My Opinion on Goodreads’ Censorship

If you’re not familiar with the conflict: There is a large protest against the ‘social media’ website Goodreads’ policy of deleting reviews that focus on author misbehavior or that go ‘off topic.’

I have yet to have any of my reviews censored, thank goodness, but now I definitely censor myself, just in case, when writing a review on their website.

Anyhow… I just want to state the opinion that Goodread’s policy of deleting reviews just seems so…IDIOTIC to me.

[side note: Are they appeasing author’s thin-skinned-egos? maybe. Appeasing the (potential) flow of incoming dollar bills? I find this is more likely.]

But honestly, Mr. Goodreads, there is no way to keep ratings and reviews “just about the books”–it’s 100% futile and just going to really, really piss people off (as the widespread protest against Goodreads’ new policy illustrates).

As an self-pubbed author, I know the futility of ‘purifying the ratings and reviews’ first hand–I got two ‘five star’ ratings, a ‘two star’ rating and a ‘three star’ rating before I showed anyone my latest book (even my mommy).

Undeserved?

Maybe, the bad and the good; but truly, it’s just part of putting something (anything) out there for public opinion. Nothing I, or Goodreads, or any other author can do about it. Sure, if the raters wrote: “I gave this book two stars because Rita Stradling likes to dress up like a monkey and throw poop at her book’s fans,” then Goodreads might step in and censor it… or, if the other rater wrote “I gave this book five stars… because when I was young I ate cherry-tarts for breakfast,” Goodreads might or (my guess-) might not censor it…but honestly if you’re asking The Public to give their opinion, The Public will inevitably base their opinion on any number of factors-not always content.

That’s just the way this world works.

Just ask ANY politician–that’s why they get dressed up so pretty and do a lot of fluff interviews (because if they don’t, they don’t get voted into office). It is impossible to remove the votes of the voters who don’t know a single policy the politician stands for and voted for a candidate because they’re good looking, love their dog or eat the same cereal as the voter. Impossible and dangerous…

So my point is, there is no possible way to censor opinions not “purely” based on the content of a book, trying to is not going to accomplish anything but pissing everyone off and losing the trust of your reviewers.

That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

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3 thoughts on “My Opinion on Goodreads’ Censorship

  1. Renee says:

    I agree with your opinion. I still use Goodreads, because I’ve found amazing books, authors, and friends using it, and it’s still beneficial to me to continue, but it’s not quite as shiny and awesome as I used to think it was. The drama surrounding the whole thing is what irritates me. The authors, the readers, the bullies, that stupid site… ugh. People need to grow up. Why does everyone become an asshole when they go online?

  2. Good question, Renee…anonymity? maybe? maybe some people get internet road-rage?

    • Renee says:

      I think the anonymity is the key. Gives you false courage, kind of like booze. Only, with booze, you have consequences. There are too few of those online. 😉

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