GoodReads is a book review site that was bought by Amazon a while back. It claims to be the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. It’s also rather interesting in that they do not require a person to have actually read a book to review it, and they do not appear to have any consistency of policy at all WRT the enforcement of their own rules as to what posts or comments are considered acceptable.
I received an email that said:
To clarify, Goodreads policy allows users to rate a book as soon as it is listed on the site. We do not dictate on what basis Goodreads members form their personal opinions about a book, so we have no rules about reading the full text of a book before rating and reviewing it. We recognize that not everyone will agree with this policy, but it is one that has worked well for the Goodreads community over time.
Users are entitled to express their honest opinions about the book, even if others feel them to be misguided or wrong. We don’t evaluate a reader’s opinions based on how, when, or why they made a judgement about the work that they read. Given the subjective nature of reviews, it’s hard to designate one review as “wrong” and another “right.” Even if we could, it would be impractical to manually verify the authenticity of every statement made in a Goodreads review, and we have to be consistent in how we apply our policies.
As this review doesn’t break our rules and is a valid expressions of the reviewer’s opinion, we won’t remove it from the site. We also will not consider changing our policy at this time. However, we will make sure to consider your feedback about our review guidelines and the contents of reviews in the future.
The Goodreads Team
They have also banned Vox Day
from GoodReads, and several others associated with him
. There are several other posts in the same time-frame detailing what posts and accounts they’ve pulled, and which similar ones they allowed to stand, all dependent on who the author or editor was who was being attacked. So, if you like “progressive” views, and think that “free speech” means only left-wing voices are heard and all others should be shouted down, and only random rules enforcement that always favor one particular ideology is fine, then GoodReads is the place to go. If you think the rule of law and intellectual consistency is meaningful, then I’d recommend looking elsewhere for book reviews. No idea what the over-under is for me being banned for being associated with Castalia House
, but I’d guess by the end of the year.