how to deal with online attacks

Digital Drama!!

I haven’t seen much mentioned about digital drama in the publishing world, especially in romance and other sub-genres. This might be because so many of the publishing web sites and blogs seem to promote digital drama instead of trying to stop it. I don’t know if this is fact or not…it’s just a basic personal observation on my end; an opinion.

I do know that when I see a publishing oriented web site where there are tons of publisher advertisements and the publishing blog or web site can be purchased as a Kindle download for “the incredible price” of .99, this tells me the blog or web site is more commercially oriented than public service oriented. Of course these blogs and web sites never say this; they lead everyone to believe they are consumer oriented. But commercial is commercial. And when anything is commercially oriented, the owners are usually ambitious enough to promote anything or anyone that will promote readership and their own agenda. Unfortunately, it makes it hard for online readers to know whether or not they are, in fact, being manipulated.

I’ve been seeing a lot mentioned about digital drama everywhere else. There’s a campaign going on this summer I can’t praise enough. Launching this summer, Seventeen will feature a multi-page story in the August issue of the magazine, which will include stories from readers and ABC Family talent about their own experiences with bullying.

This new digital drama campaign is based around young adults, as you can see from this article: DDD is an initiative of Seventeen magazine and ABC Family network to erase digital abuse and bullying, which is something every parent wants. But I do think there’s digital drama on the web for everyone, and it’s not just something young adults are dealing with these days. I watched one group on one particular thread this past year where they literally ripped someone to shreds without an ounce of remorse. And it bothered me. The best I could do was offer support and advice, and it eventually died down and everyone forgot about it.

I’ve been the butt of digital drama more than once in the past five years. Each time, an attack was launched from nowhere and I’ve always handled it the same way. I believe that when you’re being pushed, you should pull rather than push back. I also believe all drama, digital or not, is something that’s one-sided if you look the other way. There is, however, one m/m author I would step over if I found her lying on the side of the road begging for help. Even if you look the other way, after you’ve experienced any form of digital drama you never forget it.

I’ve seen other authors, editors, and publishers have to deal with digital drama. There was one instance about three summers ago where it started to affect the quality of one editor’s life. And this digtal drama was the same way with them as it was for most people. They never saw it coming and didn’t understand why they were being attacked. The people who fought back learned the hard way there was no way they could win. All the fighting just perpetuated the digital drama, and it garnered even more attention for the person who started the attack. And those who turned and looked in the opposite direction, and didn’t fight back, won out in the end. The drama died down when the attacker realized she wasn’t going to get anywhere.

Of course the people who instigate digital drama always move on to something or someone else. I’ve seen patterns over the years that always remain true to form. But sooner or later everyone catches on and they start to loose credibility. Even those who think they have huge supporters, always wind up looking ridiculous in the end.

In my own small way, I’d like to dedicate this blog post to anyone in the publishing world who has ever experienced a personal or professional attack…digital drama…for no reason. Especially romance authors. Feel free to comment on the thread to get it out and share your experience. I encourage anonymous comments and all will be treated with absolute privacy. I’ve done this before with blog posts about book pirates and I’m still getting comments almost one year later. In other words, this post will always be here to vent. It’s not just for today.