Bullying in the Book Community!

EDIT – since writing this post I have been removed from two of the groups involved.
I was accused of lying and degrading bloggers. Please check my newer post if you believe my blog to be false. Defending my name

I am saddened that I feel compelled to write this article but the events of the last few days have really left a sour taste in my mouth.

It would seem that doing or believing anything different to the hoards nowadays see’s you targeted by mob mentality and the level of petty underhanded behaviour that follows is quite simply playground bullying.

Now do not get me wrong, I have been part of the blog and book community for a couple of years now and the vast majority are fabulous, caring, supportive people who will swoop in and defend fellow authors if they feel it is warranted. They are still a very large part of the community and this blog is in no way directed at them. Those are the embracer’s of the spirit and are also appalled when they see things like that which I am about to describe. Sadly though, all too often when they see drama like this develop they fear they too will be targeted so stay silent.

I am one of those idiots who never know when to shut up though, so …..

Let me take you back to a few days ago, a very popular thread on twitter was shared by a third party to promote a discussion on writing novels. I often see them and join in, especially if I have a different viewpoint and love the intelligent debates that often go with it. I have made many new friends on these threads and respect them all.
I commented, as I do, putting my opinion on an aspect I actually use in my books and was abruptly retweeted by the original poster of the thread. It was a move to highlight my comment for backlash – there was no other reason for it other than that.

Now that’s all very well, I disagreed, they were not happy and they acted in a passive aggressive way to to show me they were annoyed. Fair enough, but by retweeting me and others before me they were deliberately setting us up to be focused on and attacked. That’s what happened.

I am a big girl and as long as the debate is mature, constructive then I am all about opening my mind to other perspectives. I enjoy learning from other writers and chatting about techniques. This was not that ….instead they stooped to name calling, ripping apart my website, amazon bio and such and aiming insults at me. Not one of them however actually debated the topic of which my comment was about.

Not once.

I was told I should bow down to the advice, as this person was the ‘best’. I was called ignorant and stupid and ‘good luck being lonely in book exile’ for simply disagreeing. They even went as far as trolling all my sites to find things to mock and post on my twitter directly to me. They used names such as Dick, Twit, and other equally vile insults, also repeatedly referring to me as a male and accusing me of ‘mansplaining’. Ridiculous.
It was personal, fuelled by someone they followed like minions, and I ended up blocking several profiles that night. I have been told the drama continued to next day when others who defended me were also targeted the same way in very much of a – ‘I have more followers so I can do more damage.’ It’s disgusting. It’s a misuse of influence in the most negative way and adds to the poison that is warping parts of this community. You should use your influence for good, not to tear apart fellow authors for writing in their own way, and still succeeding by the way……. just thought I would point that out LOL.


Well I brushed it off, looked at the whole thing as something amusing, to be ignored and I got on with my life. Past in the past and I will never do the same.

That was until last night …I happened upon a post in which a blogger was being shamed for her photography methods. I defended the use of photography props, tried to explain the art behind scene setting and then left it alone feeling a good discussion was had. I did feel sorry for the girl but it was on the face, just an opinion and a debate. Nothing on the public post was overly nasty besides trying to shame her methods.


Then I scrolled my feed and found whole threads within blog support groups all about it.

This is where my blood ran to a boil and my temper exploded to the point I actually could not type. This poor innocent girl, who had merely shared her methods on scene setting was being abused and targeted by what I can only describe as a ‘witch hunt’
Name calling, trolling her, screenshots of her media and laughing at the fact she was blocking tweeters, and once again – that mob mentality ripping down a human for doing something different. Grown women stalking her twitter until she had to make her account private.


When is this ever okay? What in the hell is wrong with these people?
As a fellow author said to me, ‘Shark frenzy’ and it sums it up perfectly. That mob mentality of joining the drama and being fueled on the hilarity of it, while at the same time trying to destroy another human being.
Well here is news for you who were involved, a huge portion of us are appalled and have discussed the vileness of the act in our own private chats. Except we didn’t name you, troll you or post your media anywhere. We disassociated with the post, shook our heads and felt sad that our beloved community has so much toxic in it. The worst part was these threads were in support groups for bloggers and writers. The many, many silent browsers of these groups judged all of you on what we read, yet no one said it to you for fear of an attack.

That is NEVER okay.


It makes me sad and sick that this still happens in our community and so many stay silent for fear of the backlash. That’s how it works, you either join in and become part of the ‘tribe’ or you stay silent so as not to be targeted.


I have been someone who speaks out many times, I have been the person targeted many times. I will continue to voice my dislike when it comes to this sort of behaviour. We are not children anymore and lives can be ruined. To do that to another human says so much about you and I feel sorry for you too.
When your entertainment comes at the expense of another human – that is always bullying.


If any of them had ever experienced what it’s like to be on that side of the fence then it appalls me even more they would then participate.
I encouraged all my Fans and followers to go show the girl some love – We used the hashtag #CarreroMafia to show she has support in the community. My readers, much like me are anti bullying in all forms and were equally appalled at this behaviour. It’s our community too, stand up and stomp this crap out.
We are not all like that and do not tolerate bullying in any form. Reclaim the love.

Stand up and make our community better.
Go show the kid some love, use our hashtag if you like. Her Instagram is beautiful, she has real talent and I will continue to follow her images.

https://www.facebook.com/Soph-is-blogging-251155298862163/

https://www.sophisblogging.com

Want to show solidarity in other ways? Then join our #IFakeIt challenge and show others we are against bullying in our community. #lifteachotherup

https://ltmarshall.blog/2019/02/08/ifakeit-take-the-challenge/

The amazing Barbara Snow tagged me in this video and I just had to add it to the blog post .




