shelves that will be deleted?

badly-behaving-authors
abusive-attention-whore-authors
butthurt-crazy-stalker-authors
author-insults-and-attacks-reviewers
victim-of-troll-attacks

Can you give me some examples of what kinds of author-related shelves are allowed?

The overwhelming majority of shelves on Goodreads are already within our guidelines. Some examples of shelves that are allowed are:

not-interested
not-for-me
will-never-read
did-not-finish
authors-i-don-t-want-to-read
russian-authors
female-comedians
LGBT-authors
signed-by-author
booker-prize-winner-authors

Original Post:

Since our inception, Goodreads has lived by a few simple principles with our reviews. You can see our full policy in our review guidelines, but at a high level, we believe:

1. Reviews should be about the book. If you think a book is a masterpiece, tell people why. If you hated the book, say so. If it had potential but fell short, share your perspective.

2. Members are not permitted to harass or threaten other people. We have always dealt with this promptly when it has been brought to our attention.

We have done our best to uphold these tenets, and they aren’t changing. But we recently recognized that we can do a better job enforcing them, particularly in the small number of situations where tensions start to run high. We took a long, hard look at our guidelines and how we moderate Goodreads and identified some areas where we can be clearer and where we can improve. I wanted to share with you some of the changes we are now making:

**Make it easier for anyone who feels concerned about content on Goodreads to get help from Goodreads staff. We have now improved the visibility of our flag button, and have added the ability to flag inappropriate friend requests. Of course, people can also reach us through support@goodreads.com. If you see any inappropriate content or behavior on Goodreads, please use these options. We’re here to deal with this so that individual members don’t have to.

**Better education for authors about Goodreads and our review guidelines. It’s clear that some problems have come up because some authors who are new to Goodreads don’t know what’s appropriate on Goodreads and/or take matters into their own hands rather than flagging content that they feel is inappropriate. We’ve therefore revised our author guidelines to make them clearer. We’re also working on improving how we introduce new authors to Goodreads.

**Delete content focused on author behavior. We have had a policy of removing reviews that were created primarily to talk about author behavior from the community book page. Once removed, these reviews would remain on the member’s profile. Starting today, we will now delete these entirely from the site. We will also delete shelves and lists of books on Goodreads that are focused on author behavior. If you have questions about why a review was removed, send an email to support@goodreads.com. (And to answer the obvious question: of course, it’s appropriate to talk about an author within the context of a review as it relates to the book. If it’s an autobiography, then clearly you might end up talking about their lives. And often it’s relevant to understand an author’s background and how it influenced the story or the setting.)

We recognize that not everyone is going to agree with our approach. People have different - and often quite strongly held - viewpoints about what should and should not be allowed in a review. We’ve had suggestions that no GIFs should be allowed, reviews should be limited to 300 words only, reviews should only be allowed if you have read the book to the very last page, etc.

What we try to do is provide room for our members’ own personal approach within our overall principles rather than set rigid guidelines. We’ve found it has worked well for the community overall so far and is something that readers value.

By the way, to put things in context, every day we have more than 30,000 reviews written on Goodreads and, on average, only a handful are flagged as inappropriate. That means 99.99% of new reviews are happily within our guidelines. (Funnily enough, we get way more flags from people asking us to add a spoiler alert to a review than any other type of flagged review.)

We think we have something special here with the Goodreads community and we want to support and protect that. Thank you for being part of this. As always, we welcome your feedback on these changes and on how to make Goodreads a better place for readers and authors.

Update:

Hey everyone,

We’ve been reading all the comments and wanted to give an update based on some of the concerns in the thread.

To clarify, we haven’t deleted any book reviews in regard to this issue. The key word here is "book". The reviews that have been deleted - and that we don't think have a place on Goodreads - are reviews like "the author is an a**hole and you shouldn't read this book because of that". In other words, they are reviews of the author's behavior and not relevant to the book. We believe books should stand on their own merit, and it seems to us that's the best thing for readers.

Someone used the word censorship to describe this. This is not censorship - this is setting an appropriate tone for a community site. We encourage members to review and shelve books in a way that makes sense for them, but reviews and shelves that focus primarily on author behavior do not belong on Goodreads.

