May 31, 2013

Armchair BEA: Ethics

Today's topic is the discussion of how to give/receive credit when credit is due, and general guidelines that should be followed. I'm not saying these are rules set in the book or anything, but quite honestly, it's just a way of being respectful towards authors and other bloggers as well.

First of all, even though many of us state that we're merely "expressing our opinions" it DOES NOT mean that we should bash are say anything harmful about the author in reviews. In personal conversations, fine, do what you want, but in commenting or reviewing a book, being bashful upon the book or the author or even the blogger reviewing the book is REALLY rude. Think about it in this context:

  • You're writing a book and after a LONG period of time, it finally gets published. You're nervous but also elated about the fact that people are going to start reading what you have written and bloggers especially will be reviewing it on their blog and perhaps on Goodreads as well. Then on comes along someone who writes directly on their review, or someone who makes a comment, that it was the stupidest/worst piece of crap they have ever read in their lives. Yea. Or...
  • You're new to blogging and have just put up a review/discussion/some other kind of post and you really don't expect a lot of people to read it anyways. It's merely just... up on the Internet! Whoever reads it can read it and you really don't expect much because you're new and haven't really gotten a grasp of anything! Then on comes along someone who tells you your idea is imbecilic/idiotic.
Lesson of the day, always stay respectful even when criticizing! Instead of saying it's stupid, or a piece of crap, maybe give them a piece of advice on how to better since you seem like you're an "expert". What I do when people post rude comments is that I'm sorry they didn't enjoy/like it. Just because someone is rude to you, doesn't mean you have to be rude back. That's the way I see it anyways.

Alas, credit and plagiarism. It seemed to have blown off the rails the past few months with quite a few bloggers talking about plagiarism. I personally have not been involved in it, but I do have a few things to say. Before you take ANYTHING from another blog, think about how that will affect them, and think about how hard they worked to put that review, or design that header. Then you come waddling in and just STEAL it from them. I MEAN, IT'S LIKE TAKING CANDY FROM A KID WHO BOUGHT IT WITH MONEY FROM THEIR LITTLE PIGGY BANK, CRUEL.

You know what you do, you can either quote them, or maybe even ask them nicely before you take things from their blog. Plagiarism is really complicated, and sometimes you take someone else's idea and you're not even aware of it. Maybe you just saw it before and it stayed in your head. I'm not saying that if someone accuses you of plagiarism to always give in, maybe there was just some sort of misunderstanding, right? So be respectful, and work it out together.

I think that's all I really have to say... if you have any other ideas of rules/guidelines/ethics, you can leave them down below in the comments. Or if you just have something to say about what I said, you can comment down below as well! :)


  1. Being respectful of authors and their work is a good thing, but there's also the other extreme, where reviewers are too nice and don't point out any of the problems that a book might have. I feel like that's equally as unfair to readers who are looking at blogs to see if a book is something they might like.

    Great post! :)

  2. Hi Grace, thanks for stopping by. You are right. If a reviewer has problems with the book and they are big ones that actually impact the way the reviewer feels about the book, they should be upfront and at least mention it. That doesn't mean you have to have a negative if you truly enjoyed the book. Sometimes a book hits you in the right way at the right moment and the heavens open.

    A critical review doesn't mean a harsh, nasty, mean, hateful, spiteful or hostile attack has to be launched. It simply means that you are providing a critical review based on your perceptions and your response to the written work. It can be positive and it can be negative but no where is it required to be vicious. (Although there are some readers who love that style.)

    It is possible to present negatives in way that is honest, helpful, and non-hostile. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it very much.

  3. Yes for sure! It's definitely still important to be a critique but also to be staying within constructive criticism!

  4. It's difficult to find the happy medium -- be truthful, but respectful. It takes a lot of thoughts. Some people don't think before they write! Thanks for visiting!

  5. I like that you basically gave a "do unto others" type of example. Great point!

  6. I've asked bloggers before if I could quote them and they are entirely nice and fine with it. It's so important to give credit where credit is due. Great post! :)

    Thanks for stopping by my post!

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  7. Thank you :) It is incredibly important when quoting or just even a general idea to cite the original person.


Please leave a comment down below, anything at all :)