On Opinions and Freedom of Speech


**I apologize to any booktubers & bloggers and other personnel if I offend

Freedom of Speech - the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint

In the United States we pride ourselves on our right to speak our minds, yet I can't help but consider all the ways that it doesn't hold true in life. In school. In work. In public. In politics. You may not be arrested unless you threaten lives, but there are other ways to restrain what people say, and I still view that as infringing on our right to express our opinions. And apparently on social media. And possibly on our own blogs. I'd be lying if I said I'm not afraid of this post I'm writing right now. I'm afraid of the backlash, but this post is something I need to say. But isn't it a sad day when I need to be hesitant to post on my own blog? It's my personal place to share my opinion. 

I've always been an opinionated person. Never afraid to share my thoughts and views with others, I learned my lesson pretty quickly in the bookish community to stay out of conflicts... or so I thought.

What prompted this post? On Monday night, a blogger friend of mine tweeted some comment about booktube. She said something like "I wish blogs got as much traffic as booktube." Although I tend to agree, I would never respond to such a tweet for fear of the response to my unfavored (but honest) opinions. It was late at night, and I obviously wasn't thinking clearly because I did respond. And then she, another blogger, and I started discussing booktube in general. I explained my weariness for the top tier booktubers because some of them are paid by publishers to promote books. Some even admit to being paid to do promos for books they personally hated! I thought it was sort of unethical... I just don't know how I can trust their opinions when it might be swayed. I'd be weary in any situation where the critics could be swayed. Then we discussed how from what we've seen we weren't much impressed by the reviews. I mourned how from what I've seen booktubers do lots of flailing and savvy camera shots and angles for their reviews and not much actual content. I thought in my own opinion that the reviews I've seen (for the most part) weren't impressive or impactful. I've read so many blog posts and reviews that have moved me to tears or made me yearn to pick up a book. The booktube videos I've seen does neither of that for me. A booktuber who was reading the thread left a sassy tweet basically shaming us for our opinions. I was shocked. I thought I had the right to share my opinions (and honestly, who cares what I think?). I realized it sounded like I was generalizing and I was totally disappointed in myself for hurting so many people, so I apologized. And I meant it. 

Pandemonium ensued, the booktube community lashed back. Discussions and debates started happening, people reflected on the BEA conflicts and past conflicts, #booktubelove sprouted. I couldn't apologize enough. Of course booktubers are spinning this now to say that all bloggers "hate" on booktubers and it's never the other way around (when it goes both ways and hate is too strong of a word to use). Nova from Out of Time wrote a great clarifying response to a video about this conflict that I'd like to link to here. I feel horrible knowing that bloggers have been wrongly roped in to my opinions. They are individual people with their own personal thoughts. What I say has no reflection on them whatsoever, and I am deeply angered that my fellow bloggers are getting crap for what I said. I don't hate booktube. I love any medium that spreads the love of books. I just don't agree with some of what I see on booktube. And it shouldn't matter to anyone but myself. As if that weren't enough, I got hateful tweets and DMs. One DM threatened my life. And this is where I draw the line. This is where the reflection comes.

I'm saddened and shocked to realize that we don't live in a world where we can share our thoughts and opinions without fear of being misjudged or mistreated. I don't know why people care what my thoughts and opinions are. That's just what they are, my opinions. I shouldn't have to censor for anything or anyone, yet we live in a world where that has become necessary. It's wormed it's way into every place I've ever felt comfortable. I used to love Twitter, but now I doubt everything. Because I chose to speak my mind, the bookish community went into retaliation and spit back hateful things. Because I chose to speak my mind, I see that people are disappointed in me. Because I chose to speak my mind, I'm more nervous and afraid than ever to be myself. Because I chose to speak my mind, I don't feel comfortable in the community at all and I never will feel fully comfortable again.

91 comments:

  1. I will only address the issue of freedom of speech in this case.

    I remember reading from your collaboration with Mishma and you saying something along the lines of staying neutral. And I totally respect that. Because lets face it, on the internet often nothing translates correctly. Sarcasm doesn't process with the same effect, neither does sass. And sadly, personal opinions. You are you. And your entitled to an opinion. I won't comment on what your opinion was, that's yours to have. My personal stance on what I put on my social media accounts is what I choose and same goes with you. Now if you choose to have this conversation then you can have it. It shouldn't matter if people can read it or not, the implications of what you say shouldn't affect others (i have no memory of much of what was said but based on what you've written here, if you weren't defaming then well, this is your opinion). To say that you aren't allowed to share your opinion on social media where things are public is insanity. And to the argument of "don't say what you wouldn't irl online", well tbh guys I think we've all sad much worse irl ok. Quite frankly I feel like saying ANYTHING at this point is much safer and HEALTHIER to say irl nowadays because one to one discussions and something about eye contact can often diffuse the AFTER effects of these "events". Saying that by having your conversation in a public domain will "influence" your readers, their subscribers, is bull imo. It can get you thinking but quite frankly, I'm sure we can all figure out our own right and wrong and what we agree with and what we don't. You're not running for president (and tbh lol I'm sure politicians have said much worse), you're not a public figure (although I've been debating this thought for a while, the public figure stuff. No one jump on me and quote that line, not sure how I still think of that), you have an opinion, you can share it. Don't defame or do anything illegal and your goooooooooood.

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    1. If only I had followed my collab post suggestion as I normally do... I think we can agree we've all said much worse irl than through the Internet. Isn't it sad that we have to be so weary though? It's totally true that social media and any non-physical/non-hearing type of discussion can't capture everything speech can. I think since it's written text, it's much easier to be looser with your tongue than you'd normally be around some people. That's probably why more people are heckled over the Internet than in person. Granted more people have access to you via the web than in person, but I know for a fact that no one would say such insults and remarks to my face. I am no celebrity, I am no big blogger. I do not have a dominion where I rule what is right and wrong in the world. I share my opinion, and I do not attempt (and just plain DO NOT) affect my readers and followers in such a way. No one does! We all have our own opinions formed already. I don't aim to change anyone's, and they shouldn't try to change mine either.

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  2. Rachel, this is touching. Like you're the second blog I've seen write about this issue. Ok to start I think you know I do both booktubing and blogging. I first started with blogging so some may say I have a soft spot for it, but I try to conjure the same content quality from my blog into my booktube channel so that my viewers don't think I'm here for free books. I'm totally not because on my own, I can buy like 4 hardcover books on just one Barnes & Noble trip. And that's 60 dollars or more right there on books. I'm not saying i'm on anyone's side but I definitely think you had a right to voice your opinion but people were allowed to argue with it as well. I hope that this issue is revolved and that booktubers don't think they are more powerful or popular or even do more influence than bloggers. It's just wrong to think that way since we're all here for a common love and interest-- our love for books. It shouldn't be this way and anyone who thinks that way shouldn't be involved in the book world where of course people want to share their love really badly. Love u gurl and ur so strong for writing this post. :D <3

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

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    1. Hi dear! I hope you know personally that I mean no disrespect towards you at all! I freaking LOVE YOU. I definitely agree that people can argue with it. They took it too far though (or maybe we did by even having such a conversation). The response was more of a "How dare you?!" There was not calm arguing, it was just "This is all wrong, and you're ridiculous. If you have something to say then take it to the DMs."

      "we're all here for a common love and interest-- our love for books."
      I totally agree with this statement! I want to love booktube, and in general I really do. I love any type of medium that promotes reading. What I don't agree with is some of the aspects of booktube I see. :/

      Love you too, girl! Thank you, it was hard but I thought I needed to get it off my chest.

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  3. First off, I will always be on Team Rachel.

    And second, you were having a conversation about your own opinion, and that DOESN'T ENTAIL threatening DMs or the generalizing of ALL book bloggers. People (and yes the book tubers involved), just can't seem to let it go. Plus no way in hell is this one sided. Some book bloggers bash on book tubers. Some bash on book bloggers. People just have different interests and OPINIONS. Ugh, I'm so sad this whole situation is causing you to be scared to voice your own opinions. LIKE DID IT CROSS ANYONE'S MIND to just tweet something like "Hey just letting you guys know that what you're saying isn't true...blah blah" BUT NO they had to make a HUGE DEAL out of one conversation (emphasis on your own conversation) and basically pin all the blame on you.

    Gah. Sorry, I'm just not happy about this development at all. Especially the part where either people are staying quiet on which side they're on because they don't want to get hurt. I'm really glad that you decided to post this, because there are so many of those Blogging vs. Booktube videos going on that are just pinning all the blame on book bloggers.

    Good for you for posting this Rachel. You are incredibly brave, and I will defend you until the end of time.

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    1. Thanks so much, Val <3

      That's another point that annoys me. I feel so bad that people have decided that because I felt this way, all bloggers must! It's simply not true. I do not speak for everyone, I speak for myself (and hardly even that at this point).

      I am staying so far away from YouTube because I know these videos will only hurt me. I feel incredibly horrible about the backlash bloggers are having. I totally understand why some wouldn't want to share their true opinions though. I admire you so much for being so bold in your own statements. Thank you so much for being so kind and funny and supportive in such a time like this. This is when you find out who your real friends are in the world <3

      Awww thank you, Val!! *sniffles*

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  4. Oh Rachel. Hugs, SO many hugs. I have so much to say. So much. In fact, my discussion for tomorrow may be preempted, because I am so mad for you, on SO many levels.