Some people are perhaps interpreting this as you can't discuss the author at all. This couldn't be further from the case. The author is a part of the book and can certainly be discussed in relation to the book. But it has to be in a way that's relevant to the book. Again, let's judge books based on what’s inside them.

Some people are concerned about their "not-interested" shelf or variants of that. We are not deleting those; you are free to keep cataloging books that way. We are deleting shelves like "author-is-a-jerk", as they don't fit our guiding principle that the book page be about the book.

Regarding this kind of concern: “We're being told to put up and shut up with author behavior, even if you've been attacked and harassed.”
We want to be very clear about this: we do not tolerate authors attacking or harassing reviewers on the site. This violates our author guidelines and authors who engage in this type of behavior will be removed from the site. We are simply asking that you flag the content to staff’s attention rather than responding to inappropriate behavior in the review space. We will take it from there.

And finally, we welcome all opinions about a book, whether it sucked or was the best thing you’ve read all year. It wouldn’t make sense to delete reviews simply for being critical of the book.

We hope that clarifies some things for you.

Additional Update:

Hey Everyone,

Thank you for all the comments so far. One concern that has come up in this thread is that the content was deleted without those members first being told that our moderation policy had been revised.

In retrospect, we absolutely should have given users notice that our policies were changing before taking action on the items that were flagged. To the 21 members who were impacted: we'd like to sincerely apologize for jumping the gun on this. It was a mistake on our part, and it should not have happened.

Anyone else with reviews or shelves created prior to September 21, 2013 that will be deleted under the revised policy will be sent a notification first and given time to decide what to do.

Again, thank you for all your comments. We'll continue to monitor this thread for your feedback.


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 24, 2013 09:00AM) (new)

**To Those Just Joining Us...**

Goodreads has already started deleting reviews and shelves they deem to go against this new rule without giving any warning whatsoever. No one has been given a grace period to perhaps save their reviews or move them. GR just outright deleted them.

Even if your shelf can be misconstrued to be negative towards authors, it will be deleted.

So if you've got questionable reviews, save them now while you can! If you have shelf names that may run afoul of this new rule, change them!

There's nothing else you can do at this point. Goodreads has, as usual, posted this shitty news on a Friday afternoon and will no doubt ignore it all weekend. Its their version of customer service.

Bitch all you want in this thread... They won't care anyway.

You have my sympathy.




**Update...**
Goodreads actually replied early with their typical "We are listening to you..." standard bullshit response. I'm shocked it didn't take all weekend, like normal.

Though they still haven't explained why a shelf named simply "Due-to-Author" was deleted without warning. Or why users had reviews, actual book reviews that were about books, deleted without warning simply because GR deemed them "anti-author".

Maybe they're just going by flags and not really looking. Maybe someone who has been targeted by certain Hormel authors, and had dozens of flags per review, doesn't deserve the common courtesy of being notified before action was taken.

After all, we're just readers. We just create the god damned content on this site. When compared to the special snowflakes that are the vaunted Authors, we don't count.

Figures.



**Update 2...**
Just kidding, no new updates. No answer why "Due-to-author" is such a horrible shelf name. No answer why they couldn't give longtime users the common courtesy of notification before GR decided to DELETE ALL THE THINGS!

Just the usual silence.

Echo...echo...



**Update 3: The Updatening...**
Oh look, its the Monday morning false apology:

"We're sorry we reversed years of policy and deleted your reviews without telling you beforehand. Next time we'll give you some notice before we change our minds about what is acceptable. Maybe. Now fuck off and stop complaining. Its ruining our money counting"

So they've apologized to the "21" people that got screwed over(though I doubt its only 21) but they still haven't explained or addressed the rest of the concerns.

Like why a shelf named simply "due to author" was deleted. What is so egregious about "due to author"? How is an ambiguous shelf name like that targeted?

Or why folks who had 3, 4 and even 5 star reviews deleted. Did J.K. Rowling bitch because someone liked her books? Or is the whole "flags are reviewed by people" another bullshit lie, and this is a case of a script gone wrong?

Or why a site that's been built and maintained by readers is suddenly telling those readers to fuck off? Readers maintain the vast library of goodreads. Readers provide the stunning quantity of content here. Yet a handful of overzealous and trollish authors are the one dictating course changes for the site? How does this make sense?

