by Anne R. Allen
After I wrote my post last month on cyberbullying in the publishing community, a lot of people asked if there’s any way to avoid these online terrorists.
I wrote a post on the subject back in 2013, soon after my nightmare encounter with the Goodreads Mean Girls, who attacked me with everything from one-star “review” swarms to death threats that included pictures of my house.
My crime was simply witnessing their obscene cyber-assault on a naive teen writer who had broken one of their unwritten rules.
Obviously nobody can be completely safe from online sociopaths, but that poor girl would have been safer if she’d known their “rules”.
So I thought I’d post an updated and expanded version of the “laws of the jungle” I first wrote in 2013. These rules aren’t secret, but for some reason most social media gurus fail to tell new authors about online author etiquette.
Here’s the thing: the Internet is still the wild frontier. And it’s so huge nobody’s quite sure how to police it. Big, loosely regulated social media sites that allow anonymity seem to encourage the worst in human behavior. Previously civilized humans become cyber-monkeys, tossing around verbal poop.