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In September 2013, the Goodreads book reviewing site, which had previously operated a strict policy of free speech, began censoring reviews. The reviewers fought back, and the conflict was soon being reported in the mainstream media. This is the story of what happened, told in the protesters' own words. In September 2013, the Goodreads book reviewing site, which had previously operated a strict policy of free speech, began censoring reviews. The reviewers fought back, and the conflict was soon being reported in the mainstream media. This is the story of what happened, told in the protesters' own words.


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In September 2013, the Goodreads book reviewing site, which had previously operated a strict policy of free speech, began censoring reviews. The reviewers fought back, and the conflict was soon being reported in the mainstream media. This is the story of what happened, told in the protesters' own words. In September 2013, the Goodreads book reviewing site, which had previously operated a strict policy of free speech, began censoring reviews. The reviewers fought back, and the conflict was soon being reported in the mainstream media. This is the story of what happened, told in the protesters' own words.

30 review for Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    Available in hyperlinked PDF form from this Lulu page for $0.99. The Creative Commons license means you're legally allowed to make copies and share it with your friends. For old-fashioned people who like real books, I hear rather specific rumors that a print version will soon be available. ________________________________ A few things that keep coming up: - You can now get free copies from several places. The book's home page gives you one link; if that doesn't work for some reason, just look at t Available in hyperlinked PDF form from this Lulu page for $0.99. The Creative Commons license means you're legally allowed to make copies and share it with your friends. For old-fashioned people who like real books, I hear rather specific rumors that a print version will soon be available. ________________________________ A few things that keep coming up: - You can now get free copies from several places. The book's home page gives you one link; if that doesn't work for some reason, just look at the other reviews and you'll soon find something. - Some people say it doesn't display well on a Kindle. If it helps, Acrobat, Chrome and Firefox all seem to work fine. - If you could let me know about any typos you might have found, I promise to pass them on to G.R. Reader. She's trying to clean up the manuscript as much as possible before releasing the print edition. ________________________________ Someone is carrying out a downvoting campaign against Off-Topic. If you look at the one-star reviews, you'll see that most of them come from obvious sockpuppets; we've now got at least 60 of them. There is a discussion about it here. The books on the sockpuppets' shelves appear to suggest that the people behind them are linked to STGRB, but it's also possible that someone is trying to frame them. Just for the hell of it, I tried adding some of my own sockpuppets to fight on the other side. You may want to check out the complicated lives of pro-off-topic-sockpuppet1 and his friends. ________________________________ Goodreads have shown class by deleting the sockpuppets used in the downvoting campaign. Prooftopicsockpuppets 1-5 have responded by removing their ratings, but still remain. (Prooftopicsockpuppet1, in particular, is very proud of his review of 100 Sexy Women and hopes that more people will read it). 6-15 have quietly committed suicide. ________________________________ For people wondering why the book is no longer available on Lulu, G.R, Reader tells me that she received the following message yesterday from them:Dear Account Holder: We are in receipt of a claim that statements made in your book 14204524 and 14196616 "Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt" may infringe someone's privacy rights and/or be defamatory. We are not making a judgment as to the merits of this claim, but since a dispute exists, we must remove the book from availability through Lulu and its distribution channels. For more information on the terms and conditions of publishing through Lulu.com please review our Membership Agreement at http://www.lulu.com/about/legal. Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance. Regards, Questionable Content Team Lulu.comSince no further details were provided, she was rather curious to know who had so taken exception to her book. She was consequently grateful to get a mail from a Goodreads friend this morning pointing her to this page. How thoughtful of Mr. Carufel to tell the whole Internet about what he'd done! ________________________________ Further update. Someone who knows more about publishing and trademark law than I do commented that they were very surprised by this story. As they point out:Carufel's name is not a registered trademark (yes, I checked). Even if it was, you could refer to it. Otherwise, the media would never mention trademarked company names, like Coca Cola and Google. He can't copyright his name. How silly! I'm shocked he calls himself an author yet doesn't appear to understand trademarks or copyrights. I'm equally shocked that Lulu rips books down without at least doing an initial, brief investigation. Curioser and curioser. Is it really the case that Lulu will pull any book in response to any complaint, no matter how obviously frivolous? One can see this leading to various kinds of problems for them. Or is there more to it? G.R. Reader has still not received any response to the query she sent Lulu, asking for clarification. ________________________________ Off-Topic is now listed on Google Books! Though I was evidently not as quick as Mr. Carufel to discover this. It's nice to see that he's taking such an interest. ________________________________ The print edition is now out. G.R. Reader has uploaded the PDF version to Goodreads, where it's available for free download from the book's homepage. The uploaded PDF is exactly the same as the print edition, except that the hyperlinks are live. ________________________________ I just did a Google search on the title of this book and got a startling 104,000 hits. More famous than I'd expected! ________________________________ My friend Geraldine R. Reader reminds me that the first anniversary of the publication of this book is coming up soon, and suggests that November 2 be henceforth celebrated as Off-Topic Day. I applaud this initiative, and am helping her prepare her off-topic review. We hope other people will join us. ________________________________ [June 19, 2015] Geraldine asks me to post the following mail, which she received earlier today:Every weekday we pick one Creative Commons or free licensed ebook to promote. "Off Topic: The Story Of An Internet Revolt" is our selection for the today. Unglue.it is a website dedicated to the development of sustainable funding and distribution for Creative Commons and other freely licensed books. We are compiling a comprehensive catalog of these books while offering authors and publishers new ways to make their efforts sustainable. We recently launched "Thanks for Ungluing" which lets creators ask readers for support for free works on our download link pages and from inside the books. https://unglue.it/work/143362/ Thanks for using a Creative Commons license! Eric Hellman President, Gluejar.Inc. Founder, Unglue.it https://unglue.it/ http://go-to-hellman.blogspot.com/ twitter: @gluejar