How about you cut the bullshit and, I dunno, answer some questions for a change?

Ugh.


**Update 4: Return of the Censor...**

So, according to Kara(who doesn't like her shelves and reviews scrutinized thankyouverymuch), GR hasn't deleted *anything* since Friday.

Quote:
” To clarify, we haven't deleted *any* reviews or shelves since Friday. Per my update earlier, we have simply been sending out notifications for content that will be deleted in a few days if it still doesn't fit within our guidelines.

A "Maybe will read someday" shelf is well within our guidelines. We did not delete it on this end."


So I guess everyone is either wrong or lying.

Yep.

BTW, to the GR employee choosing the daily quotes? Kudos to you. That's some excellent trolling.




**Update 5: My final update...**
So yesterday when asked why certain shelf names were getting the axe, such as the highly offensive "taa", Kara had this to say:
"We don’t comment publicly on individual cases, but in general, what we do is look at a shelf and see how it is used in context. In any case where we have decided to remove that shelf, we are confident that the shelf was being used in a way to review author behavior."

Yep.

So GR has become the thought police, or they've got a list of authors that you're not allowed to shelve together, regardless of shelf name, because they know you're thinking bad thoughts about those authors. Shame on you!

I don't expect this new policy to change, regardless of how many people it causes GR to lose. Longtime readers who've not only helped build up the site as Librarians, but who have provided tons of content via reviews and discussions.

All that will probably happen next is Otis or Patrick will show up, say how sorry they are and how much they're listening to your concerns and that, in the future, they'll do things better.

You know, the usual bullshit.

So yeah... Good luck, folks.

BTW, Still no sitewide announcement? Way to change a policy without telling your users, GR.


Tip: For those wanting to save all their books/reviews before they're deleted, or simply in preparation for leaving, you can export a .CSV file.

Go to "My Books". On the left side is as list of links. Click on "import/export". On the new page, upper right, is the link to export to a .CSV file. (Yes, your whole review IS in the .CSV file)


message 3: by Alana ~ The Book Pimp (last edited Oct 12, 2013 11:29AM) (new)

Alana ~ The Book Pimp (LoonyAlana) | 456 comments So we cannot even have a shelf name indicating anything about an author's behavior? Just to clarify.

**Oct 12, 2013 Addition**
For the best sum-up of all more events (following the comment above's updates), please refer to Message #9 by Amy or Ames


message 4: by MrsJoseph (last edited Sep 24, 2013 11:38AM) (new)

MrsJoseph | 2779 comments I can't help with the social networking but I can help with the cataloging.

Some things I do:

Keep a catalog of my books that I have complete control over. I have two options to offer:

1 - Calibre: http://calibre-ebook.com/

Calibre is free. If you have an ebook, you can drag and drop the book into Calibre. This allows you to catalog and read ebooks. It also coverts formats and is compatible with all ebook readers. Calibre is open source so there are tons of plug ins available, including one that allows you to view/read books on your smart phone.

You will have to enter all DTBs by hand.

2 - Book Collectorz: http://www.collectorz.com/book/

Book Collectorz is not free. They have a trial of 100 books. The standard [full] edition is $29.99.

Book Collectorz is a rather powerful book cataloging tool that even allow you to track who you loan books to. BC has its own database so you can catalog books via ISBN. If the ISBN is not recognized, BC has a report function so that you can create the book record/cover/etc (just like GR...) BC is also compatible to ISBN scanners (for those with a massive physical collection).

There is an online portion to BC. You have to pay for it separately unless you purchase the pro version. It is an additional cost to be able to add/edit your book catalog online even if you buy the pro version because it is a separate product. It connects to the computer version but the computer version is not required in order to use the online version.

There is also an app - but that is also an additional price. I have not purchased the app so I can't comment on that one.



Both of these options place your book catalog on your physical computer (except BC online).




Oh! If you have started to notice your favorite bloggers are disappearing, www.netvibes.com is a great place to dashboard all your favorite blogs.



*****UPDATE*****


Everyone concerned about this new censorship should create a bolthole. LibraryThing, Booklikes, etc - basically anywhere you can go to keep your own personal information. (In addition the options I list above.