    First and foremost, you did nothing wrong to begin with. Bottom line. You stated an opinion to a friend in a conversation. And now, look, I am doing the same. My opinion is, you were not in the wrong. AND when you noticed that someone's feelings were hurt, you did the mature thing and apologized that you'd hurt their feelings. I know you enough to know that you absolutely were being genuine, you'd never intentionally hurt someone!

    The backlash was so over the top it made me almost laugh-at first. I mean, everyone tweeting about booktube love or whatever... fine. Do you. But then it gets messy. THEN people started attacking you PERSONALLY and that is never, ever okay. You never threatened anyone, you never harassed anyone. Actually, THEY sought YOU out! You never tagged ANYONE in the conversation, never even imagined anyone would see it!

    True story- I am not a fan of booktube myself. It just isn't my thing. I don't hate booktubers or whatever, but I don't choose to watch it because like you said, I don't feel invested in it like I do with blogs. So... that's called an opinion! You and I and everyone else is free to have one and share one as long as we're not saying threatening things.... oh wait. Someone broke that rule, and it WASN'T YOU.

    I just want you to know how supported you are. (Val and I wanted to create #TeamRachel, but we didn't want you to get any more backlash- but we totally say it to each other!) Everyone knows how lovely you are, and yeah, you have opinions- and that's what makes you YOU!

    As for the death threat- that person should be so ashamed to threaten a young woman on the internet... I have no words. That person is a coward, and if you EVER don't feel comfortable, please don't hesitate to tell someone in like, a law enforcement position. That is NOT okay. EVER. I thought we'd covered this with the 7 THOUSAND other asinine death threats/stalking incidents, but apparently, people don't understand that it is not only an awful thing to do, but it's illegal.

    Sorry for the novel comment! I just have so much to say, and want you to know that we love you and are here for you! I am so, so proud of you and of this post! <3

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. So many hugs <3

      I would NEVER hurt someone on purpose. I'm still baffled that people even cared what I said. Whenever I apologize, I mean. I wouldn't say it otherwise. And what more can I really do besides apologize? You can only apologize so many times, and if they don't want to hear it, then they won't!

      That's another point!! People who called us out were not mentioned or acknowledged at all. Why read the thread?! What ever... I just can't even express my confusion and dismay at this point. The cocky and sassy behavior I've seen from them in light of this is horrifying. I tried to apologize and did I ever get a single acknowledgement from any of them that they cared for the apology or were even looking for one? NO. They just wanted to react without responding to me. They wanted to talk about it on Twitter and make it a big deal without talking to me. It's so backwards in my mind, I can't even think about it without being angry.

      I watch very little booktube. I'm still searching for my niche, my favorite channel. I keep drifting and haven't found it yet. I also just don't have the patience to watch these videos sometimes. Depends on the mood I guess.

      Awww #TeamRachel is so sweet of you!! I wouldn't want people to choose sides though, I know some wouldn't want to either. The notion makes me love you gals even more <3

      The death threat shocked me so much. This person has been reported and blocked. I can't believe someone took it that far though.

      This comment means so much to me, thank you <3

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  5. I do think it's okay to share your opinion and I actually agree with you. However, it bothers me when people who get backlash for their opinion say they have no freedom of speech. First of all, and I do mean this very respectfully, the only thing freedom of speech means is that the Government can't arrest you for your opinion. That's it. Here is what I always say: everyone has the freedom of speech. They just don't have freedom of consequences from it. For example, you have every right to tell your boss you hate them. And they have every right to fire you. But unless you were arrested, your freedom of speech was not violated. And again, even though I agree 100% with your comments regarding booktubers, I would ague that booktubers have a right to express their opinion as well, don't they? I mean, if you are expressing a somewhat negative opinion of them, don't they also have a right to call you out on it? Don't back down from your opinion though. You didn't do anything wrong with expressing your opinion, but they also didn't do anything wrong with expressing theirs. That is just my opinion. :)

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    1. I'm not saying I have no freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is expressing your opinion without fear of restraint or censorship. I'm feeling both right now. Just because I won't be thrown in jail does not mean people are trying to push down my opinion.

      I agree, everyone has the right to express their opinions. I don't agree with the way they decided to go about it, and never have I received an apology for all the hate directed at me even though I've apologize so many times over and personally DMd my followers I know to be booktubers to say sorry. Our expressions were one of musings as friends, their's was one of attack (or that's how I see it). They wouldn't even reason or talk to us when we tried to apologize. Just the brush off. I think both of our behaviors were left wanting at the moment.

      Unfortunately I don't think I'll be expressing my opinion on social media for a long time coming. I fear the consequences as you've mentioned, and I'm honestly just disappointed.

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    2. I do agree Rachel that people can try to censor you without actually arresting you. I think maybe I misunderstood. I thought you were just upset because someone reacted to your opinion. It wasn't until I read some of these comments that I realized how extreme the backlash was. I think someone mentioned a death threat? Whatever hate was directed at you was out of line. Yes, people have a right to disagree with you and yes, they have a right to express that disagreement. But it's crazy that people took it so far. I am sorry that you feel you cannot express your opinion on social media. Unfortunately, I think people feel they can hide behind twitter handles or whatever and they say things in an argument they would NEVER say in real life. Just so you know, I love your blog and I do follow you on Twitter. Even if I don't agree with something you say, I still respect your opinion. :)

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    3. The backlash was pretty extreme. I totally understand where you're coming from, but my reaction in general is just the musings to how we must be VERY careful what we say and how we should never be shamed for our opinions. It just baffles me how people translate 5 tweets and branch it out into saying I HATE booktube (never said that), booktubers don't work hard (never said that), booktubers don't deserve arcs (never said that), etc...

      Oh yes, a death threat left quite an unsavory taste in my mouth :( I agree that we were both at fault, me for thinking I could share that opinion, and them for a most brutal response.

      Thank you Cynthia, that menas so much to me!! I respect your opinion as well and I thoroughly enjoy your blog :)

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  6. Oh Rachel, it's a bunch of crap. You and the other bloggers SHOULDN'T have been targeted or "shut down" or told to "take it to DMs" because you were saying YOUR OPINIONS that someone didn't like. For one, that's censorship "take it to DMs, I don't want to hear it". No. That's not okay under any circumstances. The fact that one of the reasons you were told to take it to DMs was "A lot of booktube's hurt" is crap, people are going to get hurt. They just are. And yeah, it sucks and yeah, it's unfortunate, but it happens and you get over it. Especially if it's just over social media.

    The fact that another reason you were told to take it to DMs being "Someone may come across this and generalize all booktube as bad" is stupid. If a person comes across an opinion and suddenly takes that opinion as FACT without LOOKING into it themselves, then God, they seriously have more issues than I can think of at this moment. Especially since like you said it was "YOUR" opinion, you can't help it if others feel the same way about it.

    I hate that you're now afraid to share your opinions because of all this drama. That sucks and it's not fair at all. Especially not on your own Twitter, especially not on your blog.

    I'm just so annoyed at the whole backlash of it all.

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    1. I feel so bad that people got hurt and I TRIED to apologize, but people don't want to hear it. I just want to know what they want me to do now... I'm still peeved about the take it to the DMs part. Everyone has an opinion on booktube and we were the only (possibly foolish) ones to share it in the open. Is our brutal honesty and OPINION too much for some people? I guess so... And I tried to apologize. Loads of times actually.

      Everything we say can be looked at as a generalization. And anyone who tells me what I say is generalizing is wrong because only I know what I meant to say and it wasn't a generalization. It's from what I'VE seen. I know right?! We aren't naive sycophants who will believe anything someone says. We have spines and opinions.

      It's sad, and I wish I could "girl up," but I can't. I've been so beaten down by this, my mental state is seriously cracking. I'll probably start having nightmares about this, no joke. :/

      I love my blog and I will continue to do it. I just need to be VERY careful with what I say.

      Thanks for being awesome, dear <3

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    2. *butting in because this is twitter nowwww*

      to be honest, i noticed one girl who was giving you a full on lecture about the booktube thing. that person was so out of line and i'm like *blocks* i have no patience for people who think they're allowed to tell someone off and THEN control what they say. sorry, this is my space and i'm allowed to say whatever i want. yes, i have to deal with whatever happens next but to tell me to "take it elsewhere" is you stepping on my toes.

      really, i would block ALL the people who say s! to me because it's not worth dealing with people like that.

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    3. I was really shocked because that person was kind of a friend too...

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  7. I don't understand this. I totally agree with you on this Rach, and WE'RE ALL BEHIND YOU. People are just overestimating the drama than they should. It's ridiculous. I don't blame you on speaking out your opinion. I mean, IT'S OKAY. Say what you believe because that's the right thing to do. But it's so wrong if people don't know how to handle criticism well. So what if one person thinks that booktubers get compensated and more well-known than bloggers -- that doesn't give a good excuse for the other to take it as hate and hurt the other. I mean, sure they have the freedom of speech, thus the freedom to criticize, but sometimes people's freedom may end up hurting others :(

    This is so sad. Can't people just move on? Respect people's opinions? FORGET?

    And don't worry about being afraid to share your opinion. I know I am, but sometimes it's always good to do what you think is right for you, which is to say what you believe in :)

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    1. Thank you, Jillian <3 Why yes, the dramas llama has reared it's head once again. And now people are made about the fandom thing that Stiefvater & Clare were talking about and also that plagiarism test by someone... What a mess...

