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Jaq D Hawkins

Some Musings

Slow Progress

Those who pay attention may have noted that things seem to be happening, albeit slowly, at Goodreads. They still send kiss-off replies to complaints, but they deleted accounts of a couple of the most toxic trolls and I've noted something on how ratings are counted that suggests that they may have taken one of my ideas on board, or thought of it indepently themselves. Let's just say that once someone is identified as abusing the system, it's a small matter to exclude their ratings from averages.

Meanwhile customer service said outright in an email to an author that creating accounts for the purpose of inflating or deflating ratings is against their ToS. The author is sending them a small list of the known sock puppets that do exactly this. It won't be the first time that these fake accounts have been flagged, but it isn't hard to see what they are so if they refuse to delete them now, we know that there really is a rat in the central admin. I just wonder which one of the socks belongs to Rivka.

I've started participating on GR again, as I'm in a group I like there. Whether I start submitting records for my new releases again will depend on their response to this sock puppet report. There is no point in adding books, only to have them bombarded with half a dozen one-star ratings before the entry has been there a day.

Amazon, are you paying attention?

Most of the authors who have been subjected to the troll gang at GR would like to see the site function as it was meant to. The one exception has made himself ineffective with his ranting and lunacy. The hate group has taken up residence at Booklikes and the site has become regarded like a ringfenced zombie plague city, a place to be avoided. It is also falling apart, as anyone who suggests doing anything like going back to reading books they enjoy gets thrown out. Poor Angela, she'll be all alone with Miranda and the sock puppets soon. Some of her socks are already filling the empty spaces.

The recent suicide of Charlotte Dawson will put lawmaker attention on the issue now. I would not wish such an end for anyone, especially after seeing how close a friend of mine came to being that headline. It's a sad thing in this world that children have to get hit by cars before new crossings are put on roads and news stories like this are the only thing that makes lawmakers take a problem seriously. Ms Dawson was an anti-cyberbullying advocate and her friends are continuing her campaign.  http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/charlotte-dawson-death-friends-launch-charlottes-law-petition-20140224-33bc9.html

Perhaps her legacy will be the changes that are needed. RIP Charlotte. My sympathy to her family and friends. Though I didn't know her, seeing how close my friend came to being that headline brings it too close to home. It's time to speak out vehemently, before this does happen to someone else.


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