The GR Thought Police are watching and deleting. They take great interest in demolishing all thoughtcrimes.


"We have always been at war with Eurasia"


message 5: by Alfaniel (last edited Sep 20, 2013 11:32AM) (new)

Alfaniel Aldavan | 132 comments Interesting. Thank you for the update. It must not be easy to deal with problems in such a big community.

If you notice that a review of yours has been removed and you have questions about why, send an email to support@goodreads.com.

If we notice? I would have thought Goodreads staff would notify us before or when removing something of people's data.


message 6: by Thalia (new)

Thalia (thaliaanderson) | 420 comments Shelves regarding author behavior have always been allowed--because it's an important factor to a LOT of readers when they consider a book. If you don't want to read a book by an author who has attacked reviewers, or whatever reason, shouldn't we be able to catalogue that? And shelves like "not my cup of tea" or "no thank you" that shelve all books that user has no interest in reading, even if only some of those are about author behavior? How will GR determine which "negative" shelves get deleted and which stay?

This seems like a precarious slope.


Bitchie!!! on books  (Bitchie) | 544 comments I agree, people should always be notified if a review of theirs is going to be removed, and maybe be hidden for a set amount of time, to give the reviewer time to save it if they'd like. Just deleting without warning is harsh.


message 8: by Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} (last edited Oct 12, 2013 03:26AM) (new)

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} (amyorames) | 568 comments I'm not sure what to say.

I've got shelves called supportive-authors and will-not-read. Will they be deleted? The books on them remind me which authors I want to read because they've supported readers' rights to say what they like about their books and which do the opposite.

I sometimes refer to author behaviour in reviews though usually only in a small way. Will they be deleted?

Will positive shelving and positive reviews detailing author behaviour be deleted?

Edit 12th Oct 2013
Summaries of events so far:

(1) Summary of GR’s New Censorship Policy: Goodreads version | Wordpress version

(2) War Declared: Goodreads vs. BookLikes, Or how Goliath beats on David

(3) Latest Censorship News: Goodreads Can’t Take Criticism, Badly Behaved Social Network?



message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Hormel does have a nice ring to it...


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (LoonyAlana) | 456 comments Also, who determines which shelves/reviews to remove? Like 'Authors-I-Avoid' shelf name for example? I am not commenting on their behavior, but it seems difficult to know exactly how far reaching the deleting will be?


message 11: by Ridley (last edited Sep 20, 2013 11:48AM) (new)

Ridley | 278 comments Well. I'll call this the nail in the coffin. With some advance notice, I could have renamed a shelf or made it private or taken it offline. Instead you just deleted years of book collecting willy-nilly.

Horrible decision. I'm done with you.


message 12: by Bekka (new)

Bekka (yerawizardbekka) | 93 comments Will this also apply to shelves and reviews regarding authors' positive, supportive behavior?


message 13: by Melanie♥ (last edited Sep 20, 2013 11:46AM) (new)

Melanie♥ (MeliaAnn) | 336 comments Ridley wrote: "Well. I'll call this the nail in the coffin.

Horrible decision."


^^^^^ +1


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Will probably be deleting my Goodreads account now if I cannot use my shelves the way I wish. And to think that I have contributed almost 700 reviews to the site. They will be going with me. This is censorship, and it is wrong.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Bekka wrote: "Will this also apply to shelves and reviews regarding authors' positive, supportive behavior?"

Good question. If they are going to do it for one, they should do it for the other right?


message 16: by willaful (new)

willaful | 813 comments Ridley wrote: "Well. I'll call this the nail in the coffin.

Horrible decision."


Agreed on both counts. I'm going to wait just a bit to see if anything changes, but my finger is hovering over the "delete my books" button.


message 17: by Alana ~ The Book Pimp (last edited Sep 20, 2013 11:49AM) (new)

Alana ~ The Book Pimp (LoonyAlana) | 456 comments Ala wrote: "Hormel does have a nice ring to it..."

Right? It sure does...

Also, is it only reviews and/or shelves that you deem to violate this new policy- or, for example, if one person leave one comment on a review (where the review is perfectly fine)- but in the comment it discusses author behavior, will my entire review be deleted because of one comment by another user?