      This is my opinion, and I hate that it's caused such trouble for people. I wish to move on, after writing this post, I hope I can! Everyone can criticize, please be subjective and respectful of it. I DID apologize a thousand times over. No need for a dead threat and mean DMs...

      Shake it off, shake it off! ;) Thanks, my dear <33 I'll definitely be sharing opinions on the blog, Twitter might be too much for me right now.

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  8. #TeamRachel forever and always because I am seriously fed up with everything that happened. I know we've talked about this, but I just wanted to reiterate: please don't ever silence your voice. Don't. Sure, would DMing have been better? Probably. But does that mean you and the bloggers you were talking to should feel afraid to share an opinion publicly? NO! We've all done it; we've all made mistakes and hastily tweeted about things. Caution is good. Filtering is good. But silencing your voice completely? Never good! To an outsider, those tweets hurt people's feelings and made them feel awful about their videos. That's okay, too. Their feelings matter on the subject. But what wasn't okay was how it all blew up and how you and other people became scared to share YOUR OPINION on a public platform that is YOUR space. I wish you weren't getting such backlash for this, as trust me, MANY people share your opinions (and those of the bloggers who were tweeting about it) and are sick of the hate going around on book bloggers right now (oh oops, I'm generalizing, sue me) because of it.

    Here's where I, personally, draw the line at tweeting about major things publicly. I ask myself this question: Will this hurt people? I've potentially hurt one of my favorite author's feelings before, and I NEVER want to do that again to someone. It is an awful, awful feeling. I do have the absolute right to my opinion, and Twitter is MY safe space to vent out frustrations. But I'd like to think I now know when to be more careful about what and how I say things on there. Because like what happened Monday, tweets are misconstrued and feelings are hurt and people respond viciously.

    I want you to know that there are many people backing you, even if they haven't said it publicly. I think the reason so many bloggers are staying quiet is because they don't want to receive backlash too (which I've heard from several people). And I know many others who are now fearful of sharing their opinions on Twitter, and that is so NOT okay. It hurts me to know people are being quiet like this, but maybe it's for the best. I'd like for this to die down, and I would LOVE it if bloggers and booktubers can find a peaceful solution and for the tension to go away. I just wish people would realize that the blame cannot be put on one sole person or on one side of the book community.

    And lastly, I'm a DM away if you ever want to talk. <3

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    1. I don't want to silence my voice at all. I'm definitely voicing it for books, but for the time being at least, I need to steer clear of the next few issues lest I offend anyone. I can't mentally or physically take another hit like this again. I hate how it affects me, and I can't allow myself to be bulldozed again. DM is my new BFF (besides you, of course) ! Really? I had no idea there was such a response to the backlash... This is both heartwarming yet sickening since I've caused some of it. :0

      This is such good advice. I think I might use this every time I tweet now. Thank you, my dear <3 I'm going on vacation in TEN DAYS, and I can't get wait to get away for a while. Oh dear, it could NOT have come at a better time than this. I agree with everything you're saying! My head is getting dizzy from all this nodding ;)

      Awww this makes me really secretly (or not) happy. I felt at first like it was me against the community, and it is a SCARY thought. Everyone is entitled to say what they want to say (or not say), and I can't blame them for wanting to sit out. I feel like peace between bloggers and booktubers is far off, but hopefully not attainable.

      Thank you again for everything, hun!! <3

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  9. I'm trying to say this nicely, but freedom of speech does not mean you can say whatever you want and not receive consequences. It just means the government can't arrest you for speech or opinions. So you had the right to post your opinion, and all of these booktubers had the right to respond and criticize you. Sucks, but that's not a violation of Freedom of speech. It's a big pet peeve of mine when people use that as an argument.

    I agree that the backlash was ridiculous, though, and it felt insulting to see videos saying that it was the blogging communities fault. When I typed in booktube vs book blogging in the google search bar to see where the drama came from, all I could find were a bunch of vlogs talking about why booktubing was superior. So I think it's really wrong to try to make it seem like only book bloggers are bitter and angry.

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    1. I respect your opinion, and I totally see how you view it this way! Maybe I am pulling the freedom of speech card, but this is just how I view freedom of speech, my right to express what I want without fear of people trying to censor me. That's what my main problem was. The overwhelming tweets and DMs telling me that my opinion is wrong and that I'm not allowed to/nor should I say anything I did. I think everyone interprets this right a bit differently. That's what makes it such a rich discussion point.

      I feel horrible knowing that MY decisions helped cause this. I know so many bloggers who are really sweet and nice people who would never lift a finger against booktube. I feel bad that they're roped into this. It's ironic how some of the videos claim they want to "discuss" when really they sometimes blatantly say booktube is better. They're fueling the flames now (when I was told to stop) and making this problem even bigger than it already was. And the sad part is that some of them are proof of what I've said about a vast minority of booktubers.

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    2. Yeah, I think people threatening you is wrong, and some of the tweets I saw in response to you were just mean and overreacting. Like, okay you were offended, but that doesn't make it okay to be rude. I don't think you had to take it to DM, because you had the right to say your opinion. If they were so mad, they also had the right to take it DM and discuss it. It works both ways.

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    3. Thank you!! This is the perfect example of a discussion done right between us. We're both sharing our opinions without hate, and we see both sides. We (the responders & I) both made mistakes, and once we realize that and work through it, we can move on.

      I can only apologize so many times and most of the mean and overreacting responses would refuse to acknowledge me and my apologizes. Instead of working through it together, they took it to the community and made it blow up.

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  10. I know you can't see me, but I just wanted you to know that I'm giving you virtual hugs and chocolate right now. Also I'm nodding my head along to your post.

    You did absolutely NOTHING wrong. Okay, maybe it might've been better to have that conversation in private messages instead, but we all have the right to express our opinion, so you're still in the "right" zone! What's NOT right is how people treated you after everything.

    I understand having the #booktubelove hashtag, and that's actually a lovely thing to do, but attacking you PERSONALLY, by sending you hate when you didn't do anything but say your thoughts out loud? What the fuck, what happened to humanity!? They had absolutely no right to do that! The worst part is that you weren't saying anything bad about anyone in particular, and they were attacking just *you* in particular.

    The way they responded to you was just so immature and completely tactless. Why should they give a crap if *one* person isn't on their side? Isn't it like what they (and we) say to authors? Don't publish something to the universe if you're afraid of hate. The people who attacked you are huge hypocrites.

    Fuck what haters think. Just know that there are people here who absolutely love you and respect your opinions. :) <3 (In fact, Faye and I were talking about this incident and we were 100% on your side!)

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    1. Aww thanks hun! Hugs and chocolate are both things I really like, along with, well, YOU <3

      Yes, I definitely should have switched to DM to begin with! I think we just got carried away... I know I wasn't expecting anyone to share my opinion, and it just snowballed from there.

      I love what the #booktubelove is doing for the community, I just don't like the fact that so much negativity had to be the start. We start up #bloggerlove whenever just BECAUSE, we don't need drama or negativity to start it...

      I thought it was pretty tactless. I tried to apologize and just got sassed or ignored or basically told to shut up. I think Twitter does definitely make us bolder. I believe I would have shared my opinion in person with people, yet I don't think they'd respond the same way they did online. Oh gosh, the hypocrisy makes me laugh and cringe at the same time.

      Awww thank you, Aimee!! <33 You and Faye are so spectacular, no words can fully capture how wonderful you two are. Honestly I was most afraid that my blogger friends and followers would be angry with me and hate me... This is so reassuring to see it's not that way.

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  11. Oh no. I haven't been on social media for awhile, but when I came back, there was this whole blogger vs vlogger thing.

    I was totally saddened by what I've read from your post, and I do agree that you have a right to your own opinion. Honestly, I did not think you were generalizing, because from what I've seen, you used the words "videos that I've watched." So, honey, people who think you are, well, they're wrong. And I think everyone has a right to their own opinions, be it good or bad. You shouldn't have to apologise for saying what you really thought.

    I honestly think you're not to be blamed. I just think that the vlogger girl who gave a sassy comment should have just discussed it with you, instead of blowing it up. If I see someone saying negative things about bloggers, I would have debated with the person, maybe let them see the good side of blogging.

    Like I said, you shouldn't have to apologise for your opinions. And those people who've been sending you hateful messages, my God, that is going way over the line. Sometimes I am appalled by this community.

    Stay strong, Rachel. <3 You have a lot of friends who would help you out, if you ever needed some help, okay?

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    1. Hi hun, thank you so much for your comment!

      It's saddening because we weren't even trying to start a conflict. It was just an honest discussion that we thought no one would care about. Who cares what we think?! They claim we have influence over others, but I think everyone has their opinion already, what we say won't change that. I could see why some people thought I was generalizing, so I apologized profusely. I got no response from any of them.

      The vlogger didn't even acknowledge me and my apology! She just went along subtweeting and tweeting about the event, riling everyone up without talking to me. We could have worked through it and I could have clarified, but she wasn't having any of that.

