I try to keep it light and fun on my blog, but today I can't.
In the past few years I've noticed people hiding behind the mask of avatars and spewing bigotry, insults, and hatred at others. Sometimes, I see these things on Yahoo comments. This week, I've seen a cruel anonymous letter sent to the grandmother of an autistic child, and I've heard about mean comments, mean replies, and trolling on Goodreads. It makes me so angry I wish I could "do" something to the transgressors -- but, of course, I can't. And if I did, I'd be no better than they are.
But ... am I really helpless?
While I can't help find the anonymous letter writer who hates autistic children, there are places I can do something. I can complain to the managers of the sites where I see abuse -- and you can, too.
On Goodreads, for instance, there's a way to flag abusive reviews, comments, or expletive-laden shelf names. If you click "See Review" it will open into a new page. At the bottom of the review and each comment is a "Like" button. To the right of that is a small, gray word -- "flag." Yup, it's tiny and pale ==> flag <== and can go unnoticed. But if you hit this button, you can flag the offending content as abusive and explain why you think so.
If enough people refuse to allow the haters to get away with abuse, and notify GR via these abuse flags, we can greatly diminish the nastiness and make GR a place where everyone feels welcome.
This week I'm celebrating being tolerant enough not to join in the vitriol or name calling and being conscientious enough to write a post, write an email, or hit that "flag" button so the haters don't get away with it anymore.
Have you noticed the "flag" button on Goodreads? Will you use it if you see something abusive?
This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful for that week. It can be about writing or family or school or general life. This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever!