Book review site Goodreads has undergone some recent policy changes that have angered readers and led to a massive debate that is detailed in this article at Mashable. The site was trying to end an author-reader escalation of bad behavior and bullying where both groups formed retaliatory gangs that used the review and comment systems to punish each other for perceived bad behavior. The article covers the reason Goodreads changed their policies well. It also points out that Goodreads implemented the policy before announcing it, removing reviews and other reviewer data before readers even knew there was a new policy. Undoubtedly there were babies thrown out with the bath water.
In short – and the reason why I’m blogging about it – honest thoughts of readers about books they’d read disappeared. Poof! Gone! Creative work went away because the data was held by the commercial site and it was within their power to take it down. So they did.
When I first wrote my lengthy two cents about why readers who consistently review books ought to create their own blog, it was because Amazon had a history of suddenly removing reviews, and a number of other reasons. At the time Goodreads wasn’t owned by Amazon, and it wasn’t yet a massive boiling pot of drama, fake reviews and retaliatory strikes. Who knows where all of that will end?
But as it stands, I repeat my advice: Do You Review It? BLOG IT! It’s the only way YOUR thoughts about what YOU read will remain in YOUR control.