      Sending hate tweets and DMs is wayyy too far. Thanks so much, hun! You're too kind <3

      Delete
  12. I'm always proud of anyone who stands by what they say, especially when they face turbulence like you did. (In other words, good job being you!) I've grown acquainted with some booktubers, and they seem a very nice group, but it's definitely a lot different from blogging as far as the method of transmission goes.
    I hope whoever sent the death threat thinks long and hard about the implications of sending it- it's never okay to make someone feel scared, even if you disagree vehemently with them. The internet isn't really a safe place (honestly, it has never been), but to have crap like that going within a book-loving community is awful.
    Hope this all clears up soon, and stick to your guns- once you lose your opinion, you lose your voice.
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. Thank you, Litha! I'm always one to stand up for what I believe even if I know others might disagree. It was never my intent to insult or hurt anyone though. I know some very nice booktubers yet I know some who aren't very nice. Same goes for all groups and types of people! Some are nice, some aren't. I hope the person who sent the death threat thinks very carefully next time too. The person was reported and blocked for sure. I feel awful for sort of starting this hate in the community. It's always been there and I think discussion and peace is needed, but as long as we just evade the issue it'll never be solved.

      Thank you for leaving such a thoughtful comment! Thanks for the words of wisdom too, I'll definitely keep that in mind.

      Delete
  13. I read your tweets before they were deleted and I was having a conversation with someone via text message about the whole incident quoting exact things you and other bloggers said that were being taken out of context. And I was getting so mad. I've actually unfollowed at least five people since all of this happened because they just seemed to want to cause drama, not try to have a discussion, but actually cause or stir up drama. Also the whole unethical for promoting and talking up content that you didn't like thing just reminded me reviewers who take money for reviews and how we bloggers feel about that. Please don't feel like you ever have to silence what you have to say.

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    1. I want to be clear that I didn't delete the tweets because I felt ashamed by them. I saw how it was just fueling to the flames and getting more people mad, so we decided to take them down. I've heard of the reviews being propositioned to be paid for reviews, I know many who have vehemently refused and were insulted by such a thing. I can definitely see how my tweets could be taken out of context. It was just a mess. Thank you so much!

      Delete
  14. We all have the right to our own opinion, to discuss thoughts openly without the fear of backlash. But there's also knowing that you're in the public eye and knowing that a misplaced comment could be mistaken for something that it's not - which happens a lot in social media these days. I've seen drama sparked over a tiny comment that was okay - when given context - but when interpreted differently, could be a cause for war. No one deserves to be abused for having their own opinions, and it's so easy to see a "panem strike up" over something someone else said - because like Chinese Whispers, things are going to get so distorted down the track that of course people are going to want to say something in return.

    I am so conscious of this fact, that I utilise the "Delete" button a lot on social media. I think about things I've said, about what I'm putting out there, and think about how they can be misconstrued differently.

    I don't think it was ever your - or other bloggers' intention to harm anyone or to put down booktubers. We're all in this together, as book lovers, and of course you would be more passionate about your own medium.

    I don't think there's anyone to blame. I'm just sad that there needed to be a war over it. *hugs Rach*

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    1. I feel really bad for the drama this sparked again. I think this has been brewing for a while (this tension between bloggers and vloggers), and I'm genuinely sorry for causing an uproar in it. I will definitely be much more conscious of what I tweet. I'm starting to keep it very book related or about my life. No more opinions from me! it's sad to do it, but I don't think I could survive much more backlash such as this.

      *hugs* Thanks dear <3

      Delete
  15. I'm so sorry this all happened to you! I missed most of this happening and reading this just makes me so sad. I wish we could all get along. To send you hate DMs and threats? I hope I'm not following any of those people. Just awful. I can't imagine how that's made you feel. I'm so sorry this all happened *big hug*

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    1. I wish we could get along, and I'm sorry that my opinion caused more discord. I wasn't trying to bash, just sharing an opinion. Some people took it a different way though, and for that I am truly sorry. Hate DMs and tweets and a threat is not the response I felt was deserved. I checked prior to blocking and reporting the person, you and my friends were not following the person!

      Thanks Kristen *HUGS*

      Delete
  16. Rachel, just want to let you know that I have your back, one hundred and one percent. You did nothing wrong. You were talking to friends about your opinion on a determined number of videos you have watched, weren't even naming or talking about anybody in particular, weren't even SHAMING anybody, and how it's just not your thing. While anybody has the right to react however they wish, they did not have the right to attack you, send you hate messages, and threaten your life over such a petty, ridiculous thing. If anything, this only reflects their attitude, not yours. You apologized for offending them, and yet, they continue to bash you in return AND THAT IS NEVER, FUCKING EVER OKAY.

    I'm disappointed in this situation. I'm disappointed in the backlash you have received and in the people who reacted in such an extreme way that it has caused you undue emotional harm and stress. I've always been an advocate of both - booktube or book blogging, heck even bookstagram ot booklr- and that will never, ever change, but seeing what happened to you really crushed my spirit and made me wonder what good is a community if it stomps on others in order to feel better about themselves.

    All communities have their bad apples. All communities have people who prefers a specific platform only, and that's okay. Everyone can discuss civilly, like mature adults, and they can even debate for all I care. That's how discernment and dialogue works. But what happened was simply unnecessary drama that could have been avoided.

    My sincerest wish is for this to die down, for everyone to see what went wrong in this situation, and make efforts to make amends. That is how we grow and learn. I know I learned from this. You learned from this. Let's hope everybody else - blogger, booktuber, whatever - has, too.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Thank you so much, Faye! I was honestly a bit scared that I had offended you, as I know you want to start vlogging. I will always support you and have your back just as you have mine. You are the sweetest <3

      I was just talking to friends about it, we didn't acknowledge or @ anyone! That is not a direct threat or hate towards a booktuber, nothing like the hate directed at me. I still can't believe how much shaming I got for my opinion. It's just that, MY opinion, and no one should care if it is different from theirs.

      I'm pretty disappointed in people's response as well, yet I've found out through this experience who my real friends are and it warms my heart to see that so many of you stand by me for expressing my thoughts. I don't like to think I'm emotional fragile or anything, but the backlash was really starting to crack my protective shield. I couldn't stop thinking about this for so long, but I'm learning to let it go bit by bit. I advocate everyone sharing their opinion and doing it however they so choose. I was just trying to share some concern over things I had noticed and such. I didn't mean to bash if that's what some people saw it as!

      I think healthy discussion is good, the minute people go into attack and shame you for your thoughts and opinions and say YOU'RE WRONG, that's when you nothing something is not right. Everyone has the right to their own opinion and they shouldn't have to be afraid of people's response.

      I know this will die down eventually, I'm just sad that bloggers are getting dragged through this and roped with my views because that's not true. Just because I'm a blogger with these thoughts doesn't mean all bloggers do. I know I've learned from this too! I sure hope others have as well...

      Delete
  17. First of all, I'm so sorry this happened to you Rachel. -hugs-

    Honestly, this isn't the first time I've seen all this hate and backlash on unpopular or "wrong" opinions. Yes, some opinions may be hurtful. Yes, some people/opinions may be misinformed or misguided. That doesn't give you the right to send the person hate messages, call them names, or bully them over it. What, exactly, will that accomplish besides making the person who sent all that hate look bad? It certainly won't change your opinion - instead, it'll probably reinforce it even more.

    As for the "take it to DMs" thing, my question is why? Someone asked for other people's opinion on a subject and you guys answered with your HONEST opinion. It's like taking a survey, only your results are posted out there for everyone to see. I can understand - and I definitely urge people to - take conversations to DMs if they turn to talking about one specific person or a group of people and naming their names, but here, you are just giving out your opinion on a subject. Sure, the people involved in the said subject may not like it and be hurt, but that's what all this is, an OPINION. If I was in their position, I'll take it like I'll take things said in a survey and try to change things for the better. Fyi, this isn't my opinion on just this specific incident, but all backlash incidents towards opinions that I've seen.

    Plus, that person who threatened you? I suggest you inform law enforcement. If they threaten your life for a little thing as giving out your opinion, they will definitely do worse things in the future, if not to you then other people. They should learn that threatening someone's LIFE on the internet has drastic consequences.

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    1. *hugs*

      I honestly have no idea what hate messages are supposed to do. Are they supposed to scare me into submission and stop me from sharing my opinion? I can't give them that satisfaction because then they'd win and terrorize more people.

      "Take it to DMs" annoyed me so much. Basically it says "shut up, I don't like your opinion. Share it somewhere I don't have to see it." It is totally like a survey!! It's an opinion, it's not a royal decree. I'm not even important guys, you shouldn't care what I think! Also the argument is that we are popular bloggers who hold sway in the blogosphere. We might corrupt and influence other bloggers with our opinions. Are you kidding me?! We all have our own thoughts and opinions. We're not persuading anyone of anything, we're chatting and discussing something.

      Oh gosh, I checked the locks around the house and curled up tight in bed that night. It was horrible, but I'm not sure what to do. At this point I just want to TRY and forget about it. *shivers*

      Delete
  18. I'm so so sorry to hear that this has happened to you Rachel dear! *hugs*
    I cannot believe that people go to the extremes of threats over something like an opinion FFS!! I might agree, I might disagree, but we don't need to make things that ARE NOT IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM LIFE THREATENING into something so awful as to threatening others!!!

    Perspective people, PERSPECTIVE! You did nothing wrong, Rachel, and you even realized things might have seemed one wat that you didn't mean and apologized in case you had hurt people's feelings and generalized in a way you didn't mean to. But even if you hadn't, threats?? That is NEVER justified!! Even if they had been right on their complains, they totally lose their "higher ground of rightness" by acting that way!

    I had heard that there was some blogger vs booktubers drama recently, but since I spend so much time offline with all my new apartment stuff I totally missed it, and I feel horrible that one of my bloggish friends was involved and that was even threatened! *BIG HUGS*

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    1. *HUGS*

      People go to the extremes over lots of petty things. Threatening is never okay no matter what. The girl that attacked us personally back got so much praise from other booktubers. "Thanks so much for defending us!!" While we're on the other end saying "wait a minute... this girl just personally attacked us and you're rewarding that behavior?!" I'm baffled.

      I tried to apologize, but people don't want to hear it sometimes. It's much easier to prolong a problem when you turn a blindside to a possible resolution aka an APOLOGY. Threats are never cool.

      Blogger and booktube drama will always be prevalent. I wish we could all just be happy together and realize that it's OKAY if we don't exactly see eye to eye on the way we book promote. I don't HATE booktube, but I feel bad that I've added fuel to this fire. I simply don't like some of what I see in booktubing same as they don't like some of what they see in blogging. That shouldn't be such a big problem though. People seem politics differently and still manage to get along, so why can't we?

      Delete
  19. Well, you know how I feel about this, from my barrage of tweets to you earlier this morning :) No matter the opinion, it's NEVER okay to be so cruel and hateful to someone - no one should have taken it that far with you! This happened to me last year and I'll never forget how those three people went OUT OF THEIR way to mobilize the book-blogging community into hating me. And I'll never forget how that actually worked and scores of people started assailing me with hateful tweets/messages/emails/posts/subtweets/etc. I cried for days, and then I was angry for days. I understand exactly what you're going through. Best thing? Time, and unfollow and/or mute and/or block the s*** out of people. Anyone you think is subtweeting you? Don't engage. Mute/unfollow/block. Don't look at anything anyone has to say about the situation. Don't look for booktube/blogger discussion posts or tweets or hashtags (not that I'm saying that you are actively searching for them - but if you see one happening on your Twitter stream for example, mute mute mute!). The less YOU SEE IT going around (whether it is happening or not), the easier it will be to move on. Trust me, be liberal af with that block/unfollow button (or mute if you want to be less aggressive).

    I think you did a great job with this post - it conveys your opinion but you're not kissing a** (which you shouldn't), so good for you. I was much more volatile in mine, though I made sure I apologized for hurting people (not my intention, it was a general post speaking about 1% of the population, from pure, scientific observations. F*** everyone). Anyway I digress. Don't kiss a**. Don't feel bad for having an opinion. Yes, sometimes it's not always good and doesn't always go well when you share your opinion, but that in no means calls for hate and cruelty and subhuman treatment. People like to use the internet viciously because they're behind a screen and will never have to physically see the person on the other end. (For me, I DO have to see those three bloggers who instigated everything, because they live in Maryland as well and are always attending events!) Don't let yourself get caught up in this. Not worth it. Mental health is a fragile thing, but you are not fragile, and they (the internet/the a**holes, etc.) will not break you. You are a human being like the rest of us, and why anyone would think treating someone like that for any reason is beyond me. Too much time and energy spent into getting everyone to hate someone else and/or making everyone see that you're wrong and they're right! (Whether that's true or not, I'm not saying that's the case or isn't the case.)

    DM me anytime, don't be afraid to let out some serious rage. *hugs*

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Your barrage of tweets made me feel like I wasn't alone, so thank you Alyssa!! <3 I will not be looking at hashtags or searching for blog posts and booktube videos on all of this. I'm just going to move forward and not look back. I will always remember this though.

      Aww thank you!! I wanted to explain and clarify the situation as best as I could. I will not apologize for having the opinions I have. I WILL apologize for hurting anyone. Haha I've learned how to be forceful without being vitriolic. True, the Internet makes everyone more bold. You won't meet these people and they wouldn't have the guts to say this to your face. I'm so glad I don't have mental health issues. If I did, I might have done something horrible in light of these responses. I still feel so bad for Stacey Jay and what she must be going through.

      Aww thanks dear <3

      Delete
  20. That is an awful thing that happened and I am so sorry that you had to go through it :( I think it is totally unfair and mean for people to bash, taunt, and threaten people for simply wanting to share their opinions and be heard. I mean, if they don't like your opinion, nobody said they had to agree with it, but at the same time, they should still recognize that you are allowed to have your own opinion and should not have to face everyone attacking you for not having the SAME opinion… Like what you said, it's YOUR OPINION, not theirs, so they're welcome to voice their opinions as well (and they have that right) but they have no right to try and attack you for yours.
    In regard to the argument itself: before I started my blog, I'd been following book blogs and booktubes for a while (and I still enjoy reading/watching both!) but I understand where you're coming from in certain aspects. I think that I enjoy going to BookTubes for the "fun" content, such as tags and games and things rather than the actual reviews, so in that aspect I understand why BookTubes may gain more traffic than book blogs, but I love book blogs because I get to read more (I don't know the exact word but I'll say) "formal" reviews of books so I have a better understanding of what I am looking for in a book and what I'm not. I understand the power that both have on the web, but at the same time I feel like they each serve their own purpose.
    At least for me, it really depends on my mood, and not to offend anyone--BookTuber or blogger--but sometimes I just don't want to watch or read your content at all. It has nothing to do with the fact that your opinion is not valid, because YOUR OPINION IS VALID (and always is), but sometimes I'd rather determine my own opinion than always watch/read yours.
    Ultimately, I'm not going to defend BookTubers or bloggers, and I'll just say this: If I had to choose between watching BookTubes and reading blogs, I'd choose neither (I know--cheating); I'd choose books. Books are something I can enjoy on my own or with a group, and I can develop my own opinion instead of always relying on someone else's. (Sometimes I do want someone else's, but sometimes I don't.) I am going to choose my opinion on a book over anyone else's, so while I appreciate and enjoy BookTubers and bloggers' content alike (and I am now a blogger myself), their opinions are not always the same as mine, and I'd rather formulate an opinion myself through reading the book and not always just read/watch their content about the book. (If any of that made any sense.)
    For example, although I have not read the other books so my opinion may change, I hate Chaol Westfall from Throne of Glass with a burning passion. (Now this is not the time to gang up on me, but I have the right to my own opinion and I will state that I do not like him whether you agree with me or not. Sorry to you (Rachel) and all other lovers of Chaol, but this is my opinion and I will not allow anyone to change it unless that person is me, myself and I…) I could have used a different example to emphasize my point, but I believe this is a perfect one. I stated my opinion and am not going to allow other people to censor it or try to change my thoughts. Just because you read Throne of Glass and I read it does not mean we have to come to the same conclusions about it. (Please don't attack me or hate me forever! <-- and that is something that should not have to face when voicing our own opinions yet we often have to for fear of being judged…)
    Anyway (whoa this was much longer than I expected my response to be), I agree with you in terms of both being able to have your own opinion without being attacked and part of your general booktube argument, and I admire you for not only pulling yourself out of the drama, but also voicing your concerns.
    ~Xan

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    1. Hi dear! Welcome to blogging xD

      I'm glad to see what your perspective is. I can definitely see the plus side to each medium of book promo. I think they both have their strengths and weaknesses. If we could see that we're not really competition, we're more of puzzle pieces that all fit together to create a pretty picture.

      It's okay, hun. I know of your Chaol hatred already! I respect that opinion, and I'm not going to attack you ;)

      Aww thanks dear! I'm kind of proud of myself for sticking up for myself too... lol

      Delete
  21. Look I'll admit that I was one of those people that disagreed on the tweets you guys posted but now I realize that you guys were merely posting your opinions. And I'm sorry you're getting those hate DMs because no one deserves that. But honestly with the internet, anything can happen.

    And I kind of wanted to bring up on what you said in your post on how booktubers do lots of flailing on their reviews because even if that's mostly what they do, that's their style or way of reviewing. You know like they say it's their blog/vlog and they have the freedom to post what they want because they own that blog/vlog.

    But I'm sorry you don't feel comfortable in this community. You don't have to become neutral, just be careful on what you post in the future. Sometimes I've typed up tweets that I never posted because I didn't think it would be smart to. It's like they always say, think before you speak or act. And I hope this comment didn't offend you and that the hate DMs stop because all that is just not cool.

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    1. Thanks Karina! This means a lot. This is the whole point of the post, to explain and clarify because things can be taken out of context in 140 characters. True, the Internet is a crazy place.

      I definitely see your point, flailing is a matter of style and they have the right to do that! I'm not saying it's not okay or condemning it, I'm just stating that I personally don't like videos that do that. That's all I'm saying. In my opinion it adds nothing to the post. I'm not going to tell them to stop, I'm not going to @ or DM or email them telling them to stop being themselves. I won't do that because that is their style and that is their opinion. I'd never try to change someone's opinion (except for on a book perhaps!)

      I have my bouts with the community. First plagiarism and now this. It's been real, bookish community! People keep telling me I don't need to stay neutral, but that's the safest option for the time being.

      Delete
  22. So sorry you had to go through all this Rachel! It's horrible what happened. I only saw bits of the tweets but I think you are not at fault here. You are entitled to your own opinions and nobody can or should take that away from you. it was a friendly discussion with your friends. Even if some things may have come out as generalizations, you apologized. You realized your mistake and made a full apology. Everyone saw that. It's disgusting that you're receiving so much hate and even life-threatening DMs. What are these people thinking :(((

    Now personally I enjoy Booktube. It's kind of what got me into reading blogs and eventually blogging myself. I will always be thankful for that since it's how I met awesome book people (like you!). I didn't know some booktubers were getting paid to do promo and even 5-star rating a book they didn't enjoy. That makes me sad but hey I just enjoy the videos you know? The visuals are fun so I try not to read too much into things :)

    I hope everything's fine now and stay strong! Don't let the haters get to you because you're awesome and your opinion is yours to have!

