Black and LGBTQ+ authors are reportedly being harrassed on the popular book cataloguing website, Goodreads.
According to a report from the i, authors from different minorities have been subjected to hate in their review sections for their books.
Goodreads, which was acquired by Amazon in 2013, has been subject to criticisms over the years for its lack of moderation and community guidelines that tackle hate speech.
Liara Tamani, a Black author with novels on the site, opened up about receiving an extremely racist review on one of her books. In the anonymous comment, they wrote “stop appropriating white culture” and followed up by saying “I know it’s superior.”
The reviewer also told Tamani to get her “own technology, medicine, literature, music and sports” while also ending their comment with “White Lives Matter.”
But one thing that troubled Tamani was the fact that this review was posted before the book released.
“I got the review before my book even came out – before advanced reader copies even came out. So, you know, nobody had read this book [at the time],” she said.
LGBTQ+ authors have also faced similar instances within their review sections.
Contemporary romance writer, Kris Bryant, opened up to i news about the homophobia she faced.
A reviewer on the website pointed out to Bryant that one of her books was given a one-star review even though it was undergoing edits.
After some digging, Bryant discovered that the reviewer went by the name of Charles and had given the same review to other LGBTQ+ books.
“At that time, Charles had rated 700 LGBTQ+ books with one-star ratings, Byrant explained.
She soon reached out to Goodreads to inform them of what was transpiring and was met with a lacklustre response.
“They said, ‘after taking careful look at the ratings, we found that they did not violate our terms so we won’t be able to take any action against them,” she said.
“I felt like we, the LGBTQIA community, were under attack and Good Reads his behind a policy that was complete bullsh*t.”
Under the Goodreads community guidelines, “hate speech, bigotry, threats and ad hominem attacks are not tolerated.” The rules also tell users to not “misrepresent their identities.”
Goodreads have yet to release a statement concerning the recent issues.