Cyberwarriors or trolls?
I’ve been following an online discussion in a writers group, where a member has posted about being harangued by an author, whose book they politely declined to review. Whether this was because the member felt disinclined to review said work, or simply didn’t have time, doesn’t matter; it’s their right to review or not, given that most reviewers do not receive payment for their efforts. The “spurned” author not only reviled the reviewer personally, but also denigrated their political views and generally behaved like a moron. This is highly unprofessional behaviour, and only the fact that they were not named, has saved them from being hung out to dry.
That said, the post has stirred up a hornet’s nest, in that whilst most comments are in agreement that the author behaved extremely badly, there is now a sparring match going on between two of the members, with one telling the post’s originator to “suck it up and move on,” and the other refuting this point of view. Debate is a healthy and desirable thing, but pointless, circular arguments are not.
The post’s originator was obviously hurt and bewildered by the response to their polite refusal to review and was seeking advice on how to respond. In my opinion, yes they should try to ignore it and move on, and look forward and not dwell on this person’s ill-mannered, not to say, disgusting diatribe. However, one can advise this in a kindly and positive way, offering reassurance that they were perfectly within their rights, without turning the discussion into a free for all. I only made one comment, in the above vein, and left it at that. However, I keep getting a notification email every time the two combatants make a comment. I can’t stop this, without leaving the group, which I don’t want to do. Pray to God they run out of steam soon.