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    1. Thanks dear! I'd like to think I'm entitled to my own opinion. No one should take that away from me or shame me for it. I did sincerely apologize although I'm not sure people were listening anymore. The few booktubers involved instead decided to blow this out of proportions...

      I enjoy some booktube, and I'm glad it made you want to start blogging because you're wonderful!! Yes, some do get paid for promos. It creeps me out, but the visuals are quite cool ;)

      Thanks dear <3

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  23. Everyone should be allowed to state their opinion and not be bashed or sent hate mail for it. That is wrong. Awesome discussion and you are awesome:)

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  24. Obviously, I'm biased. I was part of this conversation, if only for a little while, so you know how I feel - in general - about booktube. I NEVER meant that I think everyone is like that, and I know you didn't either. Everyone should know that. We ALL know that there are good and bad eggs everywhere. I don't think anything anyone said in the parts of that convo I saw were horrible and insulting - they were just some opinions of a few bloggers, and I don't think any of us were talking about anyone in specific. Whereas with that video, she was CLEARLY talking about specific people and I'm SO tired of being attacked for my opinion. Obviously, I missed everything that happened after I left the convo, but I can't imagine it was anything very bad. That video had some good points but was so full of hypocrisy that I just CAN'T. And the fact that you got hate for it is SO RIDICULOUS. Once again, showing that there are bad eggs everywhere. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that.

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    1. We never said EVERYONE yet I guess that's how it was perceived. It's so hard to generalize because everyone is slightly different. The unifying quality of booktubing is obviously just that they all post videos about books. That's all we can literally generalize about because that's the only singular similarity. Everything else is slightly different and we were only talking about things from what we've seen. Oh Sam was clearly talking about people in particular... The video did have great points but was chock-full of hypocrisy. If only she knew...

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  25. I am so sorry this happened to you, Rachel. The first thing I want to let you know before I launch into this comment is that you are one of the sweetest bloggers I've ever "met" and I love the comments you write on my posts. Also, don't feel bad because none of this was your fault.

    Now that I've got that out of the way, I am so upset by this whole...thing. I know some commenters are saying that technically your freedom of speech was not violated, which I guess is true, but I know what you mean. I hate that now people ALWAYS have to be politically correct in every single thing they say and others make it feel like you must always censor yourself. It's actually ridiculous that people would pounce on a couple of 140 character tweets like that. Now, there is no safe place to express your opinion. Sometimes I get driven so crazy because I censor myself so much if I think something politically correct. I need to get my thoughts out there, but I can't express them publically because of all the haters so instead I scribble it all down in a notebook so I can get it out SOMEWHERE. Gah! It annoys me so much. If you don't go with the crowd, then suddenly you become all these bad names. I honestly can't help thinking how many people are being honest or if they are just going with the crowd.

    Also, I feel so bad that you got threats. It's not right to pinpoint someone specifically and say bad things about them and to them because they made an opinion directed at no one in particular. I actually wrote a blog post about this yesterday when I saw all that was going down, and I posted it today. Pretty much what I say is that an opinion that's not specifically pointed at someone is okay because people are entitled to their opinions. However, when someone attacks another person SPECIFICALLY because of their opinion, it's not okay.

    That was ranty and probably really badly written (My blog post is way more put together. I promise, because I edited it a billion times.), but you are awesome, Rachel! And so is your blog! And you should feel free to express your opinion.

    And to BOTH book tubers and book bloggers, we are all book lovers here. Most of us either prefer booktubing over blogging or blogging over booktubing, and that's alright. It doesn't mean we hate those people that like the other medium. We all love books, and that's what matters.

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    1. Awww thank you Ana!! This means so much, trust me. I totally understand that my freedom of speech is not violated and I wish they understood that's not what I meant at all. I feel like I'm being threatened for my opinions when one of our founding/inherent rights that we pride ourselves on is our right to express our opinion. I've stayed out of so many bookish conflicts and just ranted to my sister instead. It's therapeutic and probably a much safer option than venting on twitter.

      It stinks that we'll always have to be politically correct. It's definitely true though. The only safe place to express your opinion is among friends and family of like mind. yeah threats stink, but what can you do? Nothing. Except move on and not dwell on the past.

      Aww thank you hun!! I love how you ended the comment. PERFECTION.

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  26. Wow, I didn't know there was this huge thing between bloggers and booktubers. I obviously have my own blog. but I watch bookish videos all the time and have wanted to do some videos with like book hauls or something. I just suck at editing. But I didn't know there was this whole debacle and I'm so sorry that this happened to you. I'm sorry that your life was threatened. That's not cool at all!

    All I can say, is don't fear to have your own opinion. If people don't like what you have to say, that don't have to read or hear what you say. We are all entitled to have an opinion and it really sucks that this is happening between booktube and book bloggers because we should all be working TOGETHER in order to give these books the best shot at becoming bestsellers.

    Again, I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you. Stay strong and remember "Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate." So just brush them off and just do you!

    xo <3 Steph @ In Wonderland

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    1. It's been a huge thing for awhile. I never really thought about it much until I started blogging and watching more booktube. Thanks Stephanie!

      I don't fear my opinion, I fear sharing it. So maybe I just shouldn't xD People got pretty bad last time, I need to be super careful now... I wish we could work together!! It just doesn't seem like it'll happen anytime soon and my contribution did not help the matter...

      It's okay, thanks hun <3 I'll definitely be shaking this one off ;)

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  27. You should have the right to state your opinion if you thought it wouldn't be offensive. I guess your opinion just didn't translate well in a couple of 140 characters and I don't think you should be hated for that. Hopefully, this post will make up for it and people will stop being so rude as to threaten your life.

    I get that Booktube is not for everyone or sometimes you just don't watch certain videos. And that's perfectly fine because that's just how YOU feel. You didn't condemn anyone to delete their accounts and stop booktubing or anything. There was no negativity in sight.

    I for one like both mediums but I prefer reading written reviews because they cover more ground in less time. But that's just me. :)

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    1. Yes I think that's exactly what happened. People have told me that they understand and accept my apology after reading my post. That makes me so thrilled! It means I did this one right :)

      I did not tell people not to watch. It's not my cup of tea exactly, but I don't HATE Booktube. I respect everything they do and all the book promo and excitement they have. thank you!! I tried not to be negative, I was just giving an opinion.

      Delete
  28. YES! Thank you for writing this! I first became aware of the "issue" by watching a BookTuber do a video on it. The BookTuber in question has both a blog and YouTube channel, and though I thought it was a great topic to broach, I did feel it was very biased to YouTube, and towards the end, very preachy (this being a BookTuber I watch a lot, and really like, so the preachy comment isn't coming from a bad place).

    I don't know how all of your original tweets were worded, but regardless - I too wish blogs got the same kind of attention as YouTube - different mediums, different audiences, I know. But still. It would be nice.

    I too disagree with some of the ethical ways of BookTube. I've seen some BT's diss a book, and then go on to do a paid promotional video. To me, that's not OK. When it comes to this whole "they tell you when they do a sponsored video" malarky. Well, they kind of tell you. Some don't exactly make it all that clear, and I still find the whole promoted video thing to be sketchy - whether for books, fashion, beauty. Like, does anyone know what kind of money is involved? Can you ever be truly unbiased when you're being paid? Who knows. It's not the first time there has been some... questionable behaviour either - I wasn't a fan of BT's putting a link to their wishlists in the info bar back when that was going on. But thankfully, that trend seems to have been squashed.

    I also agree a lot of the time that the reviews don't have the same content/structure. I don't think I write the best reviews in the world, but I mostly watch BT for the haul videos and discussion/other type videos. I only watch a few BT's who review because I'm fond of how they do it. And FYI, it's usually "smaller" BT's I love the most. Fair do's to the "bigger" ones for being so successful at what they do, but some of the "smaller" ones have my heart.

    So there's some personal opinions on the matter. It feels good to actually put them out there. Personally, I follow a lot of bloggers, and a lot of BT's, and I interact with both communities even though I only create content for one. I've never seen the amount of hate a particular BT hinted at in their video from the blogging community to the BT community, maybe it does exist, but it doesn't seem to be the status quo, and that's worth remembering. When it comes down to it, we're all facets of the same community, but that doesn't mean you have to be quieted when you have an opinion and are sharing that as politely as you can! R x

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting :) It was definitely biased towards YouTube which kills me. And the title is kind of offensive and hypocritical as well...She was pretty preachy and pretended like she had nothing to do with the conflict. She keep tweeting and subtweeting about our conversation and made it much worse!

      The ethics is what really annoys me the most. Agree to do a sponsor for a book you like, don't deceive your readers!! We have no idea what the money is like (which scares me). I know that some people can make booktube a good income... I don't think you can be unbiased when you're paid! It doesn't add up. Oh and the wish list stuff is crazy too. It's a person's own choice to send them books if they want though...I respect that every person has different content and structure. Some of the structure is just not MY style. And that's okay.

      I don't see the hate as much either, but I definitely do see it BOTH ways. Not one sided as she mentioned.

      "we're all facets of the same community" <-- YES!!

      Delete
  29. Oh girl, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm at UtopYA, so I don't have time to properly comment (and I haven't been on Twitter much lately, so I mostly missed all that went down), but just know that I have your back and I think you are one of the sweetest people ever. You did not deserve for this to happen to you. I'm sorry that it did, but just know you have a lot of people supporting you! <3

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    1. Haha I think it's totally fitting that you're at a Utopia infused book event while I'm having conflicts xD How dystopian of me! ;) Haha it's no big deal, you're commenting which means so much already <3 Aww thank you so much, Danielle!!