I agree with Thalia, my feet are already sliding down this slope.


message 18: by Steph (new)

Steph Sinclair (Stephaniesinclair) | 272 comments Oh, Goodreads. I hope you are prepared for the can of worms you are opening.

This site used to be for the readers. Now it seems like it's moving closer to appease authors and your sponsors.

AGAIN: I ask that we be allowed to have private shelves.


message 19: by Becky (last edited Sep 23, 2013 08:50PM) (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) | 4972 comments This is rather disturbing, actually. Goodreads is essentially rewarding poor author behavior by chilling regular member discussion about it. Is this not a social network? Is it not valid for people to look into an author when determining whether to read their books? Why would I want to support someone who thinks it OK to name and shame readers?

It's disturbing to me that Goodreads thinks that author behavior is irrelevant and should not be discussed, even when that behavior directly results in other members being harassed. This seems to me to encourage authors to behave this way, because now nobody's allowed to say anything about it, and if they do, the author can have them silenced.

This is very, very disturbing to me.


message 20: by Robin (last edited Sep 20, 2013 11:57AM) (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 587 comments To be fair, they are cracking down on authors behavior too... did anyone read the new author guidelines? ANY author responses to negative reviews will bring their account under review and even excessive responses to positive reviews will be deemed "spam" and put under review too. Seems like they are just trying to enforce a truce on both ends and frankly, both sides have behaved appallingly at times. (No doubt, I'll get attacked for saying that now).


message 21: by Alfaniel (new)

Alfaniel Aldavan | 132 comments Interestingly, the other day I noticed groups around authors' behavior. Such as "Bad behavior authors" or something I don't remember.
Granted, groups don't appear on the book page. But comments do.

Groups = good, shelves = bad?

Reviews = bad, comments = ?


message 22: by Kara (new)

Kara (KaraAyako) | 83 comments I understand where Goodreads is coming from here, and it must have been a difficult decision. Before determining exactly how I feel about this change, I would like to see three questions answered:

1. Will users be notified that their reviews violate ToS before they're removed? I would hope so--we put a lot of time into our reviews, and if there's a problem, we should be given a chance to correct before it goes away completely.

2. Will positive author behavior noted in reviews/shelves also warrant removal? I'm really asking: is it author behavior or just negative author behavior that cannot be commented on?

3. Can I still shelve books as "do not read" or "avoid" as long as I don't list the reason why as the author's behavior?


message 23: by Anke (new)

Anke | 387 comments 'Starting today, we will now delete these entirely from the site. We will also delete shelves and lists of books on Goodreads that are focused on author behavior. '

Sorry, but I have a huge problem with this. Who the heck is the one to decide what belongs into this group? Does there have to be a name mentioned or is 'when hell freezes over' 'never ever' already at risk as well?


message 24: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) | 4972 comments Also, what exactly changed in the Author Guidelines?


message 25: by Ridley (new)

Ridley | 278 comments Kara wrote: "1. Will users be notified that their reviews violate ToS before they're removed? I would hope so--we put a lot of time into our reviews, and if there's a problem, we should be given a chance to correct before it goes away completely. "

I came here from a link in the email telling me two shelves and 90 reviews were deleted, so, no, there's no prior notification.


message 26: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (narcisse) | 84 comments I'm sure all of the authors who have harassed and bullied and badmouthed and stalked reviewers who've given them less than stellar reviews are very pleased with these changes.


message 27: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (TheNightOwl) | 218 comments Hmm, well this explains why GR shrunk the shelving section of the book page. With all those naughty shelves gone there is no need for it.

I'm definitely disgusted that GR will remove shelves and reviews without warning. That is just plain wrong. At least put a suspension time on it so users can have a choice to change it.


message 28: by Alfaniel (new)

Alfaniel Aldavan | 132 comments Robin wrote: "To be fair, they are cracking down on authors behavior too... did anyone read the new author guidelines? ANY author responses to negative reviews will bring their account under review and even exce..."

Where do you see that? I absolutely do not.


message 29: by Becky (new)

Becky (Beckyofthe19and9) | 4972 comments Robin wrote: "To be fair, they are cracking down on authors behavior too... did anyone read the new author guidelines? ANY author responses to negative reviews will bring their account under review and even exce..."

I did read them, but honestly I don't see anything different about them. I don't see where it says that any response to a negative review will cause their account to be reviewed. I see that it says that it MAY cause that, but mainly it's just finger-wagging and saying "Now, readers might not like it, so you shouldn't do it..."

I don't see anything substantive regarding how negative author behavior will be handled.


message 30: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 587 comments Becky wrote: "Also, what exactly changed in the Author Guidelines?"

This should show the author guidelines from May 11, 2013: http://web.archive.org/web/2013051101...

While they discouraged authors from commenting on negative reviews and from spam-like behavior, they did not say that their account would come under review for this kind of behavior like it does now.


message 31: by Thalia (new)

Thalia (thaliaanderson) | 420 comments +100000 to what everyone has said.

I love GR. It's my favorite social network site and I love that the staff has always been firm that this is a site for READERS. I'm not comfortable with the fact that GR could delete anything they THINK violates these rules without consulting or notifying the user. That's just wrong. My "no thank you" shelf is still there, but that might be because I state the specific reason for the shelf on my profile.

I don't want to leave, but this is taking it like, three steps too far.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (LoonyAlana) | 456 comments Robin wrote: "To be fair, they are cracking down on authors behavior too... did anyone read the new author guidelines? ANY author responses to negative reviews will bring their account under review and even exce..."

So, let's say hypothetically I am a good friend of an author, I read her books, I review them (with my honest opinion) if she says thanks, or comments at all (even just a what did you think about this character, or that particular plot turn) will suddenly 'mark' them as a 'spammy' author? So I CAN'T talk to my author friends at all in comments under my review?

Thanks for that wedge. I was really wanting to stay here, but now I am totally 'getting' the mass exodus from GR


message 33: by Stacia (the 2010 club) (last edited Sep 20, 2013 12:11PM) (new)

Stacia (the 2010 club) (Stacia_R) | 331 comments This announcement seems a little too "broad" and appears as if non-attacking behavior could be construed as attacking under the new policies.

Taking personal gripes and arguments out of the equation - if a GR member gets spammed by receiving multiple requests repeatedly (whether by group postings in the wrong place after being warned, or multiple inbox requests) from an author who is trying to promote their book to someone without being given permission to do so, they should be able to shelve the book as spam. You're not attacking the author by saying that they are a bad person, or a child molester, or even that they have nose whiskers. You're stating that someone tried to sell you a book multiple times and you're not interested in reading that particular book.

Amy or "Ames" wrote: " will-not-read..."

I would hope that will-not-read would be safe and allowed to stay because there are multiple reasons why someone would not read a book, many of them having to do with the book content (maybe there's an emotional trigger such as rape) or other issues, and not about the author at all.


Alana ~ The Book Pimp (LoonyAlana) | 456 comments Jenny wrote: "I'm sure all of the authors who have harassed and bullied and badmouthed and stalked reviewers who've given them less than stellar reviews are very pleased with these changes."

Yup, I bet they sure are. I thought this was a site for readers. My mistake.


message 35: by Martini (new)

Martini (shakenorstirred) | 145 comments Yeah, great idea to enforce the rights of authors, because this is a site for authors, right? Right?


message 36: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 587 comments Becky wrote: "I did read them, but honestly I don't see anything different about them. I don't see where it says that any response to a negative review will cause their account to be reviewed. I see that it says that it MAY cause that, but mainly it's just finger-wagging and saying "Now, readers might not like it, so you shouldn't do it..." "

It could only say "may" because GR can't promise they will know about every instance... they are reliant on user's flagging comments so if no one flags it, they won't review it.


message 37: by Alfaniel (new)

Alfaniel Aldavan | 132 comments Ridley wrote: "Kara wrote: "1. Will users be notified that their reviews violate ToS before they're removed? I would hope so--we put a lot of time into our reviews, and if there's a problem, we should be given a chance to correct before it goes away completely. "

I came here from a link in the email telling me two shelves and 90 reviews were deleted, so, no, there's no prior notification. "


^^THIS is going to be trouble.

