I am reblogging this because it represents my views as well.
As a consumer, and sometimes reviewer, I'm nothing but SICK and TIRED of being VILIFIED for speaking my MIND by people who are up to shenanigans. I'm not a BULLY. I'm not a TROLL (well, not usually).
A BULLY is someone who takes delight in using force and intimidation to control someone. In the US, it is PROTECTED SPEECH to disagree, write opinions, even mock and ridicule people. It is LEGAL. It is not BULLYING. BULLYING is an entirely different level which involves repeated attempts at contact or threats.
If RIDICULE and MOCKERY were legal, we would not have TV shows like South Park, Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, etc. If what they were doing were not LEGAL, and in fact BULLYING, they would not be on TV.
No one has yet, ever, been convicted for online BULLYING of an AUTHOR through the use of reviews. Why not? Because people can write any opinion they want in their blog, just like an author can write any opinion they want in their book.
TROLLING is the purposeful attempt to incite and inflame a thread. Writing opinions and discussing things someone doesn't like isn't trolling. Standing for something you disagree with doesn't make the other person a TROLL.
I don't like when people like Maggie Spence buy reviews on fiverr and when caught out calls her critics bullies and trolls and CALLS people at their HOMES to try to, yes, bully them into removing their reviews. Then, when people spread the news about her FRAUD, the GOOD people, the HONEST people are the ones who are pilloried. No, Maggie Spence is the one who should be in the pillory, for all the GOOD PUBLIC to see her attempts at FRAUD.
I don't like it when someone like Rick Carufel tries to game the Amazon review system by encouraging people to leave ONE-STAR reviews, but when the table is turned, he goes into attack mode and calls the people who did the same to him BULLIES and TROLLS. YOU started it RICK. Get over it. If you have a legitimate complaint, take it to an attorney general or prosecutor or lawyer. You've been trying for three years to silence your critics with legal action, and nothing has come of it. Why? Because they HAVE DONE NOTHING ILLEGAL. Yet you, ADVERTIZE for HACKERS to track down your CRITICS.
If I write a REVIEW, it will be an HONEST review. If it contains CRITICISM unbearable to the author or manufacturer, just know I didn't do it to HURT you, I did it because I thought your product was SHIZZLEDRECK. I likely did you a FAVOR.
If the product looks like SHIZZLEDRECK, smells like SHIZZLEDRECK, and tastes like SHIZZLEDRECK, it is SHIZZLEDRECK!!!!1111!!!!. I'm going to tell the entire freaking universe it's SHIZZLEDRECK. If you, the author or manufacturer doesn't like it, TOO BAD!!!!!!111!!
In fact, I have written letters or reviews describing a product's level of SHIZZLEDRECKEDNESS, and guess what? The vendor or hotel or whatever, have responded with apologies and how much they value my opinion and will work to make things right in the future. They don't spread my name all over the internet and call me a BULLY and TROLL. I revisit those vendors or hotels. Wrong thinking AUTHORS who call me a BULLY or TROLL because I reported their LIES and FRAUD and CHEATING will never get my business. I'll also be sure everyone I know hears about it, too.
No author is ever going to win a review war, especially by calling readers NAMES and INSULTING them and calling them BULLIES and TROLLS. Especially if the author was caught red-handed committing FRAUD or PLAGIARISM or otherwise CHEATING. Really, if you are such an AUTHOR, please stop now. Stop. If you did something BAD, fess up to it and move on.
If you want an honest review system, STOP meddling in it by starting campaigns to one-star authors, or buying fiverr reviews, or being in review circles. We do need HONEST reviews, not five-star review after five-star review after five-star review.
And please, please, please, stop writing SHIZZLEDRECK. Have your book edited and proofed before publication.