EDIT – since writing this post I have been removed from two of the groups involved.
I was accused of lying and degrading bloggers. Please check my newer post if you believe my blog to be false. Defending my name
I am saddened that I feel compelled to write this article but the events of the last few days have really left a sour taste in my mouth.
It would seem that doing or believing anything different to the hoards nowadays see’s you targeted by mob mentality and the level of petty underhanded behaviour that follows is quite simply playground bullying.
Now do not get me wrong, I have been part of the blog and book community for a couple of years now and the vast majority are fabulous, caring, supportive people who will swoop in and defend fellow authors if they feel it is warranted. They are still a very large part of the community and this blog is in no way directed at them. Those are the embracer’s of the spirit and are also appalled when they see things like that which I am about to describe. Sadly though, all too often when they see drama like this develop they fear they too will be targeted so stay silent.
I am one of those idiots who never know when to shut up though, so …..
Let me take you back to a few days ago, a very popular thread on twitter was shared by a third party to promote a discussion on writing novels. I often see them and join in, especially if I have a different viewpoint and love the intelligent debates that often go with it. I have made many new friends on these threads and respect them all.
I commented, as I do, putting my opinion on an aspect I actually use in my books and was abruptly retweeted by the original poster of the thread. It was a move to highlight my comment for backlash – there was no other reason for it other than that.
Now that’s all very well, I disagreed, they were not happy and they acted in a passive aggressive way to to show me they were annoyed. Fair enough, but by retweeting me and others before me they were deliberately setting us up to be focused on and attacked. That’s what happened.
I am a big girl and as long as the debate is mature, constructive then I am all about opening my mind to other perspectives. I enjoy learning from other writers and chatting about techniques. This was not that ….instead they stooped to name calling, ripping apart my website, amazon bio and such and aiming insults at me. Not one of them however actually debated the topic of which my comment was about.
I was told I should bow down to the advice, as this person was the ‘best’. I was called ignorant and stupid and ‘good luck being lonely in book exile’ for simply disagreeing. They even went as far as trolling all my sites to find things to mock and post on my twitter directly to me. They used names such as Dick, Twit, and other equally vile insults, also repeatedly referring to me as a male and accusing me of ‘mansplaining’. Ridiculous.
It was personal, fuelled by someone they followed like minions, and I ended up blocking several profiles that night. I have been told the drama continued to next day when others who defended me were also targeted the same way in very much of a – ‘I have more followers so I can do more damage.’ It’s disgusting. It’s a misuse of influence in the most negative way and adds to the poison that is warping parts of this community. You should use your influence for good, not to tear apart fellow authors for writing in their own way, and still succeeding by the way……. just thought I would point that out LOL.
Well I brushed it off, looked at the whole thing as something amusing, to be ignored and I got on with my life. Past in the past and I will never do the same.
That was until last night …I happened upon a post in which a blogger was being shamed for her photography methods. I defended the use of photography props, tried to explain the art behind scene setting and then left it alone feeling a good discussion was had. I did feel sorry for the girl but it was on the face, just an opinion and a debate. Nothing on the public post was overly nasty besides trying to shame her methods.
Then I scrolled my feed and found whole threads within blog support groups all about it.
This is where my blood ran to a boil and my temper exploded to the point I actually could not type. This poor innocent girl, who had merely shared her methods on scene setting was being abused and targeted by what I can only describe as a ‘witch hunt’
Name calling, trolling her, screenshots of her media and laughing at the fact she was blocking tweeters, and once again – that mob mentality ripping down a human for doing something different. Grown women stalking her twitter until she had to make her account private.
When is this ever okay? What in the hell is wrong with these people?
As a fellow author said to me, ‘Shark frenzy’ and it sums it up perfectly. That mob mentality of joining the drama and being fueled on the hilarity of it, while at the same time trying to destroy another human being.
Well here is news for you who were involved, a huge portion of us are appalled and have discussed the vileness of the act in our own private chats. Except we didn’t name you, troll you or post your media anywhere. We disassociated with the post, shook our heads and felt sad that our beloved community has so much toxic in it. The worst part was these threads were in support groups for bloggers and writers. The many, many silent browsers of these groups judged all of you on what we read, yet no one said it to you for fear of an attack.
That is NEVER okay.
It makes me sad and sick that this still happens in our community and so many stay silent for fear of the backlash. That’s how it works, you either join in and become part of the ‘tribe’ or you stay silent so as not to be targeted.
I have been someone who speaks out many times, I have been the person targeted many times. I will continue to voice my dislike when it comes to this sort of behaviour. We are not children anymore and lives can be ruined. To do that to another human says so much about you and I feel sorry for you too.
When your entertainment comes at the expense of another human – that is always bullying.
If any of them had ever experienced what it’s like to be on that side of the fence then it appalls me even more they would then participate.
I encouraged all my Fans and followers to go show the girl some love – We used the hashtag #CarreroMafia to show she has support in the community. My readers, much like me are anti bullying in all forms and were equally appalled at this behaviour. It’s our community too, stand up and stomp this crap out.
We are not all like that and do not tolerate bullying in any form. Reclaim the love.
Stand up and make our community better.
Go show the kid some love, use our hashtag if you like. Her Instagram is beautiful, she has real talent and I will continue to follow her images.
Want to show solidarity in other ways? Then join our #IFakeIt challenge and show others we are against bullying in our community. #lifteachotherup
The amazing Barbara Snow tagged me in this video and I just had to add it to the blog post .