I was outrage-mobbed once, years ago. People got so angry with me that they found my real name and address, gathered every photo of me they could find (this was before I posted photos of myself on the blog or had an FB), dedicated websites to condemning me, and dredged up stuff from my past that I’d long forgotten.

And the funniest part?

It was all a mistake.

These were either gamers or role-players of some sort who mistook me for the sister of one of their fellow gamers or RPers who had created some sort of drama in their community. It just so happened that the sister’s avatar was Clarissa.

The mob went completely crazy. That other Clarissa must have really gotten under their skins (and good for her because they totally deserved it). I would get half a dozen links a day from the anti-me websites, blogs and 4chan threads they started in order to bash me.

So what did I do?

I ignored the mob completely. Beyond the very first link that I followed and where I found out about the sister and the ensuing investigation, I never followed any of the links. I never read their emails, visited their threads, let through their comments, or tried to explain anything. I also didn’t engage mentally. Didn’t think about it, didn’t talk about it, didn’t care about it.

Eventually, they must have tired out because the links, the emails and the comments (it was before Twitter, God, I’m old) stopped.

This is the only way to deal with mobbing. It’s intense but short-lived. They all blow over very fast.

These dumb authors who cancel the releases of their novels because of mobbing should instead pretend nothing is happening, ignore the mobs, and they will go away. The worst possible mistake is to try to explain yourself, or worse yet, apologize.


2 thoughts on “Outrage-mobbed”

  1. My impression is that YA literature has become a rather insular community where one needs* the good will of the rest of the group to get the needed exposure and publicity to sell books. So people who enter that messed up world know in advance that they will have to kowtow to the hivemind.

    Also, my impression is that the victims over the last few years were all willing and eager participants in the purity policing game before it turned on them.

    In contrast, you apparently had no connections or interests in common with the rabid gamers who came after you.

    *of course you can write a YA novel outside of that world, but if you want to take advantage of the particular route to success that it offers than your stuck dealing with a bunch of creeps.


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