Wednesday, June 17, 2020

There's a Goodreads user named "Charles" that one-stars hundreds of books a night

Danika Ellis for BookRiot looks at the mysterious user's possible motivation, the Goodreads rules that allow the behavior, and the vigilantes that try to compete:

She’s been trying to get Goodreads to delete the Charles account for at least a year. One day she took a screencap of the stats to email Goodreads. The next day, she checked back and 500 more books had been 1-starred overnight. Because Charles targets mostly queer women lit, authors of lesbian lit are most familiar with them.

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this account isn’t just 1-starring popular queer books. They are really digging into some obscure titles. They’re ratings hundreds of books in a night. This is dedication.

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she mentioned that some international users use stars differently, sometimes using 1 star as the most positive. Other people mentioned that they’ve heard of people 1-starring books to come back to them

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Meet TheAntiCharles007. Goodreads average: 5 stars. Just like Charles, I have no idea who this person is in real life (though I would love to know!) Presumably, though, they are another queer book fan, and have decided to try to neutralize Charles as much as possible. Every book they find with a 1 star Charles rating, they 5 star.

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Anti-Charles isn’t working alone. You’ll occasionally also see “Good Charles” make an appearance, using the same strategy as Anti-Charles. My favourite is “Nope Charles,” who adds a review reading “Not today, Satan.”