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nataliya

    The memory of the Internet is fickle, and its attention span is that of a goldfish. It's way too easy to get distracted by the next big thing, and the next, and the next. But some things should not be forgotten. Because no matter how trivial they may seem to some, to others they are infused with meaning and importance. Because some of us care, and that's enough. If you have been around Goodreads for the last couple of months or so, you have probably heard of the Great Goodreads Censorship Debacle. The memory of the Internet is fickle, and its attention span is that of a goldfish. It's way too easy to get distracted by the next big thing, and the next, and the next. But some things should not be forgotten. Because no matter how trivial they may seem to some, to others they are infused with meaning and importance. Because some of us care, and that's enough. If you have been around Goodreads for the last couple of months or so, you have probably heard of the Great Goodreads Censorship Debacle. The brief summary: The Powers That Be decided that the way to foster proper community sense was to arbitrarily delete members' content that offended the sensibilities of certain authors; vocal and passionate members - many of whom are basically Who's Who of GR and have made this site into the vibrant community it became - protested; another wave of deletion swept through focusing now on the 'off-topic' reviews; and some of the disappointed members are leaving the site, feeling betrayed by those wielding power. And some would say the problem started a bit earlier, when the once independent site was bought by a corporate giant, and those without rose-tinted glasses began anticipating the change that was to come once this site stopped being a huge virtual book club made for readers by readers and became just a site for product reviews, data mining and a place for targeted marketing. And naturally, when the site started alienating its core reviewers, the aforementioned pessimists appeared to actually be on to something. I'm ashamed to say, I wasn't a part of the passionate protest. I can try blaming it on the long stressful hours at work combined with my natural apathy that I disguise as pacifism. But part of it was just me being stunned by the development and thinking (for way longer than it actually made sense) that at some point GR powers would come to their senses and stop the ridiculousness. (I did give my votes to the now deleted reviews, that much I did). I wish I had done more, as little of a difference as it would have made. And now, as things appear to be settling down, I can't help but think that GR landscape will never be the same. Yes, for every one person who left GR or decreased their presence to a minimum there are many more that stayed - but it does not magically erase the void left by those who are no longer here, and nothing will - at least for me - erase the bitter taste of disappointment and give me back the happy trust I had in this community before all this happened. It will not give any one of us back the happy feeling of a giant playground where we could be free and safe. Because it's no longer just the happy shiny place of passionate ramblings and exchanging of ideas, the place where truth could be borne out of spirited arguments and never-ending discussions. It has been tainted by the spirit of commercialism, the dreaded idea of literature being the product that needs to be 'properly' marketed and 'properly' reviewed, and it hurts me to think so. Because our reading community cannot be reduced to consumers just waiting to be the target of marketing. God, how much do I hate the word 'consumer'! I want to be a reader, a thinker, a polemist, a debater, a philosopher of sorts - but not just a consumer, not just a data point, not just a drone in the corporate system. Too bad it's too idealistic for the present-day society - and that, sadly, includes this site. I have made the decision - I am NOT leaving Goodreads. I love it too much. I love the community that is still here, and an unashamed optimist in me hopes that it will survive. And yet I miss the friends who left or almost left. And I feel sad that so many of us have found alternate homes elsewhere on the net, even if those homes are for now there 'just in case'. And I don't like this bitter taste the situation left me with, or even the fact that I feel I have to have a backup place to run to if this site becomes little else but a product review site for a corporate giant, with 'helpful', always on-topic, and useless 'reviews', having alienated those who have made it what it is. And, reading this collection of reviews and thoughts compiled by my friends and people I respect, I feel the same emotion - sadness as something that was so wonderful is changing and going away. I miss you, people who are no longer here. I miss you, old Goodreads. Maybe this community will just scar from the loss and will eventually heal. My inner optimist really really hopes so. “In time, in time they tell me, I'll not feel so bad. I don't want time to heal me. There's a reason I'm like this. I want time to set me ugly and knotted with loss of you, marking me. I won't smooth you away. I can't say goodbye.” ― China Miéville, The Scar

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steph Sinclair

    I've debated on what I should write in this review space. Usually I'm a pretty sarcastic person, flinging jokes left and right to entertain during what could be a really dull review. But for this, I'm less inclined to since I'm close to the source material, witnessed the production of this book and contributed two pieces. This is a non-profit book, so none of the contributors are making any money from this production. You can buy it for $.99 (it's the lowest price LuLu let us set it) or you can r I've debated on what I should write in this review space. Usually I'm a pretty sarcastic person, flinging jokes left and right to entertain during what could be a really dull review. But for this, I'm less inclined to since I'm close to the source material, witnessed the production of this book and contributed two pieces. This is a non-profit book, so none of the contributors are making any money from this production. You can buy it for $.99 (it's the lowest price LuLu let us set it) or you can read it for free here. So I'll just ramble about my Random Off Topic Feelings. I've been dealing with Goodreads/author drama for two years now. And I remember when I first joined Goodreads, I didn't know that authors were even on this site, let alone reading reviews. My thought was, "WHY? Why would a person want to read my insignificant thoughts on their book?" At the time, my reviews existed only to entertain myself and my very small group of friends. It was fun and exciting to find people who loved to read as much as I did, so it's no surprise that Goodreads quickly became my favorite Internet place to visit. But then the drama started, and little by little I found my joy for reviewing dwindling. I don't review or read as much as I used to, which has me feeling some kind of way. I'm ashamed to admit that I've struggled writing reviews. I second guess words or phrases. Will the author flip out over this one star review? Will the author send his/her band of loyal fans to downvote my review on Amazon? Is this review too controversial? Will someone accuse me of bullying someone? It's maddening. It's gotten to the point where I cringe sometimes when I see a notification on certain reviews. There were already too many fucking people in my review space... and now there's Goodreads too. I won't lie that I feel personally betrayed and hurt by how Goodreads has done a few things. Some of that stems from things that aren't publicly known (and they'll stay that way, so don't even begin to ask me) and some of it from the part of me that is just fed up with being singled out. It's happened a little too often for my liking this year and I'm just so over the bullshit. This is getting rather depressing, so I'll make my point. Seeing the production of this book has reminded me why I love the people on Goodreads when I was starting to forget. To see first hand the determination and dedication from people who I've followed and admired for years was incredible. Their drive and motivation to continue on and power through when I felt my own waning is inspiring. These are my people with their flaws, controversies, passion, sophistication, crude humor, sarcasm, irrelevance, brilliance. In true Pitch Perfect flavor:

