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Author Topic: Goodreads steampunk community poll votes deleted by steampunk author  (Read 3631 times)
Crescat Scientia
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« on: July 09, 2012, 04:12:50 pm »

The book review site Goodreads has lots of reader-led lists, including lots about steampunk books.  It's a great public resource to get recommendations about things to read.

Up to yesterday this Steampunk list had over a hundred books voted on by a large and diverse community of readers and fans.

Yesterday someone using the account of author Evelyn Kriete removed all votes from the list except those of Evelyn Kriete.  This stripped away about 70 books and all information about who and how many voted for each.

There is currently a small uproar going on on Goodreads about it.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 04:20:01 pm by Crescat Scientia » Logged

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Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 04:26:29 pm »

How did a user manage to remove all the books with votes? Was the book listing open to editing by any user?!
~Longeye~
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 04:45:27 pm »

On Goodreads any member may get librarian status with enough books and a simple request.  Anyone may add a book to a list and vote on any book present, but librarian status allows one to edit lists' names and descriptions and which books are on the list.  Removing a book from a list removes all votes from that book.

There are dire warnings which pop up when a librarian tries to remove a book, but they do not prevent the book's removal.

Part of the problem is that Goodreads relies on an army of volunteers, and there is something of an honor system that they will not sabotage each others' work and the work of regular members.  Clearly that failed in this case.

The author in question, or rather her account, removed all books she did not vote for and removed, somehow (I'm still not sure how), all other people's votes on books she did vote for.  Then she changed the name of the list from "Steampunk Must Haves" to "Steampunk."

It should also be noted that she has some relationship to the author of the book she placed as number one on the list, which had not been previously present on the list.
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Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 04:50:03 pm »

Hmm, it might be worth contacting the author in question before jumping to conclusions, and letting her post something in relation to it.
~Longeye~
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 04:53:27 pm »

Indeed.  Something nefarious has certainly been done, but it is well not to jump to conclusions about who did it, or how or why.  Ms. Kriete ought at least to be alerted that her account has been used for this.

It occurs to me that if whoever deleted the votes simply deleted all of the books one by one, then added a personal list of books to the now-empty list, it would look as if Ms. Kriete had voted for those books because her account would be linked to them.

The presence of a book which was not previously on the list may support this theory.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 04:55:49 pm by Crescat Scientia » Logged
Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 04:55:05 pm »

It might not even be her account, fans can sometimes do stupid things because they think it'll help, it's possible someone created an account with her name to do this to gain her attention, or even to damage her reputation....
~Longeye~
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 04:57:58 pm »

It might not even be her account, fans can sometimes do stupid things because they think it'll help, it's possible someone created an account with her name to do this to gain her attention, or even to damage her reputation....
~Longeye~


This is true, but the account is public, in her name, links to her blog, is a year and a half old, and has many "friends" on the site.  It is hardly surreptitious.
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 05:12:14 pm »

I might also add that all books which Evelyn Kriete authored on Goodreads link to this account.  It would certainly seem to be genuinely her profile.

As to whether it was indeed she who used it remains to be seen.  It is to be hoped that some explanation will be proffered.
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Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 05:46:09 pm »

That is pretty damning evidence, I must say :/
~Longeye~
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 06:04:07 pm »

Only that it is truly her account, not that she was the person responsible for this.
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Wilhelmina Frame
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 06:32:11 pm »

I may be jumping to conclusions but there have been other incidents of censorship in other forums that involved "Evelyn Kriete".
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 06:39:32 pm »

I may be jumping to conclusions but there have been other incidents of censorship in other forums that involved "Evelyn Kriete".

Good heavens, have there?

Is there record of this somewhere?
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Wilhelmina Frame
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2012, 06:58:37 pm »

"Evelyn Kriete" is also involved in the facebook "steampunk" page and there have been several incidents of censorship and comment deletion there.
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Dr Fidelius
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 01:26:37 pm »

"Evelyn Kriete" is also involved in the facebook "steampunk" page and there have been several incidents of censorship and comment deletion there.

Now Miss Frame, you know that she is just trying to protect Steampunk from pretenders and false information. She has been on a crusade to keep Steampunk pure for years ("Steampunk" being defined as how she and her consort define Steampunk, nothign more and nothign less).

It must be an incredible burden to be the one, proactive bearer of The Trvth!
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 01:42:29 pm »

I recently reviewed a book on promoting yourself as an author, which had some (IMHO) rather underhand ways to improve your profile.

I can live with the idea of adjusting your books on a bookshop shelves so they face outwards instead of spine-out - and other such suggestions.

But I was less comfortable with detailed descriptions of how to get Amazon to remove reviews you don't like, and trashing your competition in reviews. I guess it's only a short step to "amending" lists as you've described here.
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2012, 02:44:39 pm »

Well this is all most intriguing. The tales of nefarious authors and their unscrupulous wrongdoings indeed. Full of scandal debauchery and sizzling gypsies.

Someone should right a book about it!
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Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2012, 02:55:29 pm »

I did email her to see if she could provide any comment or explanation as to her actions.... no reply, but both delivery and read receptive came back positive.... I'll happily retract this statement if anything changes though.
~Longeye~
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2012, 03:26:39 pm »

May I suggest, if anyone here is a Goodreads member, that they go vote on the Steampunk List, which is rather bereft of votes at the moment?  The highest-ranking book has only four votes.
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Dr Fidelius
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2012, 12:32:15 pm »

I did email her to see if she could provide any comment or explanation as to her actions.... no reply, but both delivery and read receptive came back positive.... I'll happily retract this statement if anything changes though.
~Longeye~

So, how did the request for contact go?
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Augustus Longeye
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2012, 01:35:02 pm »

Still nothing. I've had confirmation of delivery and reading, but I've had no reply. I can't say that strikes me as suspicious after looking through this thread.
~Longeye~
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Wilhelmina Frame
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2012, 06:20:32 pm »

Steampunk Chronicle will be running an op-ed on this. When it runs I will report back.
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Crescat Scientia
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2012, 12:21:22 pm »

Evelyn Kriete has posted an explanation of her actions (A comment at the bottom of the page):

 http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/14814.Steampunk?type=list#comment_53893469

To sum up:  A different user deleted 14 books from the page a few days previously and changed its name.  Site admins did not respond to her request of whether the books and votes could be restored.  To maintain integrity of the list, she deleted the remaining 74 books and all record of the votes to start afresh, unbesmirched.

This is, natheless, against Goodreads policy, not to mention careless of the 167 other voters' work.
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Rockula
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« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2012, 12:47:55 pm »

So, basically what we're saying is it's pointless to use Goodreads for pointers towards reading 'trends' because it's inaccurate and open to abuse without recourse to correction.

Should, of course, you even require a list of other peoples tastes in reading matter in the first place.

I'd rather trust the opinions of people I actually know on Brass Goggles when they post in the 'What Are You Reading' thread anyway. It's turned out to be a pretty good gauge.
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2012, 03:53:09 am »

She took her ball and went home?? 
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2012, 05:46:33 pm »

"Evelyn Kriete" is also involved in the facebook "steampunk" page and there have been several incidents of censorship and comment deletion there.

Oh good, yet another reason to detest Facebook!
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