I'm speaking up about it because it was brought to my attention by one author for whom this is their second attempt at posting, having deleted their story for the same reasons back in March of this year.
Aside from deleting comments and flagging comments/users for mod attention, what action can we take to improve the community and QOL? I know most of the readers doing this are likely not forum users and I don't know how many read the announcements put out by the mods on the main page, but the fact that we're losing authors is a poblem
With out that, or without comment from the site op, there is little to be said. I suppose if the person has, due to the sort of material this considers, alternatives, he/she would certainly be free to pursue them. I will note I don't see , unlike some other sites, very much of such behavior here. I would suppose any public site to have some problematic issues crop up from time to time, and would expect management to be both active and to some extent, pro-active in dealing with it. That would certainly be the first step to resolve it.
For example, if someone is making some toxic, rude comments, delete it. Toxicity spreads. Obviously, this doesn't apply to genuine criticisms. I've actually noticed that some authors who have become really popular don't seem to read most of their comments any longer. Think of that how you will, but I don't know if I blame them.
CoCop Wrote: I know you can lock comments, but even then you seem to be asking for an anonymous low review. Honestly? when things get toxic I just stop reading my comments. My readers can find me in my discord if they want to talk.
Very true. There is very little purpose to anonymity when the intent is to be useful. However ,making it more than plain that contacting the author by PM or such is preferred might have to be stressed, or you wouldn't get any at all.
Ultimately it seems like the problem stems from rudeness, but a lot of that just comes with the territory of posting your work for public consumption.
Since we’re looking for solutions, one idea may be to promote writers or readers groups. I’m assuming most of these authors are new ones who get savaged by readers because of the type of content or quality. If they’re interested in posting work, but want a softer or eased in approach, a group for writers or confirmed mannered readers could prove a nice way to share their work with a community without opening themselves to the larger internet critics.
I figure that group may end up with more writers than willing readers though, so idk if that’d work.
KaapstadMK Wrote: Aside from deleting comments and flagging comments/users for mod attention, what action can we take to improve the community and QOL? I know most of the readers doing this are likely not forum users and I don't know how many read the announcements put out by the mods on the main page, but the fact that we're losing authors is a poblem
My bias is very pro-author and anti-reader on this, but realistically there are very few authors who leave solely because of this. I've helped around 2 dozen authors over several years here and only 1 is still posting. Authors, especially those that don't make a profession of it, leave/stop posting/chance accounts at an extreme rate.
Here's the real cost to tolerating crappy readership;
1) You discourage authors. This results in less authors joining, more authors leaving... all of which result in less stories. It also discourages building writing skills. Maybe this isn't the place for that, but I believe that a supportive readership is important to helping develop future writers.
2) It discourages 'better' readers. I jump through the forum once in a while and post in flurries, but I don't bother reading or posting reviews anymore. You could say that I'm disfranchised with the system and users. What you want is a vocal positive readership and silent toxic readership... and I believe that RR has seen some slippage this year. It might just be popularity, or it could be that 2020 is just a sucky year and people feel better by dumping their negative emotions on others.
3) Toxic breeds toxic. I have seen signs of that this year. Terrible, toxic, and inflammatory reviews getting likes, stuff like that. Kind of a social norm that can develop.
4) It discourages author-reader interaction, including top tier authors that could be seen as mentors for the younger generation. This probably isn't causation, but those authors will just stop looking at comments, reviews, and the forums. It's pretty obvious that has happened here, IMO.
5) The worst thing about toxic readers is that they are empowering themselves with their negativity. Lock or erase comments? They will create puppet accounts just because it makes them feel better about themselves. The motivation isn't to belong to the community, or have interaction, it's a straight forward case of empowerment. The issue here is that they are getting "positive feedback" the longer they are allowed to empower themselves, which means escalation or a meltdown when told to stop. That applies as a group as well since getting called out on behavior has a pretty strong defensive reaction.
But let's not pretend all authors are healthy. There have been a few author dramas this year, and many authors won't handle even constructive criticism well.
Most don’t expect me to be with the bullshit cause they assume I care for my story tanking from their rate, but nah. Not anymore. Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with that lately.
See, I'm the one being referred here by Sir KaapstadMK . And yes, I won't deny that I really had a bad experience with the readers in the site. See, I'm fine with the negative reviews (I can't please everyone), but then, honestly, as an starting author, it's really discouraging to be called names, or getting reviews that...well, I guess, see for yourselves.
Honestly, I don't want to write stories with sex because I find those scenes awkward (at least for me, who was raised in a pretty conservative culture). Aside from that, my students also read my stories. Such reviews and readers in this site gave us (yes, we're many) the impression that RR readers are toxic, intolerant, and sex-crazed. I apologize beforehand if you guys would be offended by this, but I'd like to be honest with you.
Sir Kaapstad gave me the impression that folks here in RR forum are different than the audience in the reader site. Please, it's not my intention to badmouth RR; I just wanted to share my experience, and also my fellow authors' impressions. I do understand that we may be an isolated case.
That review clearly violates site guidelines. The right answer is the click the "report" button and forget about it.
Trolls gonna troll. And in this age of digital mob mentality, the only thing you can do to not be exposed to trolls (or people behaving like them) is to simply not put yourself out there. Once you become a public figure, you have a target on your back. The more attention/fame you get, the bigger the target. This is really nothing new. Think of all the psycho "fans" famous people of the past have to deal with. There have been notable instances of such "fans" killing (John Lennon comes to mind), so fame is not all it's cracked up to be. There is a dark side to it as well.
Not to mention that by opening your chapters, writing comments, and leaving reviews they are helping you more than almost any other person on this site.
And while it's true that the internet is full of this kind of people, I'd like to just reduce the amount of stress for my story, especially since I'm just a hobbyist writer.
So yeah, I'd just let my work complete uploading the remaining chapters here and move from the platform.
Thank you for the time and concern guys! Have a great day! More power to y'all 😁😉
Is there some way we could highlight comments that haven't been reviewed yet? That way we could look out for each other by reading each other's unreviewed comments and flagging the ones that are toxic.
Also... If someone reports one of my comments, is there some sort of indicator that the comment has been reported but not removed yet? If reported comments were highlighted in light red, then I avoid reading them.
-- Boson the Not So Brave
Yoyu88 Wrote:Ariana Wrote:I am really surprised to hear about this issue, especially when I have seen how efficient the mods are in troll-hunting.
I think they only pay attention to the "Big Game"
One of these days, I'll be big enough game to get special mod dispensation. Just you wait.
(the mods are trying, they're just understaffed and there's a bazillion support tickets).