Monday, 23 September 2013

Musing Mondays #7: Censorship on Goodreads

Musing Mondays

Hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.

• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).

• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!

• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!

• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My musing this week is ... a rant!

For those of you who haven't heard, Goodreads has announced changes in their Terms of Service that include deleting reviews perceived as being an attack on the author and deleting shelves deemed denigrating to authors such as "author-behaving-badly".  Click to see the Official Goodreads Announcement.
Well, this is CENSORSHIP plain and simple!

I am very disappointed in GR! This action demonstrates that the site is moving in a highly problematic direction away from being a site for readers to one that caters to authors. 

While I can understand GR's need to react in the face of some nasty incidents between reviewers and authors, this was NOT the right choice!

It will also probably backfire on GR as well as authors who seek exposure because readers will always find a way to be heard even if it is somewhere else and authors cannot escape it. Moreover, many reviewers may decide that it is not in their best interest to review independent authors for fear of being targeted by rabid fans and/or having their review censored. Authors need to grow a thicker skin, take the criticism and move on. It is never a good idea to lash out at a reader and if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen!

I have decided against leaving Goodreads, although many members are deleting their accounts, because GR suits my purposes for cataloging and discussing books and I love my groups and friends. That said, I am backing up on Booklikes just in case my reviews do disappear even though that is unlikely as my reviews aren't that negative and I don't have any anti-author shelves. 

What do you think of Goodreads' decision? 


  1. Thanks for sharing this - I hadn't realised this was happening. I agree this should be a site for readers although outright nastiness from both sides should be challenged deleting reviews/shelves on a lone opinion seems wrong to me.

  2. I completely agree. This kind of censorship is ridiculous.

  3. Interesting post. This is the first time I have read about the change. Here is my MM

  4. Thanks for sharing! I didn't know about this though and I may take my time to read their long announcement.

  5. This is new to me and whilst I don't think I'll be personally affected I don't like the direction this is going in. Here's my MM:

  6. I've been seeing a lot about this in the last week - such a shame. I don't like to get caught up in the author-reviewer dramas out there, but I do think it's a big problem if someone's reviews will be censored just for giving their opinion of the author's behavior. It's part of the product and people have the right to express their views. I also started using BookLikes and since so many other people I know have also started using it, it's turning out to be a pretty doable solution. I'm not deleting my GoodReads account, but I am starting to use BL more. Great post!