Crucifying Lynn Shepherd for her post about J.K. Rowling will only perpetuate a negative cycle

jk-rowling-casual-vacancy
(image: AP)

On Feb. 21 author Lynn Shepherd posted an opinion piece on The Huffington Post in which she pleaded for J.K. Rowling to stop writing books for the adult market, claiming that Rowling has had her turn and that books like The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling were essentially hogging up all the media attention and thereby not allowing other authors and books a chance at success. Personally, I didn’t agree with much of what she wrote in the post and thought it was a bit harsh. In my recent post on Anne Rice, I even praised the way the author of The Wolf Gift Chronicles came to the defense of Rowling as she often does for many people.

However, as I then witnessed the severe backlash against Shepherd I felt compelled to defend not just her but anyone and everyone who has been viciously attacked on social media in ways that are arguably somewhat unfair.

If you want some background info on what I’m referring to, you can check out this Feb. 27 article in The Guardian which recounts the ways that Shepherd is dearly paying for putting forth an unpopular opinion. Basically, what’s been happening is that across social media people have been attacking her with some pretty vicious comments—on her Facebook fan page, on Twitter, on Amazon.com and the post itself.

First, let me just try to preemptively avoid some misunderstandings (which will probably happen anyway):

  1. I do not agree with most of what Shepherd wrote in her post and understand people’s frustration.
  2. I am not saying that people cannot or should not respond to that post, or any content, however they want, viciously or otherwise.

 

Yes, people have the right to get angry at whatever they want. On the extreme end, they are even free to go on Amazon.com and leave one-star ratings for an author’s books which they haven’t even read just because they didn’t like her opinion or under the pretext that this is “what Lynn Shepherd would do.” [See correction at bottom.]

lynn-shepherd-author
Author and blogger Lynn Shepherd

But what I am talking about here is not a matter of rights. It is a matter of choice. The choice to (1) live in a harsh, vicious world in which everything we say, even if we say it politely, runs the risk of very mean and caustic responses, or of potentially even hurting our career even though the initial action which triggered the backlash was arguably not that bad to begin with. Or (2) a world in which we stop and think before we become so aggressive, in which we realize that half of all confrontations are results of misunderstanding and miscommunication.

Indeed, not only are the opinions which usually unleash such ugly social media activity not that bad to begin with (in my opinion), they are often misunderstood. This happens for a couple of reasons:

(a)    People are busy and since there is so much content out there, and people want to consume as much of it as they can, the natural tendency is to skim and not read closely or carefully.

(b)     The Internet gives everyone a voice and it also gives them safety and anonymity (if they want it). Therefore, while people have always been very emotional and impulsive,  face-to-face confrontation might give them pause before they react a certain way whereas on the Internet they just unleash their reactions instantly and without any self-monitoring. (Again, I’m not saying this is wrong; it’s just an observation.)

Let’s keep in mind that no one is safe from the perils of social media crucifixion, no one. I’ve seen even the most beloved of celebrities be attacked en masse by people hurling curses and obscenities when, in the end, the person in question wasn’t even saying what people assumed he was saying. In a way, this is good because it means that no one is exempt from being accountable for what they say. But let’s try to remember two things: (1) are you confident the person really means what you think he’s saying? Did you actually read his statement carefully? (2) While it’s good that no one is exempt, everyone has feelings just like you. You don’t have to be nice but you can at least try to treat others no less than you’d like to be treated.

Stephen King’s first taste of the perils and wrath of Twitter nearly a month ago is a case in point. He was just getting started on Twitter and probably didn’t yet understand it well. One day he tweeted something that was a bit vague and unclear, but it turned out he didn’t at all mean what a lot of people assumed he meant  (he has since clarified what he meant). But that didn’t stop people from screaming things like “Go f**k yourself,” or “the legacy of you lefties is rape & genocide” and jumping to the conclusion that he’s a misogynist or condones child abuse (we love hating monsters so much that we are quick to project them onto others).

stephen-king-apology
(via Stephen King Facebook page)

The reason I would like to suggest (to those willing to listen to this) that we try to be more  civil even as we may disagree strongly with someone or even outright dislike that person is because I just think it would be nicer to live in a community, a society, a world in which people give each other the gift of everyday decency if nothing else. That’s all. The Internet in general and social media in particular are microcosms of  society so if the world is ever to become a better place, the Internet is just as valid a place to start as any. Obviously, given how large the Internet is, we will never attain some sort of rosey utopia on it. But there is definitely some room for improvement, no?