      Delete
  30. I love you... you know my thoughts on this but I want you to know that I support you and I support anyone to have an opinion on anything. If someone got their feelings hurt and you apologized I think it is then time to MOVE THE FUCK ON PEOPLE!! Sub tweets and dwelling and people commenting and weighing in when they only have half the story is how these things spiral out of control. It is ridiculous. I have heard/felt many of the same things you do but that's okay! Its just how I feel . I connect more with the written word as opposed to videos. Ain't nothin' wrong with that. I think maybe people who get so upset over what someone It is so sad to target someone so maliciously.We have all made word boo boo's in our lives. Things just so happen to be out in the open much more now a days. Im sorry you feel unsafe . That isnt cool. Big safe momma hugs to you!
    LOVE BRITT @ KALEBSMOME
    Get at me dog!

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    1. ILY too <33 I definitely know your thoughts on this. You were so supportive and wonderful and there for me when I needed you. Thank you! I wish people would move on, and it seems that people are. That's good, right?! I guess people just don't want to hear what I have to say! That's totally fine, but they don't have to read it xD *HUGS* Thanks, big sis <3

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  31. I love hearing about books! It all started with booktube and has spread to blogs, podcasts etc. Anyway I can hear someone's opinion on books.. I'm there. 140 characters on Twitter, picture on Instagram.... It's my favorite thing to do on my down time. Now the Internet can be a nasty place sometimes. There are people who develop "keyboard courage" and they believe they can say whatever they want without consequences to others feelings because they are behind a screen. An extreme example would be sending someone a death threat over the Internet. On a less extreme scale: describing some booktubers as flailing on camera with fancy angles and no content. Hey freedom of speech girl right?! You can have this opinion... Nobody is arguing that you are not allowed to have a voice. But be aware you are on the Internet where anyone can have access to your opinions that may be hurtful. If that is the public persona you choose to have, uncensored and unmindful of others feelings, then you can. But be prepared for the opinions and "freedom of speech" for those who don't agree with your opinion. In your blog post you seem to waffle from apologetic to unapologetic. Either you stand behind your behavior or you don't? I thought you were genuinely sorry about offending people by having this "personal but on a public site for anyone to see" conversation on Twitter. But now this blog post suggests otherwise. And describing book tubers as failing with no content as just expressing an "opinion"... Hmmm... Seems more like cyberbullying to me. It seems to me people were suggesting you take your opinions to dm's to not hurt anyone's feeling. I think that is a great suggestion since you didn't know your opinion was hurtful of your fellow book lover. Wether you have a million followers or a few, it's always good to practice courtesy in this community. I have great respect for anyone putting themselves out on the Internet to share there opinions and love of books, but putting each other down is something I wish I didn't see while browsing the Internet for some bookish news.

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    1. "If that is the public persona you choose to have, uncensored and unmindful of others feelings," If I'm so unmindful then why did I apologize? If I wasn't mindful I wouldn't care and I wouldn't apologize. But I do and I did.

      "In your blog post you seem to waffle from apologetic to unapologetic." Maybe you misunderstand. I'm apologizing for offending people. I'm not apologizing for the opinion I have.

      "I thought you were genuinely sorry about offending people by having this "personal but on a public site for anyone to see" conversation on Twitter. But now this blog post suggests otherwise." I'm sorry but I recommend rereading my post or asking for further clarification because I don't think you understand what I'm trying to say. Maybe I wasn't clear...?

      "And describing book tubers as failing with no content as just expressing an "opinion"... Hmmm... Seems more like cyberbullying to me." Is that cyberbullying or sharing an opinion/observation? Did I @ or acknowledge anyone? Did I send hate DMs to booktubers personally? No. I seem to recall it being the other ways around. I was sent hate DMs. I was sent one death threat. Who's being cyberbullied really? Honestly this comment feels a bit like a personal attack too.

      " it's always good to practice courtesy in this community" Which is why I sincerely apologized. People are going to have differing opinions no matter what. Telling me offensively to take my opinion somewhere else is not okay. Don't follow me or the discussion if you don't like where it's going!!

      It's funny because as much as you say you hate seeing people put others down, that's exactly what you're doing right now.

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  32. Rachel, I've been slowing backing away from Twitter and I didn't see this one until my friend, Jeann mentioned that there was some drama on there.

    I guessed that it was probably something little that had been blown out of proportions as usual. I'm sick of this. I have a lot to say about the lack of real freedom of speech, but I'm going to refrain from going on a rant, because this isn't about me. Basically, in this community, freedom of speech only applies to certain people.

    Anyways, I'm sorry that this has escalated into something so ugly that you're getting hate DMs. No one deserves that for simply voicing out an opinion (that I also share with you). It's complete crap, to be honest. My close blogging friend and I are frequently discussing how this community is not the same loving space that it was anymore and it's so disheartening.

    I'm really sorry that you no longer feel comfortable voicing out your opinion. I don't think you should at all, but I completely see why you do. Good luck with everything, Rachel, and I'm really pleased to see all these bloggers rallying behind you.

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    1. I am sick of all the drama blowing up on Twitter too. This one was my fault, so I take total responsibility. It just saddens me how things are dramatized and played up. Freedom of speech hardly applies to anyone, it's a select group. They'll be praised no matter while the rest of us are nitpicked.

      The community is loving, but not as much as it was when I first started. :(

      Haha thanks, hun! Yes, apparently Team Rachel is a thing :)

      Delete
  33. Taylor Swift already is such a top artist, and probably everyone has heard of "Shake It Off," but no one ever really applies it. :/

    Your opinion was your own, and all those other people chatting about it had a right to their opinion. It's unfair to say bloggers hate booktubers, but if we say that there's animosity from booktubers towards bloggers, it's going to raise another shitstorm. We don't imagine it, it's there, but if the whole booktube community gets riled up by your tweet, then aren't they giving off the impression that blogging is bad by doing so? :/

    And that whole "take it to DM" was just rude, and the fact that you're getting a death threat over your opinion? Isn't that proof enough of the hate from them? I honestly don't believe it when people say that booktubers haven't been mean to bloggers.I watched the video in Nova's post, and I honestly wish the Youtubers would read Nova's post, because both sides have different views, and we could both learn from each other's opinions to prevent anything like this every happening again.But honestly, there are elitists on both sides that make it impossible.

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    1. I'm totally applying Shake It Off now. Every mean DM and comment I get is totally shaken off.

      It's totally unfair to say that they think the animosity doesn't go both ways. At least bloggers admit there is some. Most booktubers just blatantly disregard any thought of booktubers being against blogging. They are totally giving off the impression that blogging is bad. And then they bring up points like ARCs and other things that we weren't even talking about!! It was just an onslaught of bad stuff.

      "take it to DM" annoyed me so much. That is SO offensive, basically "shut up and share your opinion somewhere I don't have to see it." How dare you. Honestly. I was so disappointed in the person who said that to us... I wish people would read Nova's post too. It's the best response! there are elitists and I'm hoping I don't get roped into that because I do NOT feel that way. I'm not better than anyone. I just don't like some booktube I see :(

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  34. First of all, let me offer you a tight hug and some virtual chocolate cake!

    Sometime back, I invited you to contribute to a post I was putting up on the speech freedom we have in book blogging. And you stated that you think it's best to stay neutral about dramas and opinions. Now I think it's so ironical that you of all people was dragged into this drama because I've always admired how calm and neutral you are during blogging dramas. And since I know you well, and I also know well that you are not a person who tweets or comments anything that might seem rude or offensive to someone, I can't help but be really angry at the people who decided to criticize you for this.

    I wasn't exactly active in twitter when all this happened, but I did see some tweets here and there talking about book blogging and booktubing. Even after you told me about the drama, I didn't exactly know how serious it had been until I read this post.

    I personally am not a fan of book tubing. I prefer writing and reading and it's my own opinion. If I dare to tell this on twitter - or any other social media - I don't think anyone has the right to criticize me for that. I am entitled to my own opinions and have the freedom to voice it. So I firmly support and stand by you Rach!
    Just smile and stand proud luv!:)

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    1. Aww thanks dear <33

      Haha I think it's totally ironic that I contributed to that and now look where I am. I should take my own advice sometimes... This is WHY we stay neutral!! I really didn't try to be rude or offensive...

      It got totally serious. It's scary having a whole community mad at you. I'm not too keen on booktube too. I like the written words. Criticize books, not me people!! ;)

      Aww thanks, my dear <3 This made me smile :D

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  35. This whole thing just saddens me and I'm really sorry that you've been going through this situation. I don't really know you at all but I'm seriously so proud of you. Because you are speaking up for so many of us who feel the same way. I never had the chance to read the conversation/ tweets before they were deleted, but from what I could gather, I want to say a few things. Because this is all just sad and infuriating.

    You gave your opinion. And like you said, an opinion is just that; an opinion. Something that you are wholly entitled to have. Wether it differs with somebody else's. It is by no means something that should sprout hateful or threatening DMs towards you. I truly hope that those who sent you those messages realize how immature and ignorant they are being. They crossed the line and that's just not ok. Just like it's not ok for people to keep insinuating that this is all "one-sided". To me, those DMs indicate otherwise. You have the right to say what you want and give your opinion on whatever you want. You don't deserve to be attacked or threatened over it.

