Book Thingo is participating in a review blackout, effective now until Monday, Oct 27. For the duration of the blackout, we will not review or promote new releases. We will also reject all review and promo requests we receive during the blackout.
We are doing this in response to the support that Kathleen Hale has received for stalking a book blogger and then visiting her home address unannounced and calling her at work.
I believe that no evidence has been provided to support Hale’s claims of blogger bullying, and that her stalking and violation of a blogger’s privacy was unethical, as was The Guardian’s willingness to publish Hale’s article without fully presenting the facts.
Some in the media have said that what Hale did was journalism, either investigative (in which she unmasked a bully) or literary (in which she emotively writes about events that occurred). It’s my opinion that The Guardian did not fact-check her work to a standard that would meet the code of ethics for journalism. Included below are links to evidence uncovered by book bloggers that put into question the claims that Hale made against her stalking target. Hale’s piece is neither accurate, nor honest in its methods, and her actions deliberately put another person’s safety at risk.
If you’re a book blogger similarly outraged at the support a stalker has received at the expense of a book blogger, please consider participating.
On the importance of pseudonymous activity by Jane Dear Author — Point by point discussion of Hale’s claims
Shenanigans in social media – An author brags about stalking a reader — Links to original article and summary of contentious claims
Nepotism, bullying and stalking: When online reviews go bad by Danielle Binks, Kill Your Darlings — Summary of Hale’s connections in the literary world
Evidence of Hale’s past behaviour is available through a simple Google search. Also available through simple searching are Hale’s connections to The Guardian and prominent members of the literary community.
Hale vs Harris, and the breach of online ethics by Alex Hurst — Evidence of Twitter interaction between Hale and Harris
Goodreads page showing Harris comments about Hale’s book — Note: I think the original review has been redacted by Harris, but the comment thread gives an idea of her general tone and can be compared with Hale’s claims.
My side of the story… by Nichole, YA Reads — A first-person account from the person who initially gave Hale an address for Harris
Reactions from the media and the literati
This is what happens when an author tracks down a reader in real life by Jenna Guillaume, Buzzfeed — So far the only major outlet that has presented inaccuracies in Hale’s account
Battle of the trolls: Kathleen Hale reveals war raging between authors and readers by Laura Miller, Salon
How not to respond to negative reviews: the Kathleen Hale edition by Nate Hoffelder, The Digital Reader — ‘I went into this with the intention of shedding light on both sides, but this situation is so clearly one-sided that I simply cannot.’
Agendas by Haley Mlotek
Stalker stories, ctd, The Dish
Novelist under fire after admitting to ‘stalking’ critic by Michael Schaub, LA Times
Literary festival hosts New York author, Egyptian News — Kathleen Hale’s validation
Inside the world of Amazon Vine book reviewers: how I ended up with a mailbox full of dog poo by Suzanne McGee, The Guardian — A more general look at the relationship between authors and reviewers, but McGee does say that Hale’s piece was not journalism (at a pinch some of her actions are comparable to ‘the lowest form of tabloid journalism’)
Author stalks blogger, joins long tradition of awful author behaviour by Michelle Dean, Gawker