Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How what you say will reflect not only on you, but your blog

What a fiasco. (Ha, unintentional Elizabethtown reference.)

If you don't know what I'm referring to, you must have been on vacation or unable to access the internet for a few days. Long story short: A well-known book blogger was accused of plagiarism and a massive war in the book blogging community ensued. I'm not going to go into detail on the plagiarism aspect of this situation, as it is not the focus of my post. This post is going to focus on book bloggers.

As a book blogger myself, I take pride in my blog and try my best to make my content as fun and up to date as I can. I appreciate all the authors and publishers that contact me with review requests. I love to share my love of books with all of you. I love visiting your blogs and discussing great books. It's a very awesome community of people that I am part of.

However, after everything that had happened was revealed to the community, something horrible happened. Everyone publicly chose sides and blatantly posted hateful remarks about not only the person accused but about the people who weren't on their side.

When I first learned of the original situation, I spent probably half an hour searching through links on different sites and Googling it. I just wanted to understand what happened. On one of the sites, I read that someone said something about a Twitter hashtag being started. My first thought was, "What?!" So I went to Twitter and looked.

I was appalled.

There were all sorts of hurtful things being thrown around by numerous book bloggers. People outright telling others what they should do and that they are essentially stupid if they don't. I couldn't believe it. Here we are, all of us book lovers and reviewers and friends, and THIS happens to someone pretty much all of us know (or know of), and a bunch of us decide to start a war. Yes, somebody did something that is not acceptable to people in this community. I get that. But did all these people have to go out there with torches and scream hateful things to each other? No. It was sickening.

There's nothing wrong with having an opinion, or even voicing it in some way online. Here's where the problem lies:

What you choose to say online will reflect on you and your blog.

All these people choosing sides and making it known, how does it reflect on you? How will your followers feel about you? How will publishers and authors view you? If you’re not handling yourself in a professional manner in regard to this situation, people may not respect you and they may not want to follow you either. Do you want to lose followers and review requests? I'm sure the answer to that is probably no. Like I said above, I enjoy blogging and all the people I'm in association with. Why would any of us want to lose any of it?

Here's what it comes down to: We all have to make the decision ON OUR OWN without hurting others. If people want to continue to follow this person, that is their choice. If people want to unfollow this person, that is their choice. Nobody should push their choice on others. Do your own research and make your own choice.

To all of my friends in the book blogging community: Please take this to heart. Remember that what we post online will always be there. Even if you delete it--it is still there, it was still said. Let's not hurt each other with negative talk. We are all friends and we should show each other love and respect.

Much love to my followers for reading my thoughts on the recent uproar. Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts.

XOXO~Jessica

21 comments:

  1. I love the book blogging community and am thrilled to be a part of it, but I always stay out of these kinds of scandals. It's just not worth it. Your word choice -- appalling -- describes the whole thing very well. Kudos to you for encouraging unity and sensitivity in this polarizing and increasingly vicious situation.

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    1. Exactly, it's not worth it. Great way of stating it. Thank you so much for your comment. :)

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  2. Well said! I had no idea all this was going down until today, I keep to my small group of favorite blogs and am happy to stay out of everything that is unfolding.

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    1. Thanks Angie! I usually stick to my favorites too, but she was on my favorites so it caught my attention, unfortunately.

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  3. Very well said! Glad to know that I am not the only one thinking this!

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    1. Me too! I was wondering if anyone else felt the way I did. I'm glad you do too.

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  4. Yeah, I had no idea what was going on with this, in fact, I still am not sure exactly what happened. The truth is, I really don't care. Does that make me a bad person? Like Ang, I have a small group of favorite blogs and I try to stay out of these things.

    Well said!

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    1. Lol. I know what you mean. It doesn't make you a bad person. It keeps you out of the way of all the craziness going on.

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  5. I am really disappointed with how the book blogging community has responded, or well, at some comments and hurtful things I've seen. I do think that what the blogger in question did was wrong, but I also think that's for HER to answer for. It's enough to state that you think she was wrong - name-calling and the like on top of that only makes you look unprofessional.

    In other words, I'm totally with you, Jessica!

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    1. Disappointed, exactly. And you're right, this is something she needs to answer for. Thanks for being with me on this Molli! :)

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  6. Yes! This is exactly what I've been thinking but unable to articulate. At the end of the day, the plagiarism is wrong, and, well... wrong.

    But so is bullying. Especially so. Plagiarism is wrong, but I’ll defend anyone who’s being bullied. Not their actions, but their right not to be bullied. Thanks so much for this post, Jessica!

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    1. Yes! Nobody deserves to be bullied, no matter what they do. Plagiarism is not a thing to be treated lightly (there is nothing right about it), but I'd rank bullying as worse any day.

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  7. I didn't know about any of this until last night when I happened upon someone elses blog on my reader. Plagiarism is horrible. Especially if you're the victim. When you consider that as bloggers all we have are our words, it's a huge breaking of trust. Still, I can't help but wonder from some of the comments and other things I've read if some bloggers are having a great time with the idea that a big time blogger is taking a fall.

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    1. Isn't that the truth! People always like to see "celebrities" mixed up in scandal. It's like a guilty pleasure. I'm sorry, but I'd rather stick to Gossip Girl scandals than worry myself over some blogger. Lol.

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  8. Thank you for your positivity and advice! I noticed even more positive behavior than negative during the fiasco, and I was impressed by all the book bloggers who were respectful and balanced.

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    1. Thanks! I was glad to see the positive reactions and respectful responses from this situation too.

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  9. Ahh, my dear, beautiful Jess, always the voice of reason. <3 I've been appalled at some people's behaviour, too. After I read the original cryptic 'apology', I was so curious I went to Twitter to see what was going on, and was surprised at how nasty people were being. We're a community, we're friends, we have a common goal and love, so why all the hate? My first thought was 'it's none of our business' but then I immediately realized I was wrong. It does affect us, and it is our business because we ARE a community, and it's fine to take a stance and have an opinion, but let other people have their own opinion. It's so sad that when things like this happen people get ready to tar and feather others and throw stones. I'm in no way condoning what this blogger did, but I think I'm almost as disappointed in some people's reactions than in what actually caused the reactions.

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    1. Also, to touch on your main point of what you say reflects on you and your blog: I know I've lost respect for some people because of this - not because they shared their opinions, but because they've shown such hatred and nastiness. It's ok to be outraged, and to share your anger, but there's a line that a lot of people are crossing that shouldn't be crossed. I keep thinking that if this had happened a year ago when I was first becoming a book blogger, I probably wouldn't have become a book blogger because right now we look like a pretty nasty bunch rather than the wonderful community we actually are. I think everyone should just get back to talking books and let things happen as they will. Talking it to death isn't going to change what happened. Thank you for this great post and for hopefully bringing a few people back to reality.

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    2. I love you, Marie! We're on the same page a lot. :)

      You know, I never really thought about how this looks to new bloggers. It has probably thrown them and is causing them to grow up fast as bloggers. It's sad that this has polarized certain ones in the community. I'm hoping that day comes soon where we can all just get back to business and talk about what we love instead of drama. ^_^

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  10. Well said! It's a good reminder to all of us that we need to think before we speak! (Or in the case of blogging, write and/or post!) Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. No problem! Thanks for stopping by. ^_^

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