Censored by Goodreads

Responses to the recent policy change on Goodreads regarding reviews that focus exclusively on author behavior.

Food Truck Apologizes for Bad Yelp Review With Adorable Song

As often as there are people suing over bad Yelp reviews - or, alternately, being arrested in a year long sting operation for faking reviews - there seems to be a tradition of sweetly lighthearted responses to bad reviews. 

Sandwich board that reads, "Come in and try the worst meatball sandwich that one guy on Yelp ever had in his life."

Anonymity, Transparency, and Online Book Reviewing

I’ll just note here that I know I’m outside of the stated purpose of this tumblr, but the recent petition signed by Anne Rice and others to remove psuedonymity in Amazon reviews is just another skirmish in the reviewing wars.

Shitty Watch Repair Shop Threatens Lawsuit Over Two-Star Yelp Review

Some litigiousness over reviews, though obviously not book reviews.

A fiction writer did get as far as pondering aloud whether he should sue a reviewer for “lost revenue”, but so far I don’t think that has gotten to the cease and desist stage. Weirdly, in the comments section of the linked post about the author thinking about suing a reviewer, the reviewer shows up and is attacked by the blog post writer for posting his review pseudonymously? After defending the review in the post? I honestly do not even get what’s going on here, and obviously there’s a whole lot of competing priorities. What a mess. 

Court orders online critics' naming

This ruling by an appeals court deals with Yelp reviews. Apparently, if the review was written by a customer, then their opinion has First Amendment protection, but if not, it is a false statement. A lawyer I am not.

Yelp reviews are different from book reviews, of course, and it’s probably not fruitful to start panicking about getting doxxed by the courts for writing a negative review. But given that roughly 25% of Yelp reviews are fake - and positive fakes, written by companies to skew their own ratings - going after the few negative ones in this manner seems legally messy. 

8 books I bailed on last year

"With that disclaimer, here are some books I couldn’t bring myself to finish in 2013. What to Read, the column I write for Salon, singles out the best book I’ve found that week, so I don’t end up writing negative reviews and therefore am seldom forced to finish a book I don’t care for. But, contrary to the recent outbreak of Chicken-Little hand-wringing about the decline of critical standards, this doesn’t mean I’m indiscriminate. The vast majority of books are published into obscurity and my thumbs-downs typically take the form of allowing them to remain there. For that reason, what follows are my responses to books you might possibly have heard of, rather than the absolute worst things I read. (Those would be the half-dozen self-published YA and fantasy novels I looked at while researching a piece on reviewer-author feuds on Goodreads.)"