Have you checked the reviews, Ridley? Is it possible they've been hidden from public or moved in your private notes?


message 38: by Thalia (new)

Thalia (thaliaanderson) | 420 comments Except now it doesn't sound like they'll wait for flagging when it comes to users. Nobody flagged ninety of Ridley's reviews in twenty minutes.


Christina (A Reader of Fictions) | 4 comments Until today, I never bothered to join the Goodreads Feedback group, because it honestly seems like a trap to me. However, I cannot sit idly by through this fiasco.

Dear Goodreads,

I've really enjoyed being a Goodreads user, and I really do not want to have to leave the site. However, all of my friends, the people whose recommendations I most trust, are planning to leave because of the censorship being shown in this latest update.

While I do agree that reviews that are specifically about an author may not be ideal, deleting them outright does not seem the way to go. Previously, you hid these so they only appeared to the user and their followers. That seemed like a pretty good solution. If that wasn't enough, why not hide such reviews from everyone but the person who posted the review? Will you not at least let us keep track of books for our own record-keeping?

Shelves and reviews about author behavior may not be reviews of the work itself, but they are valid concerns for readers to want to take into account. Hiding them from the main book page makes a certain amount of sense, but deleting them entirely is a step, or leap, too far.


message 40: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 587 comments Alana ~ The Book Pimp wrote: "So, let's say hypothetically I am a good friend of an author, I read her books, I review them (with my honest opinion) if she says thanks, or comments at all (even just a what did you think about this character, or that particular plot turn) will suddenly 'mark' them as a 'spammy' author? So I CAN'T talk to my author friends at all in comments under my review?"

Well, I'm not a staff member so I can't say for sure but to me, it sounded like EXCESSIVE "thank yous" will cause an author to come under review, not one. ONE response to a NEGATIVE review, however, will. I was pretty clear when I said that before but again, I am not a staff member.


message 41: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2104 comments i'm guessing Ridley's reviews were already ones that had been flagged/hidden - so it was easy to delete them in a fell swoop


message 42: by Aislinn (new)

Aislinn | 122 comments Robin wrote: "To be fair, they are cracking down on authors behavior too... did anyone read the new author guidelines? ANY author responses to negative reviews will bring their account under review and even exce..."

Couldn't agree with you more. They have asked that any poor behavior on either side be brought to their attention so it can be dealt with, so the notion that they are 'rewarding' poor behavior of authors is not consistent with the stated policies. I think this is a reasonable means of attempting a cease fire.

I am curious is this is limited to reviews, or if this extends to discussions or even groups.


message 43: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne (Selana) And what about shelves like 'LGBT authors' - that's not a judgement, but I might want to have all books by LGBT authors on one shelf, just like I might want all books with LGBT content on one shelf.

Or if someone has a shelf "authors I don't like" - which might be either about writing style or behaviour, do they get deleted too?

And I totally agree, deleting without prior notice to maybe change something is not okay


message 44: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 587 comments Thalia wrote: "Except now it doesn't sound like they'll wait for flagging when it comes to users. Nobody flagged ninety of Ridley's reviews in twenty minutes."

They may have been flagged months ago but GR only implemented their new policies today so the deletion only took place today.


message 45: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (MyFictionNook) | 94 comments How many positive reviews discussing author behavior are flagged? How many positive reviews (outside of spoilerish ones are flagged? Will those two be deleted?

And what would be an appropriate shelf name to identify authors I have no intention of ever giving my money to, because of things they have said or done?


message 46: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 104 comments Y'all are doing a great job!


Bee {Quite the Novel Idea} (nbeewrites) About time! ^^


message 48: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 2104 comments FWIW - it took all of 20 minutes for the site that has been known to stalk readers and release their public information to crow about this "success" that they had...because obviously everyone who writes negative reviews is out to get authors and are bullying


message 49: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (lapetite) | 2 comments Sandra wrote: "And what would be an appropriate shelf name to identify authors I have no intention of ever giving my money to, because of things they have said or done?"

That's what I want to know.


message 50: by Steph (new)

Steph Sinclair (Stephaniesinclair) | 272 comments Oh wow. So you deleted my "due to author" shelf (WHICH WAS FOR ME, BTW), but kept my "cool author" shelf. Double standard much?


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