Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly series created by Rukky at Eternity Books and hosted by Aria at Book Nook Bits. The full list of October topics can be found here.
This week’s topic is Can Bloggers Write Whatever They Want?
This is an interesting topic idea! I can’t wait to see what everyone has to say this week.
Can bloggers just write whatever they want? Or are there boundaries they should respect even on their own platform?
I think bloggers are entitled to write whatever they want on their websites and social media. Whether it’s well-received by their audience is another story.
I think the boundaries of posting anything online are common sense: don’t post something you wouldn’t want in the news, don’t post something you wouldn’t want your mom to read, and don’t post a negative review and tag the author unless you’re prepared to deal with those consequences. But as a colleague of mine says: Common sense is not common 😉
If a blogger is called out for something they post, are they obligated to respond?
I don’t think they are obligated to respond because they can choose to operate their website however they wish. They don’t even have to approve comments if they don’t want to. If you have a large platform and partner with various publishers or authors, I think there is an expectation that you would respond to comments and feedback both good and bad. But unless blogging is your job with a contract about how the blog posts will be conducted, I don’t think bloggers have to do anything they don’t want to.
I do think that you can lose credibility as a book reviewer if you regularly post rant-style reviews without anything to back it up. Being mean-spirited just for the sake of it is a turnoff to me, so I generally don’t follow, or end up unfollowing, people who only post about books they dislike and don’t offer legitimate criticisms.
I recently saw someone give an off-the-cuff review of a book they disliked and at the end of the post they revealed what happens on the final page of the book, a surprise ending that was a huge spoiler. I find content like that to be mean-spirited and while that person is entitled to say what they wish, I’m also entitled to choose not to follow them for the same reason.
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