This post has been cross-posted on my personal blog.
So Amazon acquired Goodreads awhile back. And naturally, when a big commercial giant takes over a little social site like Goodreads, they fuck shit up.
I have to keep it short, because if I don’t, I’ll end up cussing all over the fucking place, but Goodreads has implemented new policies that are not good for readers. In my opinion, it is nothing short of censorship.
Relevant point: “**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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (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.)”
This means that personal shelves like “Badly Behaving Authors,” that me and my friends dedicate to authors who personally attack, or call their friends out to attack negative reviews, ARE NO LONGER PERMITTED. Neither are reviews not relevant to the book, or mention that an author acts like such-and-such.
This may feel fair to some, but I think it is censorship. Readers have the right to know what they’re getting into, and which authors they choose to support. I have had a lot of authors/readers attack my negative reviews, and similarly, I’ve had authors who have chosen to remain respectfully silent on them. The thing is: Goodreads is being selective in picking and choosing which shelves they delete. Reviews that are negative will be deleted, reviews that are POSITIVE are not. Fucking bullshit, man.
Awesome Authors shelves remain.
Badly Behaving Authors shelves get deleted.
One of my friends had 78 of her reviews get deleted without any warning. That is complete, utter bullshit.
I’m not going to delete my Goodreads account yet, but it’s making me extremely wary of GR and their alarming trend of increasingly restrictive reviews. There’s a reason why I do not post my reviews on Amazon, I chose Goodreads because I loved the more liberal environment, and now the people in charge of making GR policies are taking it away from me.
I don’t get paid for this shit. I spend hours outside of reading books writing a critical, thoughtful reviews. I am contributing to their site free of charge, and so are my friends.
And we are being screwed over.
I will still be active on Goodreads, but my enjoyment of it is severely restricted these days.