    Considering everything that's happened, I understand how you would now feel like you have to censor the things you want to say. But it's just not fair.

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    1. It saddens me too, but I feel even worse about the response it started in everyone. I will never be able to patch up some relationships with people I had called friends (nor do I want to for the ones who decided to talk and bash me behind my back). I had to delete them because they were just adding fuel to the flames and riling up more people. Out of sight, out of mind you know?

      I'm still shocked by all the DMs and hate. It's kind of scary... They definitely crossed a line, yet maybe I did a bit too... Oh this argument is so not one-sided.

      Life's not fair, so I've learned ;) Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

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  36. I'm so sorry this happened to you Rachel! I first saw the #booktubelove and I thought it was just some random act of kindness and I was like 'oh that's so nice' but then I saw the conversation with your tweets and I realized what it was about. I don't get why everyone got so mad about it, you were just talking about some booktubers, not the WHOLE booktube community. This is a "free country", you have evey right to express your opinion. I mean, I personally like booktube, but I would have NEVER attacked you like that. It is a fact that some booktubers lie and say they like a book when in reality they don't. The girl who said those tweets to you is/was my friend - I'm not really sure what to think of her after all this happened. She could have disagreed with you nicely, but it was like she just yelled and attacked you and made you feel like your opinion was wrong (when it totally wasn't, you're allowed to think whatever you want). Ugh. And the fact that people threatened you is just wrong, especially after you apologized several times (when you weren't even in the wrong to begin with). I just feel like people took this way too far - I can't believe society is like this. You shouldn't have been beaten down because of your opinion. Once again I'm really sorry that this happened to you. You don't deserve to be treated like this.*hugs* <3

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    1. Thanks, Cari <3 The #booktubelove made me both happy and really intimidated. I was surprised that I had started that in part... I was not referring to the whole community although I can see why some people would think I was... The girl could have tried to talk to me. Instead she lashed out once and then subtweeted and tweeted about the conflict. How can we work through things if she won't even talk to me?! *HUGS*

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  37. Omg, *hugs you* RACHEL, YOU MUST ALWAYS SPEAK YOUR MIND BECUASE YOU ARE 1000% ENTITLED TO YOUR OPINION. I feel like the internet has been especially wild and a bit caustic lately with blowing things out of proportion. :| But seriously, just because your opinion got blown out of proportion doesn't mean it's your fault. If you aren't a fan of book tube, then...so what?! The people who've been harassing you are immature and deluded, they just ARE.

    *builds you pillow fort and gives you marshmallows and hot chocolates*

    Don't let this scare you off the internet, okay?! There are mean people, but they are also not worth a second of our time. *nods* I got attached on Goodreads last week for a 1-star review I wrote. Someone was sitting there saying all my opinions were wrong. I mean, HOW??? How can an opinion be wrong??? I was tempted to delete the comment, but ended up responding and it blew up nastily. :(( SO YEAH. I hear ya, and I support you, too, also.

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    1. *HUGS* Aww thanks hun <33 The Internet has been super crazy lately. Other drama and problems have taken over though, so this is passing. (thank gosh!) It's crazy that my opinion and those of two others could result to so much. It was totally immature.

      Haha thanks dear, I love pillows and hot chocolate and marshmallows. HOW DID YOU KNOW?!

      I won't let them scare me off, I'll just be MUCH more careful. Awww sorry :( There are quite a few trollers on GR. It's a scary place. you're welcome and we all love you, don't take any of that crap from people!! Haha apparently our opinions CAN be wrong. Beats me *shrugs* Thanks, Cait <3

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  38. So sorry this happened to you, Rachel. Sounds like you stated an opinion (which you have every right to do) and then realized that you had hurt some people's feelings and apologized - it's hard to imagine what else anyone wanted you to do. It's one thing for people to respectfully disagree with you on something, but quite another when they attack you. I honestly don't know why people think this sort of thing is okay - at all. Hopefully this will all blow over and you can be done with it.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Hey Nicole, thanks. I'd like to think I have the right! I feel horrible for hurting some people, it was only right to apologize. I wanted to and I think both I and them needed me to. Attacking is never okay! It's already blowing over thank gosh...

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  39. This post makes me so mad and it's because you got so much hate and backlash because you were "generalizing" but then they go and generalize themselves on book bloggers? It's a two-way street, guys.

    Anyways, I'm so sorry you have to go through this! I actually thought the same thing about Booktube myself, and I spent about 3 years watching videos from different booktubers. Wasn't until I went on actual blogs that I realised "wow, reviews are actually really long. Booktube is super different."

    Argh I got sidetracked. Point is, don't let this discourage you. For all those hateful comments, you have more than triple comments of support. Being insulted and threatened is not the way to solve conflicts. Keep your chin up, Rachel! This will blow over soon and people will realise how childish/mean they're being. *Hugs* <3

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    1. Haha generalizing definitely goes both ways and I'm sad people see my thoughts that way!! I can only talk about things from what I'VE seen. I can't generalize such a diverse group.

      It's okay, it's life! It seems quite a lot of people share my opinion. I honestly wasn't expecting it!

      Thanks dear, I will keep my chin up! *raises chin* *HUGS*

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  40. "I used to love Twitter, but now I doubt everything. Because I chose to speak my mind, the bookish community went into retaliation and spit back hateful things." This. I don't have much to say other that I am so sorry this happened, and that Bec and I know exactly what this feels like. It is an absolutely awful thing not to feel safe in your own space and have to censor everything you say in fear-ridiculous that it has come to this nowadays. Hugs, and know we are here for you!

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    1. Aww thanks, Alise (and you too Bec!). :) Twitter is not as hospitable as it used to be. It is an awful time when you don't feel safe anymore... I feel the need to censor all the time, and I don't think that's okay. *HUGS* thank you <3

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  41. Honestly, I am kind of with you on not trusting the more popular ones opinions, but not just booktubers or reviewers or anything really, if someone is getting paid for their opinion, I don't trust it. I mean, sure, they could honestly love a certain book, but you're not going to love every singe one of them. And yikes, seriously. It is your opinion, them telling you to basically shut up and put it somewhere else is rude and freaking hell all that backlash over something ridiculous. You weren't being racist or homophobic, I mean, seriously, priorities people. Everybody should have their right to their own opinions, freedom of speech or not, unless you're threatening somebodies life, nope (and ohmygod, that is just so unnecessary) That is definitely one of the bad sides of social media, sorry you had to go through that. Some people can be vicious. :( Making anybody think twice about their honest opinion is horrible, try not to let them win. x

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    1. If you're getting paid to share your opinion then I'm instantly weary. I'm not prejudice to booktubers. This applies in every aspect of life!! If a food critic is on the payroll of restaurants, then I'm not going to take his reviews seriously! It's just common sense. Telling me to shut up in whatever way is not cool, neither are hate DMs. I definitely did not threaten anyone as I was! It's crazy.... I will not let them win!

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  42. I feel like everything that needs to be said has already been commented on by others, but I'll say this: Rachel, you are so, so brave, and I don't think what you did was wrong AT ALL, and I seriously do admire you for sticking around even after taking all this bullshit from people who love feeling important and taking everything that is said personally.

    The world is not as "free" as it would like to believe, honestly. I don't think there'll ever be true freedom of speech, because everyone has a certain degree of sensitivity to them, and everyone has opinions that differ. But really, I'm just so sick and tired of fights blowing up over small things. I am really happy that you spoke your mind on Twitter (and I really hope that this doesn't get you down, and that you continue being honest about your thoughts), but I am so disappointed with how the bookish community handled it, and how much backlash you received for it. I mean, it was just a conversation between you and your friend, and what you said wasn't even anything negative, it was just a critical observation on your part. I just don't understand how people could have taken that to mean that you hated booktubing and then blow up all because of that.

    I miss the good old days when the only drama that existed in the blogosphere were those huge blogs getting shit for "creating jealousy because of their book haul posts." I'm slowly starting to see just how ridiculous this community can get. Like everyone else has said, I am 150% on your side, Rachel, and I really hope that you begin to feel comfortable here again. You have many friends supporting you! <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Megan <3 Haha I'm surprised I stuck around too xD I've found out that so many people love and support me, and it means the world! That's what really helped me through all the hate. It's sad but true that the world is never really free. This was such a small conversation (10 tweets top) and it blew up into a bookish community drama problem. It's crazy!! I am so disappointed by how this was handled. The backlash was horrifying and completely disheartening. I don't hate booktube, and even if I did, WHO CARES?!

      Haha that's STILL a problem. It comes up every few months. All this drama makes me want to have a vacation soon... Aww thanks hun <3 I do have awesome friends!

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  43. This is crazy! Someone threatening your life because you don't have the same opinion as them?? AND you apologized (bravo for that!) and they still couldn't let it go? We're all here because we love books and they're purposely overlooking the similarities between bloggers and booktubers to focus on the differences. This is seriously not okay. Arguing is okay (everyone has the right to argue) but everyone who uses the internet should know where the line is and never cross it. I've been staying off of Twitter for the past couple months just because people always feel so emboldened on the internet but most people wouldn't be able to say half the things they say on Twitter in real life. It's so terrible! Anyway, *virtual hugs* and don't forget that you're awesome and you have the right to an opinion!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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I read, value, and cherish each and every comment. Although I don't have time to respond to most of them, I make every effort to comment back on your blog! :)