It has come to my attention recently that certain book reviewers at the Goodreads site are writing reviews that are motivated purely by malice against authors. These reviews contain harsh and offensive language designed to deter people from reading truly excellent books. I don’t think any sane person could possibly disagree with how wrong that is. However, the real issue, and the one we need to solve, is the harm these reviews do to authors.
I think we all know it’s not just the Goodreads site. Amazon.com, B&N, Kobo, the New York Times Review of Books, as well as internet review sites such as Dear Author and Smart Bitches all post reviews that are motivated by malice and ill-will against authors. They only pretend to care about readers when what they really care about is monitizing their websites. There’s a reason these sites are called “The Mean Girl Sites.” Worse, they do NO monitoring whatsoever of the comments. Anyone can comment without revealing their true identities. Jane at Dear Author actually pointed out that a commenter could use a FAKE email address. This just encourages the hate.
What do these sites think will happen when these out-of-control, mean, bullying reviewers and commenters have destroyed the careers of authors? Where do they think they’re going to get their next free book, I’d like to know. How many authors have already had their books tank because of a malicious, mean, snarky review? Do you really think someone like Mrs. Giggles should be allowed to mock literature and the authors who write it? It’s outrageous.
I think we can all agree that something needs to be done.
Therefore, I propose the creation of The Book Review Security Department, to be annexed to the Department of Defense and funded by the elimination of all Federal, State and Local funding of public libraries. Navy SEAL Team 6 will be relocated to New York City, with the West Coast operation based in Seattle, in a new command unit called Special Review Operations (SPECREVOPS), the team to be deployed whenever the BRSD determines a reviewer has written a malicious review. The BRSD itself will be headed by the US Poet Laureate, unless the current Nobel Prize winner for Literature is an American.
The BRSD will be tasked with carrying out the reading and approving all book reviews prior to their publication anywhere in the world. Since this will require hiring hundreds of thousands of Review Scrutinzers (REVSCRU) the unemployment rate will plummet to levels unheard of since 2006. Any review containing prohibited words, sentiments, or opinions likely to throw an author into the depths of despair, or otherwise deemed malicious or disparaging of the content reviewed will be subject to immediate, covert action by the elite SPECREVOPS.
Further, I propose the formation of a secret Black Ops Review Team, no acronym to be assigned. The Black Ops Review Team will assassinate all reviewers placed on the BRSD’s No-Review List by the current sitting head of the BRSD.
Do not ask for whom the author’s tear is shed. It sheds for thee.