Monday, March 23, 2015

#RespectArtists

My author buddy J.r. Barker has come up with a terrific idea for a new movement, and I'm happy to take part. She's calling it Respect Artists, and the hashtag is #RespectArtists.

She explained the impetus for her campaign in a post on her blog earlier this month. What got her going was an incident that happened to an artist friend whose work was plagiarized and harassed. The friend ended up removing her work from the internet over the incident.

This is just the latest in a long string of sad stories I've heard about people who have spoken up online about something, or posted creative work somebody didn't like, or -- horror of horrors! -- attempted to game online while female, and who have been called out, insulted, doxxed, and/or lost their livelihood. In some cases, the victims have needed mental health treatment. In other cases, they have taken out restraining orders against their stalkers.

Come on, people -- this is immature behavior. Bullying is bad enough in any context, but the internet makes it easy for people to bully others anonymously. However, that doesn't mean the bullies can't be found. My favorite story along these lines is the one about the Australian game reviewer who got back at the kids -- and they were, by and large, teen boys -- who sent her rape threats by contacting their mothers. Kudos to you, Alanah Pearce, for not letting these kids get away with it.

Any time you create something and put it out there for people to enjoy, you're going to find someone who doesn't like it. And that's okay. That's what makes the world go 'round. If everybody liked the same things, we'd only need one flavor of ice cream -- and how boring would that be, right? But just because you like butter pecan ice cream, it doesn't mean you have the right to make fun of, harass, stalk, or otherwise make life miserable for someone who hates it. And don't think the rules change just because you're hiding behind an avatar.

Okay? Okay. And just for the record, I can't believe we need to have this conversation.

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Speaking of bullies: Just a note that #PublishingFoul month is still going on at Indies Unlimited. We had some trouble with our server earlier this week, but our tech wizards have moved the blog to an amazingly fast server, and now, in the words of K.S. Brooks, "IU be all like BAM!" And she's right -- it is really fast. Stop by and see -- if for no other reason than to read Brenda Perlin's PublishAmerica tale of woe. Talk about a bunch of bullies.

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One other very important thing: In all the excitement in Tucson last week, I forgot to mention here on the blog that Scorched Earth has been nominated for a 2015 BigAl's Books and Pals Readers' Choice Award. Feel free, if you would, to click on the link and give my book a vote. You'll find it in the Fantasy category. While you're there, you should also consider giving a nod to several other authors whose books have been Rursday Reads: Laurie Boris, DV Berkom, and Shawn Inmon come immediately to mind, and I hope I haven't left anyone out.

Two years ago, Seized got skunked for this award by Wool. Last year, Tapped was nominated but didn't win. I'm hoping three's the charm.

Anyway, whatever you can do to help, I'd appreciate it. Voting goes through March 28th until midnight Mountain Time (thanks for the correction, Linda!), but please don't wait 'til the last minute to vote. And thanks!

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These moments of bloggy respect have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.
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