Were you a bully at school, by any chance…?

Recently, someone I (don’t anymore) follow on Twitter put up a tweet. It had lots of CAPS LOCK OF RAGE and EXCLAMATION MARKS! and said that several tagged people, none of whom I know, were risking being expelled from Rave Reviews Club for review-swapping. She posted a link to their code of conduct, and all I can say at this point is… holy shit.

(And yes, I’m aware that I’m possibly providing them with undeserved page views, so don’t bother pointing that one out ;))

Some notable highlights in their Code of Conduct:

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB has established itself as an elite group of Authors and Readers.  Unlike some other forums where you might experience negativity, rudeness and childlike behavior,  THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR is not allowed within the confines of RRBC.  Furthermore, our members are expected to behave as the adults we all are, being respectful of others at all times.  We are here to support, encourage and uplift one another, therefore, we have established our own CODE OF CONDUCT which we expect each and every member to adhere to:

Item: nothing says “childish” “rude” and “negative” to me more than describing oneself as having an “elite group”, giving a blind, vague insult to “other forums”, then ordering members in BOLD CAPSLOCK to adhere to RULES like they are AT SCHOOL.

1)  DO NOT post any negativity in any comments section of the Rave Reviews Book Club site.  If you do, you will not be allowed to post any further comments here.  Depending upon the nature and severity of the comments, your membership may be revoked by the club.

Now, come on. You guys know I’m generally nice. But negativity is part of the human experience. It’s part of being genuine. A club where everyone is terrified to say anything “negative” (read: honest) on pain of being kicked out? Pfft.

2)  DO NOT make any disparaging remarks about Rave Reviews Book Club and/or its Governing Board Members {in relation to this club} in this, or any public forum.  If you feel negatively in regards to anything about Rave Reviews Book Club, then we ask that you cancel your membership and sever all ties with this club.  Subsequently, if you have an issue or concern which you would like to  discuss with our Governing Board, you may CONTACT US  and give us the opportunity to make right, that which you consider as wrong.  It reflects poorly upon any individual who does commit such an offense, yet they continue to align themselves with said organization.  If such behavior is brought to our attention, your membership may be revoked by the club

Translation: We are a dictatorship. Dissenters will be shot for sedition. The implication that you can’t be a member of an organisation unless you wholeheartedly love everything they do is just silly.

3)  NO MATTER THE FORUM, any unprofessional behavior by an RRBC member, will not be tolerated.  This includes, but is not limited to:  personal attacks of the author in reviews, revenge reviews, public denouncement, harassment of any kind, etc.  Every member of Rave Reviews Book Club is expected to treat others with respect, and in a supportive manner at all times.  Let us be clear:  WE ALWAYS ENCOURAGE HONEST REVIEWS, even if those reviews are low reviews, BUT, we do ask in your language of those reviews of fellow members, that you are not causing public humiliation or embarrassment.  We do not want to ever discourage someone of realizing their dreams as a Writer.  What we do seek to do here, is encourage and offer assistance so that those who are in need, are able to grow and become better.    If such behavior is brought to our attention, your membership may be revoked by the club.  On a final note, we’d also like to remind anyone living in a glass house, you should be careful not to throw stones.

When organisations like this order me to behave “professionally” (read: in accordance with their rules) I always want to say: sure. Pay me as a professional, and I’ll behave professionally. I do have a day job, for which I am paid a wage. There, I do what my superiors tell me. Out of hours, in my own time, on the internet? No. Pay me and we’ll talk. I particularly like that little passive-aggressive threat of revenge-reviews at the end.

4)  DO NOT use the #RaveReviewsBookClub , #RAVEREVIEWSBOOKCLUB, or #RRBC  hashtags to promote any books or authors who ARE NOT RRBC members.  This is a direct insult to those members whose names appear on our roster AND those members who take time to support their fellow members.  If these people wish to be supported and use our hashtag, they should JOIN just like other members.  Also, we ask that you do not include either of our hashtags in conjunction with other hashtag entities, which we are not aligned with or affiliated with.   Abuse in this manner is cause for your membership to be revoked by the club.

I’m sorry, did they just say you could be kicked out of their club by using “their” hashtag and another “unauthorised” one in the same tweet? See above. My twitter is mine and I’m not paid for tweeting.

But oh, there’s loads more! So much that, to spare your poor eyes, I’m going to go immediately into part two, which is here.

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5 thoughts on “Were you a bully at school, by any chance…?

  1. Pingback: Further thoughts on the ELITE CLUB OF CAPSLOCK SHOUTING | The Reader In the Tower

  2. I kinda like their general aims and can see where they’re coming from to an extent. I’ve moderated Yahoo groups where I’ve wanted to slap people about—but resisted. Only ever banned folks who obviously weren’t members though and just there to spam. And I only ever shouted in role.
    You cannot dictate to members what they say in other forums. That way lies madness.
    And bless on all the passive-aggressive posturing. When a returning ‘owner’ of a group did something similar, that was when one of the best forums I have ever been part of imploded.

    Like

    • Many years ago, I was part of a web forum run by a petty dictator (on the up side, it’s how I met Mel :)). He went as far as to hack into my Private Messages once and banned me based on what he read.

      When Facebook came on the scene, a much more reasonable forum-goer started a FB group for the old message board, and just about everyone migrated over there. Petty Dictator didn’t, but several of his mods did. One in particular kept moaning that everyone should come back to the message board. Why? So you can ban people for petty, silly offences like you’re God Almighty? Nah. Eventually the site was dismantled. I didn’t cry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m in genealogical forums on Yahoo that knock everything else into a week (and a year) next Thursday.
        Nothing scares me after those!
        And the only things I have shouted on forums are things like:
        CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
        EXPELLIARMUS!
        =;-D

        Liked by 1 person

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