If you think that’s too hokey or idealistic a reason, then I offer one more: social media karma. Due to the very nature of social media, sooner or later everyone will commit a faux pas, intentionally or not. Or if not an outright faux pas, then they’ll say something in a way that they don’t actually mean or doesn’t best serve the message they want to convey. It happens. My personal creed, therefore, is to treat others who make mistakes as I would like to be treated when I inevitably make a mistake. And, sooner or later, you will make mistakes.

At the very least, consider reading someone’s opinion carefully and try to really understand what she’s saying before saying something potentially hurtful. I skim stuff all the time too, but if something triggers a strong emotion within me, and I feel like saying something, I try to go back and read the content again carefully to make sure I actually understood it. I’m not saying this is the right way; it’s just one way. If it makes sense to you, consider it.

Finally, this is the biggest and main reason why I think that people who disagree with Lynn Shepherd might want to consider going about their disagreeing a different way. By hurling insults at her, calling her stupid, crazy, ridiculous or any of those things, wishing failure upon her or trying to damage her career by leaving scathing one-star reviews on Amazon that aren’t even reviews of her books but personal attacks, they are basically doing the same thing they are accusing her of doing: being viciously unfair. And they are just feeding into a cycle of negativity.

As it stands, the way I sort of envision the Internet right now (parts of it, that is) is as a madhouse of people screaming at each other but few actually listening to each other. Attack attack attack. Hate hate hate. Respond with the same and repeat the cycle ad nauseum. Do you see how deep and dark this stream of negativity flows? When will it ever end, this surreal dance of animosity and mutual denigration?

It ends when you’ve decided enough is enough and either refuse to engage it entirely or be the lone voices in the wilderness by setting what you believe are good examples, the way I believe Anne Rice is setting a good, positive example and why I celebrated her in my last post. In fact, when a fan posted The Guardian article that I mention above (which recounts the backlash against Shepherd) on her Facebook page, Rice responded this way:

anne rice lynn shepherd comment
(via Anne Rice Facebook page)

She’s defending the same person (Shepherd) who criticized the person she was initially defending (Rowling). Now, that’s class.

Once again, this kind of positive behavior  is just a choice you can make. If you prefer things the way they are, that is simply your choice to make as well, your society to create. I, however, think we can do better. That is all.

Okay. I’m ready for the angry comments now.

[Correction: An attorney has since informed me that it is actually against the law  to go on Amazon and leave one-star ratings and bad comments if you have not read the book in question, and that lawyers can go after people who do this. This applies universally to all product reviews, not just books.]

About The Pop Mythologist

The Pop Mythologist
The Pop Mythologist is the founder and editor of PopMythology.com. He has been a staff writer for the nationally distributed magazine KoreAm , the online journal of pop culture criticism Pop Matters and has written freelance for various other publications and websites.

39 comments

  1. I started to read this…then got busy…and literally started skimming at the part where you talked about people doing just that. Haha! Backlash has become so much more vicious in the internet era. Pretty scary.

  2. Haha, skimming’s fine. Everyone does it. But I do think if people are gonna make a very strong comment about something, then in that case they should actually read the piece first. Thanks Laura!

  3. I read it and I thin the women is a whiny, entitled, idiot… but I wouldn’t vilify her. Just dismiss her opinion.

  4. Ryk, right, that’s what I mean. Either just dismiss or express disagreement but not try to intentionally damage her career by giving her books bad reviews on Amazon on the basis of her article alone without even having read her books. That’s like the same thing they’re criticizing her for, haha. Anyway, thanks for the comment!

  5. Well said and good points all.

  6. What I find more disgusting? Writers, artists, politicians, and entertainers, who have so brain washed themselves into believing they are of superior in intellect.
    Silly rabbits! We got you there, we can knock you off that pedestal. It is a long fall. I can think for myself. So ease your self imposed grandeur. I have all the power to NOT read your material. I work in medicine. I Did not whine to get where I got. I made my own path.

  7. I wouldn’t classify Rice’s actions as defending Shepherd. She dislikes general tone and tactics of the people who are wielding vitriol in place of more enlightened forms of criticism. That is hardly defending a person who makes a living writing that chose to purposefully create controversy with her opinion piece. While anyone can say something foolish via social media, it becomes something more when a writer does it. I disliked her piece from a standpoint of loathing the opinion even less than I despised the artless manner in which she expressed it. In one fell swoop, she made sure I disliked her writing so much I’d never read anything else she’d ever written, joining Orson Scott Card.

  8. So much sour grapes. She probably criticized Rowling to garner attention for her own books. She wouldn’t be the first to use such tactics. Use of the internet cuts both ways. If she can use the internet for her purposes than others can use the same to criticize her. It would be like some vampire author saying “Anne Rice please don’t write any more vampire novels because I want people to read my books.” Personally, I am capable of reading and enjoying many novels from many authors. Grow up. And, as a point, I never even heard of her until this controversy. Just saying…

  9. Great article!! I completely agree. The social media backlash cycle that’s happening more and more now is pretty sick and twisted. I agree that people should be held accountable but death threats and trying to ruin people’s lives are what’s plaguing the internet and it’s future.

  10. A very sensible article. Thank you.

  11. A very sensible article. Thank you.

  12. A very sensible article. Thank you.

  13. A very sensible article. Thank you.

  14. A very sensible article. Thank you.

  15. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  16. I agree that trolls out there go overboard in their hate rants, and I agree that the use of Amazon to punish Ms Shepherd is wrong. I commented on the original post after giving a lot of consideration to my words and did not stoop to personal attacks to get my point across.

    I do however find it hard to feel to sorry for her. She wrote the post with a deliberate and well thought out overly provocative title to attract the the most attention to her article as possible. She can’t say that she did not expect a negative backlash. She admitted to that in her opening paragraph and was warned by her friend.

    “When I told a friend the title of this piece she looked at me in horror and said, “You can’t say that, everyone will just put it down to sour grapes!” And she does, of course, have a point.”

    This article also states that many people who commented negatively on the original post did so without actually reading all of the post first. Doesn’t Ms Shepherd admit to doing the same thing to J K Rowling’s work;

    “I’ve never read a word (or seen a minute) so I can’t comment on whether the books were good, bad or indifferent. ”

    How can she expect better of her detractors.

    If you want to make a name for yourself by by being provocatively controversial then I am afraid you must expect and wear the consequences.

    Jeff Doherty

  17. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  18. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  19. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  20. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  21. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  22. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  23. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  24. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  25. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  26. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  27. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  28. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  29. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  30. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  31. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  32. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  33. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  34. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  35. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  36. Quite frankly, I think all we can do is learn a bit about this, and pretty much nothing else. And what we should be learning, I believe, is to think what we are posting. Stephen King’s mistake is perhaps the clearer one. Being an avid reader of his, whitout being nothing more than that, it would be hard for me to believe he sort of curses child abusers and labels them as monsters in his works, and personally would justify or underestimate a real case. He slipped there, nevertheless, and the consequence is well known. He should have, without a doubt, read his post once more, think, and correct or clarify. My point is, as “disposable” or fatuous this media can be, people will respond to what they, we, read on them. In a somewhat blurry way, comes to my mind the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcasting. Somehow there, the power and penetration of radio was underestimated. It feels like that in this case. The fact it’s “just a tweet”, or “just a post” doesn’t mean you don’t have to take it seriously, especially if you’re addressing a sensitive matter or a (in Shepherd’s case) well beloved author.

  37. Let’s be clear on a few facts here, that seem to have become lost in the rush to defend Lynn Shepherd:

    1. Lynn Shepherd asserted that she did not read the HP books.
    2. Lynn Shepherd then made broad, sweeping judgments at the HP series.
    3, Lynn Shephed had an International Audience on HuffPo and she could reach far more readers than any one reviewer on Amazon.

    Conclusion: Lynn Shepherd chose to assert that she lived in a world where people could use the Internet to pan an author’s work without having read it. Lynn Shepherd then had her work panned by people who had never read it.

    Sounds fair to me.

    Pick the rules for your world carefully and don’t complain a bit when those same rules are applied to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *