I moderated comments for half of today to give me time to think on my options. Most comments on this blog are positive. Now, so far I've only had one anonymous commenter. This commenter in the past made it clear they didn't like a book. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that. I deleted the comments in the past because they were pretty nasty.
Today I had 3 comments in my inbox (not to moderate, just a notification of what was going up on the blog). These 3 were from the same anonymous commenter, about the same book. This time, they suggested that the author in question should be killed.
To suggest killing an author just because of what they've written is, in my eyes, serious. The person first states how awful the book is (particularly because of the football team it does/doesn't talk about), then says the author should be killed, then in the 3rd message says they are sorry - not!
It is possible that I should have just ignored the comments. But I can't. The book blogging community is so friendly, even when reviewers aren't keen on a book they explore the parts that didn't work and why they didn't work. This isn't a child's playground (although most children would be far nicer than this commenter). This is cyberspace where people explore their views on books with others. There's the good, the bad, the ugly - and the unacceptable.
This anonymous commenter has gone too far. I'm going to email the publicist to alert them to what's going on (and show them the offending comments). I don't want to email the author because it isn't a pleasant subject to chat about. The book in question is this one.
I might understand if it was about a sensitive political/religious/ethnic/other issue. But football? Seriously, there is nothing controversial in this book (in my eyes). It's totally innocent.
I'd like to request that if you feel it is appropriate, please can you tweet this post or comment on it. I would like to make clear that such horrific messages have no place on blogs. I feel sorry that the commenter can't feel fit to express their views in a less violent fashion. The spelling of the comments was atrocious. I've rescued them from my email bin to keep them as evidence of what happened. In some ways I would have preferred links to adult content sites, since those I can understand and deal with. But this - this is a horrible thing to wake up to, and I really hope that people like this commenter take a step back from the keyboard when they have such feelings against a book. If you can't explore your negative views politely, then please don't shout them out to the world.