Essay Non-Fiction posted May 10, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level

Fanstory Crisis: It Is Us

by michaelcahill




I read an astonishing work of poetry recently entitled Black Mirrors by our own, Gloria. I recommend you read it. I’m not comparing this piece to hers by any stretch. I mention it as the words, “It is us” stuck in my mind. That was the crux of her piece, no one to blame for the state of world affairs but ourselves.
I’m concerned only with our own little world here at the moment, Fanstory. I’m not an old timer as many are. I don’t recall the good old days. But even at two and a half years of membership I do recall better days, much better days than now.
I understand that simple loss is a factor. Several prominent members are no longer here. It isn’t just their talent we miss either. It is leadership and moral tone we terribly crave to feel surrounding us once again.
To the point. The site has become infested with liars and thieves. This relates directly to reviewing, the life’s blood of what we do here.
The very premise of Fanstory is: I will review your work and you will review mine. It’s the simplest of agreements and utter genius in design. Never has win-win been more plainly manifest.
Judging by what’s been happening here of late, it seems I’m going to have to get very basic and patronizing. Forgive me if I sound insulting, but what’s going on here is an affront and insult to intelligence beyond anything I’ve encountered in my life.
A review is when an individual READS a piece and then makes comments on it offering opinions, potential corrections or simple evaluations based on personal preferences. It is meant to be objective and not prone to biases or beliefs. Just a critique of the writing as pertains to quality and the ability to impart a message. Seems simple, yes?
The site itself sets this forth as a guideline and it is the criterion upon which ALL rewards are based including PAY in the form of member dollars placed on works by authors.
If you aren’t properly reviewing a piece by those simple guidelines, it IS site policy you are NOT to get credit for the review and are NOT to receive benefits.
Sooooo … here’s the question:


Because, I gotta tell you folks I’ve never seen so much bullshit in my life passing for reviews around here.
For God’s sake, there are people writing reviews all over the site without reading a single word of a piece, collecting the money and running to the next
SUCKER to do it again.

“Hey, that was a great piece. You’re the best poet in the world. The Empire State Building is tall and King Kong fell off it. Great job, keep writing!”

“Wow. WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!! Hickory dickory dock. That’s a picture of a clock. Now give me my dough ‘cause I’ve gotta go. Now isn’t that a kick in the …. NEXT!”

“Hi. I didn’t read your piece. But I’m guessing you’re an idiot. So, if I tell you you’re a great writer, you’re stupid enough to get all thrilled and nominate me for a reviewing award. Thanks, moron!”

When did this become a kinky S & M crowd? Damn, you people are into it too. Please, I’ll have another indeed!
I wish I was exaggerating.
That brings me to reviews that are at least written by people who have read the material.
Of course, simply reading the piece doesn’t guarantee a legitimate review.

“The writing was fine, but I don’t like horror. Three stars!”

“You used bad language. I know you put a warning. But I ignored it so I could punish you with a low star rating.”

“This was written to perfection. I loved it! Three stars.”

I’m not exaggerating here in the least, either.
Now, we come to the problem. US. We are the problem. We are allowing these reviews without taking any kind of action. We are REWARDING these kinds of reviewers with recommendations for awards. We are allowing these reviewers to reach the very top of the reviewer rankings.
Is this okay with everybody? It sure seems like it is. I guess it’s nice to be told you’re a great writer even if it is a lie designed to dupe you. Some people don’t mind being made a fool out of publicly I suppose.
What can “US” do? We can stop thanking people for bogus reviews and rewarding them.
We can report people who give you bogus reviews and mute them. Report every single instance and mute every damn one of them. If you don’t mind getting screwed over, how about your friends? Is it okay for them to get screwed over? How about this site that so many of us call our little family? Is it okay if it becomes the laughing stock of the industry? It IS becoming that.

“Hey, have you heard of Fanstory? Whatcha think?”

“Oh. It’s a joke. People don’t even read your work there. They just tell you you’re wonderful and take your money. Don’t waste your time if you want a real review.”

If you’re ready to do something about this, let me know. I sure as hell am and I know others who are too. There’s a few things we can do right away.

1. Mute bogus reviewers.
2. Report bogus reviewers.
3. Do not reward bogus reviewers.
4. Let bogus reviewers KNOW in your response that you are on to them. This is optional. If you’re not up to a confrontation, I understand. Do the other three and it will work out.
5. Feel free to message me with your ideas or post them in the reviewing forum. Remember, we are not allowed to use anyone’s name, so be careful.


Okay. That is my two cents and 1 reviewing point. Thanks for listening. Sorry for the lack of extraordinary wit and personality. I’m pissed. Spend a moment with my profile picture, ya know, for the humour.



As always, I think it looks and reads better in classic, click on the title and be whisked away to days of yore Fanstory Crisis: It Is Us click on title.

I'm serious about doing something. If you wish to help or be a part of it, send me a message. :))

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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