  4. 4 out of 5

    ♡Karlyn P♡

    'Off-topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt' tells the story of the hours and days that followed Goodreads sudden and unannounced decision to purge hundreds of reviews, listopias, and shelves. Goodreads is a popular online social media site that depends on free user-generated content and its community engagement features to attract sponsors who buy advertising and promotional packages. But in late September 2013 it made a gross misstep when it deliberately targeted and mishandled a specific list 'Off-topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt' tells the story of the hours and days that followed Goodreads sudden and unannounced decision to purge hundreds of reviews, listopias, and shelves. Goodreads is a popular online social media site that depends on free user-generated content and its community engagement features to attract sponsors who buy advertising and promotional packages. But in late September 2013 it made a gross misstep when it deliberately targeted and mishandled a specific list of user-generated content and assumed few would notice. In the end, their mishandling and its new censorship policy created a major uproar that broke the trust of thousands of its most dedicated content contributors, volunteer librarians, and community moderators. Goodreads defended its new censorship position, and the sudden deletion of content that discussed an authors behavior, by citing that their policy had simply changed to help set an appropriate tone. But their lack of consideration with no prior notification to its 20 million users before they started the massive purge set off a firestorm of backlash and an internet revolt. The revolt grew rapidly when it became clear that the policy was not being enforced with any sense of fairness, but instead with a heavily biased agenda to appease a small group of authors who were bending the ears of the Amazon executives. One person likened this event to 'Goodreads shooting mosquitoes with a shotgun'. For many of its members, this was the day Goodreads quit being a site devoted to the readers. Goodreads has since apologized for their haste in not notifying the impacted members first, as well as deleting innocuously named shelves that should have been safe. They promised to retrieve the deleted content so these members will have an opportunity to revise the content so it won't be considered objectionable. However, all comments attached to the reviews are lost for good. And as of six weeks later, no one has received any of their deleted content back. Unfortunately, new reports of innocuously named shelves being deleted are still being heard. These deletions are allowed due to a provision in their policy that allows them to determine the 'intent behind the naming convention', and is based on their own limited scope of the situation. A lot of members compare this to 'mind reading', a faulty measure to determine anything with any true accuracy. Many devoted members questioned if this policy change was needed. Goodreads always had a policy that removed truly offensive and abusive content on their site, as well as a strict rule against attacks on other members. The new policy was not about addressing abusive behavior or content, only about removing content that discusses objectionable behavior of the author, and which consumers might find as a reason not to buy the book. So why the change? Who will benefit from it? When confronted with the conflicting interests between reader and author, Goodreads changed positions from 'error on the side of the reader' to 'error on the side of the sponsor'. This unfortunate move now brings a heavy bias toward the sponsors, leaving all content on the site into question. If Goodreads is now scrubbing content to appease the sponsors and ensure them their books will not be blacklisted based on their own lack of professionalism, how trustworthy are the reviews? The staff at Goodreads decreed that all content which mentions an author in any negative tone will be deleted. Reviews, shelves, lists, status updates...etc. were all impacted. As of today, the only 'safe' place to discuss authors behavior is in the groups, but many members believe that is only a matter of time before they too become subject of this great content purge. Goodreads is a social media site devoted to discussing all things books. And for many members, they believe an authors conduct, both pro and con, is a fair and reasonable part of that discussion. However, under the new policy Goodreads is trying to silence any 'negative' part of that discussion, and will punish members who do not comply by deleting their content and letting them know their membership will be under review for termination if they continue. To understand the impact of this censorship policy, imagine if Goodreads was a site about politics. This would mean its members couldn't discuss Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal, only his politics. If this was a site about restaurants they would not be able to discuss the infamous anit-gay tweet by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, only his menu items. And so on and so on. So what does this mean for Goodreads member? Authors who are convicted child abusers, who orchestrated mass murder genocide (yes, anti Hitler reviews were removed!), who repeatedly attacked reviewers, who shamelessly gamed the system for a quick buck, who publicly doxxed and outed reviewers identities in hopes of a rebellious attack on their personal lives...etc. ARE NOW ABLE TO HIDE THEIR MISDEEDS on Goodreads. Buyers should be forewarned about such authors, but you will not find that pertinent discussion allowed here on Goodreads. This book sheds a lot of light on the actual events of the purge, and provides a lot of details about what Goodreads doesn't want you to see.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    ***2018 UPDATE***Everyone now upset about the latest Authors Behaving Badly kerfuffle! Read this book. It's happened before and a lot of good Goodreaders vanished forever because of it. DO NOT KID YOURSELF! The issue will arise again and again, and you will always feel as though you've lost. Read on to find solace and comfort and some good ideas. It's National Book Lovers Day! A day to bask in the amazing power of books to inform, amuse, educate, and alter our views and viewpoints. And in light o ***2018 UPDATE***Everyone now upset about the latest Authors Behaving Badly kerfuffle! Read this book. It's happened before and a lot of good Goodreaders vanished forever because of it. DO NOT KID YOURSELF! The issue will arise again and again, and you will always feel as though you've lost. Read on to find solace and comfort and some good ideas. It's National Book Lovers Day! A day to bask in the amazing power of books to inform, amuse, educate, and alter our views and viewpoints. And in light of our Brand New Redesign, this book is newly re-relevant. (That's an ugly locution but I can't think of a way to fix it.) ***Paperback edition now available from Amazon (ironically enough) in the US and UK! ***UPDATE there was a major influx of sock puppets one-starring this book. Please, even if you hate seeing it, give the actual reviews a "like"*** I'm rating others' contributions to the book, not my own. If resistance is futile, like I've been told over and over again by people who're bored or impatient with protest reviews and continued commentary against being surveilled by the site owners here, then what exactly is the point of this book? Resistance isn't futile. The Borg can't be beaten by force, so hide among them and trip them up. Demand transparency. Okay, they're going to collect data, which is fancy talk for watch your ever mouseclick and cursor twitch. Demand to know what they're doing with the data, and what data they're collecting, and what criteria they're using to evaluate that data. Being a citizen makes demands of you. Shirking them because it's not fun or it's boring means nothing except you'll get what you deserve...less and less.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Petra-X wishes the world would return to normal

    I was talking to my goldfish yesterday. He said that I wasn't giving him enough fish food and that what there was had sunk to the bottom and tasted like shit. I said, well I know all about stinky fish, bottom feeders and how they can sink so low they just leave a bad taste in your mouth. And no, this review is not off-topic at all, even though the book is Off-Topic. I was talking to my goldfish yesterday. He said that I wasn't giving him enough fish food and that what there was had sunk to the bottom and tasted like shit. I said, well I know all about stinky fish, bottom feeders and how they can sink so low they just leave a bad taste in your mouth. And no, this review is not off-topic at all, even though the book is Off-Topic.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    This is the 125th book I've read this year. Out of all those books, I declare this one to be the most passionate. Since you're reading this on Goodreads, you are probably aware of the ongoing censorship battle with the site. This book is an excellent compilation of essays and reviews written by fellow Goodreaders who are upset by GR's abrupt policy changes and by its random deletions of posts that were deemed "off-topic" or relating to "author behavior." I described the deletions as random becaus This is the 125th book I've read this year. Out of all those books, I declare this one to be the most passionate. Since you're reading this on Goodreads, you are probably aware of the ongoing censorship battle with the site. This book is an excellent compilation of essays and reviews written by fellow Goodreaders who are upset by GR's abrupt policy changes and by its random deletions of posts that were deemed "off-topic" or relating to "author behavior." I described the deletions as random because one thing the book proves is that enforcement of the new policies was ad hoc, and that not all reviewers were treated the same. Some of these pieces you may have already read when they popped up in your news feed. Several were new to me, and some even introduced me to marvelous new writers. (Hello, Arthur Graham!) My favorite essays were Emma Sea's "Why GR's New Review Rules are Censorship," Ceridwen's analysis of the initial deletions and her lovely afterword, everything by Manny and Mr. Graham, and Kelly's "One Foot Out the Door." I, too, have been upset by the changes, but nothing I've said about it has been as clever or as well-written as many of the essays in this collection. If you care about the Goodreads community, if it has changed your life, as it has mine, you should read this book. Update The downvoting campaign on this book is pathetic. Just wanted to say that in print.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    update 11/6/2012: I just wrote this elsewhere, but I think it says something apropos, so I'm quoting myself, which is no doubt worst possible manners. Sorry in advance. I've been in and around book sales and publishing since 1986. I've met authors who behaved like asses, and I'm kind of inured to it. But prior to GoodReads deleting user's reviews and shelves and lists without warning, I've never seen anyone take the side of authors treating readers badly. Orson Scott Card is widely-known as a hom update 11/6/2012: I just wrote this elsewhere, but I think it says something apropos, so I'm quoting myself, which is no doubt worst possible manners. Sorry in advance. I've been in and around book sales and publishing since 1986. I've met authors who behaved like asses, and I'm kind of inured to it. But prior to GoodReads deleting user's reviews and shelves and lists without warning, I've never seen anyone take the side of authors treating readers badly. Orson Scott Card is widely-known as a homophobe, but at least he doesn't pick on individual readers. I'm not surprised that a small group of self-published authors would act evil, but I'm gobsmacked that GoodReads would choose to support the lunatic fringe in censorship. As a business decision for a book community, that seems suicidal. *** You know, I used to be one of the names regularly appearing on the monthly lists that GoodReads used to run. Then the powers-that-be decided to take the unprecedented action of deleting reviews that didn't meet vague standards of topicality. You can read the whole long, sordid saga for yourself. But here's my take: Otis Chandler, founder and owner of GoodReads made some undisclosed but probably very large sum of money selling GoodReads to Amazon. What he sold is access to readers. Not just our eyeballs for ads, but the reviews, ratings, shelves, and accurate catalog data that we have collectively supplied. Some of that data, shelves and reviews, was unacceptable to some authors, who consider it our duty to promote their books as they see fit. So rather than wait for GR staff to delete my reviews, I went ahead and ported them all over to BookLikes. You may not be interested in my reviews, and that's fine, I never expected anyone to be. But this was my catalog of my reading life, and nothing is scarier to me than the possibility that someone else was going to decide what I got to keep. I've had a TBR list for more than twenty years, and a reading log as long. I've lost data in system and software and website changes over the years, and painstakingly recreated it. I've no interest in providing my data for free without even the certainty of knowing I get to keep it. My reading log means a great deal to me, even if no one else ever sees it. Deleting data without warning was unforgivable.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alfaniel Aldavan

    This is the live document of what happened in the Goodreads community. This book was removed a while ago from the GoodReads site itself. Some said it wasn't "a real book". That is was a story that was never told. But the story wanted to be told. People stood up against removal of your words, arbitrary enforcements that remove your speech from sight, against the transformation of a site for booklovers in a site for marketing, against so called rules that enable unwanted thoughts to be struck down a This is the live document of what happened in the Goodreads community. This book was removed a while ago from the GoodReads site itself. Some said it wasn't "a real book". That is was a story that was never told. But the story wanted to be told. People stood up against removal of your words, arbitrary enforcements that remove your speech from sight, against the transformation of a site for booklovers in a site for marketing, against so called rules that enable unwanted thoughts to be struck down and no longer heard. These are your words. The story wanted to be told, and we listened. We put your words together, tied the pages, and made this collection of your words a document of the September/October 2013 protests of Goodreaders to censorship. I've seen people and media ignoring the real extent of the deletions. This book will give you numbers and examples. I've seen misunderstandings of why people object. This book will give you answers. We have been told long ago, that the internet will become private yards, walled gardens from where only approved speech will be heard. Sooner or later, the private owner "curates" their space from unwanted speech. When censorship came to GoodReads, this is what happened. You can read the entire book online here for free, legally, Creative Commons licensed. Note: In his collection of community reviews, it looks like Mr. G.R. Reader has found around here and has included my review of The Art of War: Corporate Takeover of User Rights. This work by Alfaniel is licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

  10. 5 out of 5

    carol.

    From 2013: I recently read a book that encapsulates this whole debacle in a nutshell, Predictably Irrational. Goodreads review. You see, Goodreads billed itself as a social website, building itself through (free) social networking, contributors relying on the sense of community. Suddenly, it turned business model, and started applying business structure. Needless to say, many felt betrayed. Sadly, although I had my foot in the door on this book, I was unable to adapt to Google Groups--for obvious From 2013: I recently read a book that encapsulates this whole debacle in a nutshell, Predictably Irrational. Goodreads review. You see, Goodreads billed itself as a social website, building itself through (free) social networking, contributors relying on the sense of community. Suddenly, it turned business model, and started applying business structure. Needless to say, many felt betrayed. Sadly, although I had my foot in the door on this book, I was unable to adapt to Google Groups--for obvious reasons, building the book had to be moved off-site, not the least of which was threatened removal of many of the contributors--and my normal inattention to my gmail box meant although it was stuffed full, I ignored it. Thunderous applause to the movers and shakers to took this elaborate prank and made something interesting and creative out of the whole debacle. Though I have lost my taste for active protest and have not decided how to use GR anymore, I am so disillusioned by the site owners that I will never be as active or prolific as I was. Bezos, monetize away! 2021 note: I have no idea why this book costs $9.25 on Amazon. Email the author and I'm sure an alternative arrangement will be reached.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}

    *Cross-posted on Wordpress and BookLikes. Disclaimer: I witnessed the production of this book from the sidelines. *Currently available from Lulu as a non-profit ebook or freely and legally download it HERE from my Dropbox account. This is a small collection of essays and reviews, some of which were deleted by Goodreads, on GR's censorship policy imposed on September 20th, 2013. None of my articles, posted on my blog, were included as there were some legal issues over my screenshots, opinions and *Cross-posted on Wordpress and BookLikes. Disclaimer: I witnessed the production of this book from the sidelines. *Currently available from Lulu as a non-profit ebook or freely and legally download it HERE from my Dropbox account. This is a small collection of essays and reviews, some of which were deleted by Goodreads, on GR's censorship policy imposed on September 20th, 2013. None of my articles, posted on my blog, were included as there were some legal issues over my screenshots, opinions and accusations e.g. calling them a 'badly behaving social network'. Intelligent, witty, cheeky and bold, the various perspectives expound on the personal, literary, legal and technical implications of the opposed changes. My favourite 5-star contributions were by: Steph Sinclair (GR friend) Ceridwen (GR friend) Emma Sea Ian Graye Moonlight Reader (GR friend) Emily May (GR follower) Kelly They informed, analyzed and challenged GR's decision to move towards censorship, and echoed my thoughts and feelings on the situation exactly. Now for the criticisms. OFF-TOPIC possesses a very narrow and biased focus, concentrating exclusively on Goodreads and its reviewers, and for the most part excludes dissenting points of view and the wider context of author opinions on the new policy, Amazon's censorship of self-published authors, and various retailers removing all ebooks by self-published authors while they weed out the excessively offensive and illegal works. These events were taking place concurrently during a 3-week period and one wonders if they're all interrelated. Some contributors have authored several pieces within the book. They also happen to be the most popular reviewers on Goodreads, the most visible, so many will have previously read what's included here. It would've been nice if OFF-TOPIC contained a few more pieces submitted from less high profile Goodreads members to showcase variety and prove that this policy has an impact on everyone rather than the most prolific or active minority. And while the majority of the pieces are thoughtful, well-written and entertaining, there is repetition and overlap in particular areas where my attention wandered. Considering the limited scope of subject area, this is to be expected. I've tried to review this work fairly, in light of my obviously biased standpoint, evaluating OFF-TOPIC as I would any other non-fiction read. I hope I've succeeded.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    If you're curious about GR's recent decision to censor reviews, to dictate what we are allowed to talk about, to delete at will any review that they decide is "off topic" or might "lower the tone of the site", please consider reading and reviewing this book. It's available for free here or from Lulu for $0.99. It provides a detailed account of the whole Goodreads censorship story, plus many of the reviews that Goodreads decided were a threat--oh, excuse me--were "off-topic." I think the book capt If you're curious about GR's recent decision to censor reviews, to dictate what we are allowed to talk about, to delete at will any review that they decide is "off topic" or might "lower the tone of the site", please consider reading and reviewing this book. It's available for free here or from Lulu for $0.99. It provides a detailed account of the whole Goodreads censorship story, plus many of the reviews that Goodreads decided were a threat--oh, excuse me--were "off-topic." I think the book captures the multifaceted emotions of the uprising, from fury to disgust to disappointment to reasoned argument. The only aspect missing, in my opinion, is rather more external context and framing for the sections; for example, which of the included reviews were deleted by GR? I couldn't tell. For me, the most despicable part of this whole thing is Goodreads' refusal to make a public announcement, to stand by their decisions, to behave with the decorum and honesty they apparently expect of us. To put it baldly, GR is lying to its users by omission. One could argue that many users might not care, or might even approve. But if GR itself believed that, why not be honest with users? The flat refusal to announce its actions and this hysterical attempt to stifle all protest, is, in itself, a tacit acknowledgement of wrongdoing. I believe that the most crucial task is to ensure that as many users as possible are made aware of GR's actions. Again, you could argue that many might not care, but I passionately believe that GR users deserve to know. After all, I'm part of the multitude of low-profile and un-notified users. Nothing of mine was deleted, but that doesn't lessen my sense of betrayal. This book provides the perspective of some of those were personally affected, as well as some of the most prominent, active, and well-respected reviewers on the site. (If you want GR's side, you can always check the weasel-worded messages on the GR Feedback group). By reviewing it, or even voting for it as a write-in in GR's book awards, you can help to raise awareness. If you're like me and constitutionally unable to break rules, then think about reviewing this book. After all, I'm quite sure my review has remained on-topic.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    Full disclosure: my piece on Goodreads' censorship is reprinted in here. By the pirate code my code, I can't rate the book, 'cos my work's in it. But it does collect a wide range of responses to the Goodreads TOS debacle and I think it's worth having a look at. Although you may be sick and tired of the whole thing. Which I'd understand. But one day I'll fire up my ancient e-reader and force my great-grandchildren to look at something called a pee dee eff. I'll show them that when the quaint 20th Full disclosure: my piece on Goodreads' censorship is reprinted in here. By the pirate code my code, I can't rate the book, 'cos my work's in it. But it does collect a wide range of responses to the Goodreads TOS debacle and I think it's worth having a look at. Although you may be sick and tired of the whole thing. Which I'd understand. But one day I'll fire up my ancient e-reader and force my great-grandchildren to look at something called a pee dee eff. I'll show them that when the quaint 20th century notion called 'uncensored speech' took another lurch in its shuffle off this mortal coil, we did not take it lying down, but instead raged in CAPS ITALICS BOLD UNDERLINE INTERROBANG.¹ ¹ ©Ayanna

  14. 5 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    Goodreads has always been my happy place, my little haven from life. I joined it when working in a factory 70hrs a week because I missed writing essays for school, and without the website and the great friends I met here, I would have lost my damn mind working brain-numbing jobs for endless hours. Plus it's nice to get something other than laughed at for reading books like Gravity's Rainbow on your smoke break (I got yelled at and threatened a pay cut for reading Steinbeck at work once. Because Goodreads has always been my happy place, my little haven from life. I joined it when working in a factory 70hrs a week because I missed writing essays for school, and without the website and the great friends I met here, I would have lost my damn mind working brain-numbing jobs for endless hours. Plus it's nice to get something other than laughed at for reading books like Gravity's Rainbow on your smoke break (I got yelled at and threatened a pay cut for reading Steinbeck at work once. Because it was spreading 'liberal propaganda' and I was 'lucky I wasn't escorted out in cuffs'. That's how they roll in Grand Rapids, Michigan.) Then Amazon ruined everything and my happy place became a war zone. I have recently been unable to be on as much as I would like, and coming back after a bit of a hiatus to discover Goodreads fraught with censorship and anger was like in that trippy 70's Puff the Magic Dragon cartoon where Puff returns to find Honalee decimated. Or perhaps it was like some terrifying cold war film. EIther way, Goodreads was in sad state. Then the goodreaders stood up, stood strong, stood together, and stood toe to toe with Amazon to make sure they would not be silenced, would not be driven out into the night to disappear into the darkness like the wife in McCarthy's The Road. It is an on-going battle, but one that shows that human beings are strong, powerful, and that good can live on. Steinbeck would be so proud. Steinbeck would write books about Manny Rayner. It makes me proud to be friends with all of you, thank you for defending my happy place. However, it still infuriates me enough to write this review that there are those that wish to censor the good folks at goodreads. http://www.stopthegrbullies.com/, for example, wishes to silence goodreaders, and spews hate and their own ironic style of bullying at those who would stand against censorship. They even declined to post/respond to my lengthy email to them about how ironic their opinions and actions are. But oh well, they suck. It just frustrates me to see mediocrity supported by this censorship, that is it more important to defend unknown authors than to allow people to voice an opinion. Amazon would rather see you buy books then write or think about them. These authors aren't the next James Joyce, and many of these authors have treated goodreaders poorly enough that it is hard to feel bad for them. This is stiff-arming an opinion, and I understand there are two sides to every story, but really, censorship is never the answer. Goodreads is, and always can be, a wonderful place if we just treat each other like decent human beings and remember to love with an open mind, not hate with a delete button. At a time when I've been feeling pretty ugly about the world and humanity, my goodreads friends have been a beacon of hope that reminds me that this world really is a great place and one worth fighting for. Thanks everyone.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    I bought this (ssshhhhh!!!!) for Otis, Patrick, Kara, and every other Goodreads employee for Christmas, plus Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos and their children Jamenzie and MacEff. I will be mailing it to them along with my delicious pumpkin-cranberry-zucchini-raspberry beef suet scones in baskets I knitted from willow twigs. NO, you may not have the recipe.

  16. 5 out of 5

    G.R. Reader

    [The foreword that I asked to be included, but which for some unaccountable reason got left out and replaced by some piece of nonsense by one of the junior members of the team. When I find out who was responsible for this monumental cockup, there will be trouble.] What you hold in your hands, dear friend, is a priceless cultural document, recording one of the most remarkable events of this or any other age. It has been my unique privilege to chronicle the Goodreads revolt of 2013, already widely [The foreword that I asked to be included, but which for some unaccountable reason got left out and replaced by some piece of nonsense by one of the junior members of the team. When I find out who was responsible for this monumental cockup, there will be trouble.] What you hold in your hands, dear friend, is a priceless cultural document, recording one of the most remarkable events of this or any other age. It has been my unique privilege to chronicle the Goodreads revolt of 2013, already widely compared to the stand of King Leonidas and his men at the Pass of Thermopylae. Three hundred internet reviewers stood alone against the reactionary forces of globalization, and by their selfless action assured the continued survival of Western civilization. This is their story. Many people have asked for details on how the book was created. I understand your curiosity, and am happy to oblige. I first heard about the Goodreads censorship scandal from a close friend, a prolific Goodreads reviewer who also happens to be a member of the British royal family. He suggested that I might wish to apply my talents to writing a book about this evidently fascinating subject. I quickly assembled an all-male team of assistants, who were carefully selected for their intelligence, journalistic skills, internet savvy and rippling six-pack abs. We took up residence at a secret location, which might have been a cave in Afghanistan, an unspoiled Pacific island, or a cheap hotel in Los Angeles. You no doubt understand that it would be unwise for me to be more specific. As soon as the more domestic members of the team had made our temporary home comfortable, we got down to work. The project was organized with military precision. Some of the boys downloaded posts from the web, others were responsible for editing, formatting and graphic design, a few took care of background research, and the rest were responsible for satisfying my voracious sexual appetites. I tried to sleep with everyone and not play favorites, but this did inevitably cause some friction. It is to the credit of the team that they completed the job on time regardless. I have been asked whether the original authors of the pieces included here gave us permission to use them. I admit that my first inclination was simply to steal everything and pass it off as my own work, but one of my assistants - an earnest guy with cute pecs whose name I have unfortunately forgotten - persuaded me to go to the trouble of asking the people in question if they were willing to have their work included. Another minion then compiled the list that you will find on pages xii to xv and added the dull pieces of legalese at the top and bottom. I trust that will satisfy the petty, carping people who claim to care about such details. It has been a pleasure to produce this book, and my colleagues and I hope that you will find it equally pleasurable to read. Geraldine R. Reader ____________________________________ One of my French exes skyped me a link to this page about Off-Topic. I found many references to that pretentious idiot Manny, but not a word about myself. Oh well. I guess Gérard hasn't forgiven me yet.

  17. 4 out of 5

    James

    An impassioned plea for Goodreads to stop the madness. To stop arbitrarily deleting 'reviews' just because they aren't simple book reports. To stop changing the rules of reviewing without actually telling Goodreads members. To stop refusing to explain, discuss, or entertain the possibility that they might have messed up a bit here. What started as a "complicated prank" has become a collection of essays, deleted reviews, parody reviews, personal stories and saddest of all goodbye letters. Exposing An impassioned plea for Goodreads to stop the madness. To stop arbitrarily deleting 'reviews' just because they aren't simple book reports. To stop changing the rules of reviewing without actually telling Goodreads members. To stop refusing to explain, discuss, or entertain the possibility that they might have messed up a bit here. What started as a "complicated prank" has become a collection of essays, deleted reviews, parody reviews, personal stories and saddest of all goodbye letters. Exposing and discussing the censorship, the inconsistency and even trying to drill down into some of the data to see if there are any patterns (spoiler: there doesn't seem to be). The ebook is available from Lulu for the cost of production only, also some contributing authors have posted free to download links for the book. Download and read – it won't take that long. I have voted for this book as a write-in vote for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 in both the Non-Fiction and Début Goodreads Author categories. Apparently Goodreads uses the average rating of the book to 'weigh' the validity of write-in votes (presumably as part of their decision to censor those votes - but I digress) so I've also rated the book five stars. I encourage others to do the same (even if you feel the need to re-rate the book after the awards have closed). I leave the final word to the (former) owner of Goodreads: "I hope you’ll appreciate that if we just start deleting ratings whenever we feel like it, that we’ve gone down a censorship road that doesn’t take us to a good place." — Otis Y. Chandler, Goodreads CEO

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    You're Never Alone with a Schizophrenic I am in two minds about this one... The Manny Haka On the one hand... "Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra." "This is the hairy man Who caused the sun to shine again for me." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2EXDS... The Noise Before Defeat On the other... "Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting." "He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight." "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route t You're Never Alone with a Schizophrenic I am in two minds about this one... The Manny Haka On the one hand... "Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra." "This is the hairy man Who caused the sun to shine again for me." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2EXDS... The Noise Before Defeat On the other... "Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting." "He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight." "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." Sun Tzu - "The Art of War" Three Minds and a Disclaimer Well, why not add another gratuitous point of view and disclaimer... D.J. Ian is the kind of guy who declines to get out of the way when he sees a fucking big self-serving, self-promoting literary collective coming (especially when it insists that it's right, which probably makes it some kind of a literary corrective). He contributed the following review to this ebook: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Two aspects of the book attracted his attention to it as a vehicle for a "protest review". The title "Drive" was just one. Where is GoodReads driving us and are we there yet? Is it just trying to drive us all mad? The other was its subtitle "The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us". We need to know the Surprising Truth that motivates GoodReads. D.J. Ian's review is speculative fiction towards this end. A Difference of Opinion about Tactics between Ex-Friends D.J. Ian and Ian Graye differ in their tactics in this debate. However, regrettably they have not agreed to differ, and remain permanently estranged. D.J. Ian thinks Ian Graye is childish and ineffectual. Ian Graye recognises that, in such situations, as the Chinese say, propriety dictates reciprocity. Their mother thinks a shared goal should overcome a difference of opinion about tactics. They're not talking to her either. When One Disclaimer is Barely Enough D.J. Ian has received a free copy of the ebook in return for an honest opinion. Ian Graye has received a free copy of the ebook in return for a dishonest opinion. Or was it the other way around? Neither of them can remember. But they're not talking. Aragorn's Battle Cry "Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers and sisters! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men and women fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship and delete our accounts, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men and women comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this GoodReads section of Earth, I bid you stand, Men and Women of the West and of the East!" The Scoffers Watch On as Money Fills the Coffers "First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will come scoffers who will do every wrong they can think of, and laugh at the truth. This will be their line of argument: 'So GoodReads promised to come back, did it? Then where is it? It'll never come! Why, as far back as anyone can remember everything has remained exactly as it was since the first day of creation of the Terms of Use.'" There Will Come a Day (Or Will There?) GoodReads cannot turn its back on its community and debate about the Terms of Use forever. Or can it? Its delay makes fools of itself and of those who wish to focus attention on the issues and make a constructive contribution to a solution. "[Suppose this servant says] 'My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to ... eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Contribute Your Views on the Terms of Use Have your say in the debate about what's wrong with the Terms of Use and how they could be improved here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... SOUNDTRACK: Steve Wynn - "There Will Come a Day" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVnp4N... "There will come a day There will come a day When all of the evil Will be washed away The patient will be rewarded And their tormentors will pay There will come a day, lord There will come a day"

