Author Topic: Name Smearing  (Read 3531 times)

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CrochetFanatic

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Name Smearing
« on: April 15, 2013, 11:40:16 AM »
I wasn't really sure which category this belongs in.  I thought it might belong in "Techno-quette", but basically what it boils down to is defamation of character.

I'm sort of watching an online situation snowball.  Author1 and Author2 are having one doozy of a virtual catfight, and there is rudeness on both sides, but I very much sympathize with Author1.  I knew her online before I even knew she was published.  I've voiced my support to her, but this is one scrap I know better than to get in the middle of.

Basically, Author1 left a short book review that Author2 didn't like, Author2 posted a huge public blog naming Author1 by her given name (in bold print the first time, no less.).  Author1 did not take it well and verbally retaliated, which Author2 has responded to, and I'm sure this isn't the end of it.  This whole thing seems like something that could harm both of their images; neither of them is coming out unmuddied.

I'm sort of wondering how prevalent author slamming is.  Aren't people allowed to express their opinions anymore?  Author2's behavior strikes me as being mean-spirited, cowardly, and nasty, and the general tone of her public blog was, "How dare you criticize me!".  And, as nasty as she is, I fear that Author1 might be playing with fire.  I really want to tell her to stop responding to Author2 altogether, but she's so angry I doubt she'd listen.  She's both engaging the crazy and becoming the crazy.  I'm finding it hard to stay away from this one, because I'm friendly with Author1 and angry on her behalf.

Should I just keep my head down, and let them duke it out?

reflection5

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 11:45:35 AM »
Quote
but this is one scrap I know better than to get in the middle of.

This seems to contradict your other statement:

Quote
I'm finding it hard to stay away from this one, because I'm friendly with Author1 and angry on her behalf.

I'm baffled as to why you even want to get involved.  You need to stay out of it.


CrochetFanatic

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 11:52:04 AM »
I guess it does...

I really don't know why I'm taking it so personally.  Author1 is a friend.  That's the only reason I can think of.  Author2's fans have apparently become very threatening, and I take exception to that.  But I think you're right about my needing to stay out of it.  I guess this was a stupid question.  :-[

Luci

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 12:27:58 PM »
You don't want to get involved, but you have a personal feeling about it? Could you PM Author1 and tell her you are supporting her?

I do this sometimes when I want someone to know I am on her side but don't want to stir the fires unless I feel it becomes necessary, and I am usually well-recieved. Things usually calm down and my comments have not been needed. They wouldn't change the feelings of the more firey ones anyway - sort of like politics.

Twik

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 12:31:52 PM »
If this were happening to a friend, I would follow Luci45's advice - give support and commiseration separately, but not get involved publicly.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

jmarvellous

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 12:39:34 PM »
If this were happening to a friend, I would follow Luci45's advice - give support and commiseration separately, but not get involved publicly.

Agreed. At most, tell Author1 you're her friend still.
If it is likely to get even more petty, keep your email to support, not putting down the other party -- there's nothing like seeing yourself quoted in an unpleasant way: "Well, CrochetFanatic agreed with me! She eve said you are a 'grudge-holding nincompoop bully'!"

Sharnita

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 01:44:36 PM »
Are these professional, published authors? If so ot seems like theyshould have people who can,professionally manage this situation.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 01:49:25 PM »
Published, yes.  Professional...I don't know.  I believe they both published independently, but I don't think I can say more than that.

Moray

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 02:20:18 PM »
You already know you should stay out of it. I recommend you go with that gut instinct.
Utah

sweetonsno

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 10:35:53 AM »
I agree that you should stay out of it for the most part. They are both behaving badly, others are getting involved. Putting yourself in the middle of a spitting match usually means that you get spit on, too.

I think Luci's idea is great. Send her a PM offering your support, but don't speak badly of Author2 in that email.

I also agree that Author1 should disengage. If you think she would be open to advice, keep it separate from your supportive message. If she writes back thanking you for your support and asks what to do (or vents about her frustration), you could perhaps suggest that it isn't a worthwhile fight to have.

EllenS

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 11:06:35 AM »
Putting yourself in the middle of a spitting match usually means that you get spit on, too.


The aptness of this phrase made my day so much brighter - you have no idea. 

This should be one of the official E-Hell slogans, it applies to so many situations that come up here!

Twik

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 11:09:38 AM »
Published, yes.  Professional...I don't know.  I believe they both published independently, but I don't think I can say more than that.

From what I've seen, professional, even lauded, authors can get into some pretty nasty fights.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Winterlight

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 11:39:36 AM »
In my experience, the safest thing to do is to send your friend a private message of support and otherwise stay out of it.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

AvidReader

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 12:27:33 PM »
To get involved in this catfight would be to dignify it.  I wouldn't even go so far as to PM support to either one of the parties involved.

bah12

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Re: Name Smearing
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 01:25:20 PM »
Like PPs, I think this is best something that you step away from.  Being that Author 1 is your friend, I think it's ok to tell her, as a friend and if she brings this fight up to you in conversation, that perhaps the best thing for her to do is ignore Author 2.

As for what started this fight, I do agree that it's immature to call out someone so negatively over a bad review (which I imagine is par for the course in this line of work).  That being said, I think both Authors should probably realize that just as bad reviews happen, so do sometimes reactions and responses to published opionions.  It would do both of them good to just let it go.