17 thoughts on “Bullying in the Book Community!”

  1. Thank you for standing against this kind of mob mentality and destruction of other people. This sort of behavior is being promoted by key leaders in our world and to have it show up in our personal lives this way proves how insidious and deadly the energy and thought process is. We must stand against this “Lord of the Flies” type of bullying every time we encounter it in our lives. It takes courage. Thank you for being one of the leaders showing how compassion and support refuse to be dominated by hatred.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with what you have written. I’m a Bookblogger who was witness to it all on the Facebook group you mention. I was appalled but too afraid to speak out in case the baying mob ripped me a new one. I left the group in disgust but have seen screenshots of the whole thing and what happened after I left. It was appalling. I’ve been called out on it when I made a Twitter post about after the young girl concerned, who is only 20 bless her, made a sad little post saying it was still going on and she was having a break from it. Of course I too have now been blocked all over the place too. The whole thing has triggered my anxiety too and I’m now completely unable to blog.
    If they had held up their hands and admitted what they’d done fair enough but to deny it all and then attack people who dare to stand up to a baying mob is appalling. I no longer want any part of it. I loved my blog. It got me through some bad tunes but that’s it.My Twitter and Instagram DMs are full of other victims of a few who were involved and are afraid to speak out. They too contacted the girl concerned and so did I. I just really hope the young girl is OK

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so saddened to hear your blog is ending because of this group of people. I for one am gutted for you. I came after the post was already dead and had been there a couple hours so I got see first hand the comments before seeing that she had closed her twitter up and posted about blocking people. You are right though – it warranted a gesture of holding hands up and saying sorry but they have chosen to close ranks and deny. Kicking and blocking people

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I saw the post as well but didn’t say anything because I thought they’d probably lash out at me instead. I’ve left the group because I want no part of that behaviour, but I do feel bad for not speaking up. What I don’t understand is why ridicule a post that was beautifully presented and very interesting? It really doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Is it jealousy?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I came upon it after it had ceased to get comments so knew for a fact I would get attacked. I did however see it in another group as a new post and that’s where I commented, was immedietly set upon and ended up with my removal from the group. I completely understand why people did not want to say anything. That mentality is vile and it’s based in envy.
      The girl does something so well, so effectively that she is obviously a threat.
      I am a believer in lifting people up,, encouraging their strengths and helping them move forward. I hate the envy bug and all who act on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Since comments on here are clearly being read and in light of recent ‘announcements’ made giving a lovely spin on the whole story. There were many errors in the announcement and subsequent responses. Firstly, there weren’t only ‘two women’ who recognised it as bullying. There were countless people.

    My Messenger, Instagram messages, twitter DM’s etc. were pinging virtually non stop for about three days. Authors, bloggers and readers. I couldn’t rest because of it or remember which one I was talking on by the end of it they were so busy. Absolutely full of people who were horrified by it and congratulating me for speaking up.

    Let me tell you this. I am not brave by any means. I was too chicken to speak out at the time when I Was There, present in the group where it was all happening and I regret it. The people who have been contacting me are not brave either because they are too scared to comment or even show their feelings about the whole thing. Some of these people were friends of ours. Some of us are shocked that they could behave that way. Some are not surprised in the least for reasons I won’t go into because it isn’t relevant.
    I’m too scared now to blog or even be on Twitter – two activities I enjoyed very much. Being in the company of bookish people, including book bloggers and authors, publishers and publicists. Talking about books. Having a laugh. A lot.
    Now I can’t blog and will never do so again. Can’t even read at the moment. The anxiety already there about blogging has been multiplied tenfold by the thought of that braying mob who will now be reading and ridiculing me, my blog and my photos in the way they did the 20 year old blogger. Because I stood up and called them out about it.
    They can call if ‘banter’ (that old turkey and excuse for all kinds of abhorrent behaviour) all they liked as long as it makes them feel better about themselves.

    They can dress it up anyway they like to try to make it all go away now. Why on earth don’t they just take responsibility for their own actions, own up, put their hands up and be honest and open instead of trying to carry on putting the blame on anyone who saw it all and realised exactly what it was. Dragging it all out endlessly. ‘It was the people who sent the screenshots to the girl who were to blame’ Eh? How does that work then? The people who warned the young blogger who may or may not be a friend of theirs about her blog and photos being ridiculed. Oh yes of course. It must be their fault then! Ha!

    Give it a flipping rest!

    It wasn’t the crime of the century, no one is saying it is. Their bullying actions though could have caused a young person to lose their life. Do they not read media articles about online bullying on social media being a contributory factor towards youngsters committing suicide.

    Their actions afterwards have made the whole thing drag out even worse and putting ‘shade’ (as young ones say) on us and anyone else who dared to stand against them. If they fessed up, owned up. Admitted it all then perhaps they’d have a lot more respect and it will die down. Acting the way they currently are just makes everything so much worse and leaves a very bad smell that might taint possibly their own lives for a good while. I’m sure no-one would wish that on them.
    Enough now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting. It was incredibly brave and I hope to see you blogging again. You have the love and support of your community behind you. I too have been inundated for days with messages and DMs and the views of my blog posts have ran high in the hundreds now. People are talking quietly but they are still talking. Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for being brave and standing up to the mobs. I have also noticed that social media is full of cowardly bullies. So sorry to hear about the shaming and I have followed the young woman who was bullied. She is very talented and has a wonderful blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This makes me so happy to read. Sophie is very talented and deserves the following. I think it’s the huge support from our fellows that makes us brave and hopefully the more we stand up to it the less of a problem it becomes x

      Like

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