  19. 4 out of 5

    RB

    You have to love the passion that GR users have to retain their rights to rate, review and sort their books (in any way that they damn well please) in the book database that they used to love. The censorship that has now been put in place by the GR powers-that-be has (for many of us) killed the pleasure that visiting this site used to have. GR of today is no longer the GR of six months ago. Kudos to the author for her continued fight! I voted for this book as a write-in vote for the GoodReads 201 You have to love the passion that GR users have to retain their rights to rate, review and sort their books (in any way that they damn well please) in the book database that they used to love. The censorship that has now been put in place by the GR powers-that-be has (for many of us) killed the pleasure that visiting this site used to have. GR of today is no longer the GR of six months ago. Kudos to the author for her continued fight! I voted for this book as a write-in vote for the GoodReads 2013 Choice Awards as the write-in option in the Non-Fiction, Memoir and Début GoodReads Author categories (to be found at the bottom of each category). I encourage you all to do the same. A (to my knowledge) legal copy of this book can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7aqkiun0mef...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    Note that this is not currently available on Lulu, but you can still get - free, and legally - here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7aqkiun0mef... (If you want to know why, see Manny's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) Sad that this had to be written, but in the circumstances, good that it was. It describes the background and response to GoodRead's sudden change of policy which resulted in some reviewers having allegedly "off-topic" reviews deleted without notice. It's a better read than Note that this is not currently available on Lulu, but you can still get - free, and legally - here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7aqkiun0mef... (If you want to know why, see Manny's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) Sad that this had to be written, but in the circumstances, good that it was. It describes the background and response to GoodRead's sudden change of policy which resulted in some reviewers having allegedly "off-topic" reviews deleted without notice. It's a better read than it sounds! It's written with love, sadness and humour, rather than the bile, paranoia and hyperbole that triggered the problem being written about. I'm also glad to see it has a thorough and hyperlinked index, with nested entries. ;) I've voted for it in the GoodReads Choice awards in the non-fiction and debut author categories: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceaward... (I did wonder if Humor and Horror might have been more apt!). However, as well as actual nominations, it also needs ratings, so please consider adding the book to your shelves and rating it. And if you review it, you will have the ego-massage of LOTS of likes in a short space of time. (It won't push you up the rankings, as everyone else gets lots of likes for reviewing it, but no matter.) As a direct consequence of all this, I copied all my reviews to a new account at BookLikes, but I didn't stick with it, as I still prefer it here. A Salon article on the subject from October 2013: http://www.salon.com/2013/10/23/how_a...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josephine (biblioseph)

    Note: this book has been removed from lulu.com - you can still read it online, legally, for free. Link is in the book description. It was overwhelming chaos that met Kara Erickson's announcement on the 21st of September, 2013. Tensions have been high since April, when uncertainty of the future began to stain our horizons following the acquisition by Amazon. I don't think anyone was quite prepared for the reckoning with which Mr. Reader's first words, under a different name, began to appear on the Note: this book has been removed from lulu.com - you can still read it online, legally, for free. Link is in the book description. It was overwhelming chaos that met Kara Erickson's announcement on the 21st of September, 2013. Tensions have been high since April, when uncertainty of the future began to stain our horizons following the acquisition by Amazon. I don't think anyone was quite prepared for the reckoning with which Mr. Reader's first words, under a different name, began to appear on the internet. To say, Mr. Reader, that you were a harbinger of doom, would be giving you far too much credit. But a storm did break when you appeared on the scene, perhaps you would agree that you are bad news: that you are somewhat unscrupulous and prone to consuming far more Coffea arabica than is wholesome. Unwed women - and men, for that matter - would be best kept away from you, lest you poison their minds with your wildly disproportionate ideas of social justice and free speech. I will allow this much sentiment to shine through: were it not for your first foray into the world of authorial misconduct on October 12th, we might not have known what to do with the swell of creativity on our shores of the prior few weeks and months. I find myself changed in the aftermath of your book being published, Mr. Reader; perhaps it was the long nights, the legal team you had working around the clock, the untrained monkey who did relentless searches for images in the creative commons or your sock puppets. Whether this is an improvement upon my state or not, I will let my therapist decide. Mr. Reader, I would like to interject a quote from the annals of British parliament, from Winston Churchill himself, in a speech given in the House of Commons on the 10th of December, 1936. "Nothing is more certain or more obvious than that recrimination or controversy at this time would be not only useless but harmful and wrong. What is done is done. What has been done or left undone belongs to history, and to history, so far as I am concerned, it shall be left." We should have been unlucky to remember these words one score and two days ago when your labor began, Mr. Reader. Due to impropriety and pretension on, I'll admit it, all our parts, you have curated a mixed bag of trophies and truffles, almost all easily found elsewhere, written by internet-famous personages, impeccably organized and with not enough run on sentences, and I cannot, in good conscience, rate it less than five stars. (Did not you yourself suggest in a drunken stupor that we rate books on a curve, Mr. Reader?) Congratulations on your birth, I will send a baby shower gift with the next messenger pigeon, provided my copy of the book, ordered from lulu.com, arrives unscathed. Further, I will recommend my friends share the book freely as you so eloquently suggested in your email of the 3nd of November, 2013, received at 3:41 in the morning. Mr. Reader, you will forever live in infamy thanks to the toiling efforts of men and women (and monkeys) across the globe: I hope to God you can live with what you have done. A Message from Mr. Reader's Untrained Monkey: The book can be found for free by those as unscrupulous as I [The Monkey] and could not be sold on Lulu's servers for less than the given price. This is a tragedy of the capitalistic world we live in, but one which one as unscrupulous as I [The Monkey] can benefit [buy more bananas]. Mr. Reader himself has declined to comment. Considering the barrage of emails I was receiving from him as recently as two hours ago, it is in keeping with his character. I also seem to have run out of bananas. Too Long; Didn't Read  Mr. Reader is a biased editor who is overly fond of Greek legends; his opinions are one-sided, his taste is common and he did not pay me! Read this review on my blog.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    I've always taught my kids that I would never censor or ban books as long as they were interested in reading. Imagine my horror that Friday afternoon when I log on to my book escape website and find out that now they are doing that very thing to us? The readers. Have I logged onto the wrong site? Nope. It's really happening. I know that a lot of people say not to take things so personally but it does feel personal. This was my home, my escape, my refuge...now I don't ever think it will be the sa I've always taught my kids that I would never censor or ban books as long as they were interested in reading. Imagine my horror that Friday afternoon when I log on to my book escape website and find out that now they are doing that very thing to us? The readers. Have I logged onto the wrong site? Nope. It's really happening. I know that a lot of people say not to take things so personally but it does feel personal. This was my home, my escape, my refuge...now I don't ever think it will be the same. This book brings to light they way most of us bookworms feel.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms

    This book is available for free download here I am one of the readers who added this book to my TBR and became a fan of G. R. Reader when the book was first added to Goodreads database. Imagine my surprise when suddenly the book was gone from my shelves, and the author had disappeared? I am very happy the author(s) has been able to get the book back into the database, and I look forward to reading it. Remember that you can vote for this book in the Goodreads Awards for 2013 - it can be added both This book is available for free download here I am one of the readers who added this book to my TBR and became a fan of G. R. Reader when the book was first added to Goodreads database. Imagine my surprise when suddenly the book was gone from my shelves, and the author had disappeared? I am very happy the author(s) has been able to get the book back into the database, and I look forward to reading it. Remember that you can vote for this book in the Goodreads Awards for 2013 - it can be added both to the non-fiction and the Debut-author lists. Extremely well written book, I found no grammatical, syntax or spelling errors. I really enjoyed some of the reviews that had been deleted, as they had been unceremoniously been taken off-site by staff before I had the time to check them out. It continues to sadden me that so many of the users who got the 'Congratulations, you're part of the 1% top users of Goodreads' e-mail continue to have their reviews and shelves deleted. What I find much hope in is that Off Topic was still published! It is great to see that the community that once was the main focal point of Goodreads (at least for me!) still exists - even if it no longer exists here on the very site where it originated.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cphe

    When this ebook first came to my attention I admit I was intrigued. Being the type of reader I am I knew that I had to purchase my own copy to read....and I did just that. I've been browsing through it reading snippets here and there that catch my interest and I'll go through it more thoroughly later on. At first glance it is well written and events as they have played out are presented in a logical sequence. It's easy to follow and understand. I also appreciated having a history of what is happe When this ebook first came to my attention I admit I was intrigued. Being the type of reader I am I knew that I had to purchase my own copy to read....and I did just that. I've been browsing through it reading snippets here and there that catch my interest and I'll go through it more thoroughly later on. At first glance it is well written and events as they have played out are presented in a logical sequence. It's easy to follow and understand. I also appreciated having a history of what is happening at the moment in the reader/author community. For 99c the book contains a lot of information and the version I bought is 189 pages in length. I look on it as a slice of history and it will be interesting to look back on in a couple of years to see how events have unfolded.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    I apologize for the star=rating. You know how little it would usually mean. HOWEVER, in this case, my FÜNF=STERNEN will participate in an algorithm for nomination for the gooreads=IDOL contest which is the kind of travesty of democracy which AMERICANs are really good at. VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN ________________ I have only one thing to say :: I was right ; ; in demonstration of which I quote myself (why not?) :: "I am a member of a Literary Collective, OUR corner of goodreads, which has a habit of I apologize for the star=rating. You know how little it would usually mean. HOWEVER, in this case, my FÜNF=STERNEN will participate in an algorithm for nomination for the gooreads=IDOL contest which is the kind of travesty of democracy which AMERICANs are really good at. VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN ________________ I have only one thing to say :: I was right ; ; in demonstration of which I quote myself (why not?) :: "I am a member of a Literary Collective, OUR corner of goodreads, which has a habit of resistance..." Those words I wrote some time back at the end of March '13. This little book demonstrates the truth of my faith in this collective. Thank you for reading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large)

    As a wise man once said, To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it. Indeed. As a wise man once said, To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it. Indeed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mike Puma

    Compelling history lacking only an audio version

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christine PNW

    I was witness and, mostly, observer to this book's creation. This was a tremendous amount of work, the burden of which fell disproportionately on a few of the - other - active contributors. It was my sense in watching the process that the moving forces behind it persevered out of a sense, not of spite, but of sadness and loss. I suppose that it was inevitable that the Goodreads debacle would end in a book. There is a fearful symmetry to that, really. This book will be interesting primarily to peop I was witness and, mostly, observer to this book's creation. This was a tremendous amount of work, the burden of which fell disproportionately on a few of the - other - active contributors. It was my sense in watching the process that the moving forces behind it persevered out of a sense, not of spite, but of sadness and loss. I suppose that it was inevitable that the Goodreads debacle would end in a book. There is a fearful symmetry to that, really. This book will be interesting primarily to people who are grieving that yet another public space is lost to commerce. In a world where corporations are king, and money is speech, I suppose that it was inevitable that this place, too, would become just another space to market books written by people who clearly don't read, and can't really write, to readers who just want to be left alone to read and talk about books in peace. The contributors to this book know how to write. And they are passionate about reading. “A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” ― Madeleine L'Engle Read on.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Of all the many, many books written about the Synod of Whitby great Goodreads controversy of 2013, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. In concise, often even witty, prose, drawn from sources in the Vatican library reviews on Goodreads itself, the editors have compiled an authoritative narrative of the attempts by Goodreads to censor its reviewers' reviews for such things as being "off-topic" (hence the title), being concerned with authors' behavior, and even being overly influence Of all the many, many books written about the Synod of Whitby great Goodreads controversy of 2013, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. In concise, often even witty, prose, drawn from sources in the Vatican library reviews on Goodreads itself, the editors have compiled an authoritative narrative of the attempts by Goodreads to censor its reviewers' reviews for such things as being "off-topic" (hence the title), being concerned with authors' behavior, and even being overly influenced by Celtic rites merely being critical of Goodreads, and of the many creative ways in which Goodreads readers fought back. This book simply cannot be recommended too highly. All libraries, all readers, indeed, who think of themselves as educated, must have this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    AH

    Thank you GR Reader for putting together such a succinct collection of articles and posts about the Great Goodreads Censorship debacle. This book is available for free here. Thank you GR Reader for putting together such a succinct collection of articles and posts about the Great Goodreads Censorship debacle. This book is available for free here.

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