I try not to engage with toxic folks on social media. Really, I do. But sometimes I just can't help myself and fire off a response that inevitably doesn't do any good. And no matter how well-reasoned, polite, or funny my response is, it won't EVER do any good. Because the fact is that loud, wrong, and toxic people enjoy making others angry. So, from this point on, I will be auto-blocking THESE types of people (and I reserve the right to add to this list at ANY time):
Anyone boo-hooing about how pirating books is the only way they can read because *insert excuse to justify stealing here* is getting blocked. You know why? Because if you can pirate books, that means you have a computer or smart phone of some sort. And if you have THAT, you can download the free Kindle app and have access to more free books than you could ever read in a lifetime. There are also about a million other sites where readers all over the world can access free books (including but not limited to libraries).
And to the woman who argued with me yesterday that my statement is false because not everyone has Kindle Unlimited (which is a different thing entirely and not AT ALL what I was actually talking about), I say...well, no, nevermind. I don't have anything to say to THAT woman because I already blocked her, per my new auto-block policy. So, ha!
And for more info about why book thieves suck, check out THIS post about, uh, why book thieves suck.
The "romance novels don't need a HEA" crowd
Yes, romance novels DO need a happily ever after ending--or at least a happy for now ending. It's the ONE rule of the genre. I didn't make it up. It's not my rule. So don't come crying to me that I'm "gatekeeping" and trying to keep authors out of the genre. As I've said MANY times before, there is a big difference between love stories and books that are romantic/have a romantic subplot and actual romance novels. I'm not going to re-state them all here, but check THIS out if you need more info.
And for the people who always pop up and smugly ask, "But what about Romeo and Juliet, huh?" My only regret is that I can't block you twice. Romeo and Juliet is a TRAGEDY, for the love of Dolly Parton.
The "romance sucks" folks
All the people who like to dunk on romance and think they're being oh so clever and witty, then cry, "But I was just joking! Why can't you take a joke?"...yeah, all those people are getting blocked. Regurgitating tired stereotypes to badmouth a genre that takes flack DAILY isn't funny. The romance stigma is a bunch of flaming horse crap--and so are the people who believe in it.
The "self-published authors suck" crowd
I've just about stopped reading traditionally published books altogether. It's a long story as to why, but without self-published authors, I would've missed out on over 75% of my favorite books this year. Self-publishing is no joke--and the sooner literary snobs realize that, the sooner we can all start talking about some really great books.
I think this one speaks for itself.
And, pro tip for all the men out there: If a woman or group of women is saying that something is horribly misogynistic, avoid the urge to jump in and tell them, "Well, I didn't see it that way." Of course you didn't. It wasn't aimed at you. Try keeping an open mind about the issue. You'll never understand misogyny as well as someone who has experienced it first hand.
Same goes for internalized misogyny. If you're a woman talking about how awful other women are, you're getting blocked.
The "romance novels are unrealistic and dangerous" crew
First of all, since when is realism the bar by which we measure FICTION? Does anyone complain about how sci fi novels aren't realistic enough? No. I wonder why that is? Could it be because romance is mostly written by women for women? *cough*misogyny*cough*
And for everyone arguing that romance novels give women unrealistic expectations, I think YOU should have higher expectations for yourself. We all deserve to fall in love with wonderful people and have happy endings in our lives. If you think we don't, well, I feel bad for you. And readers aren't stupid. We're capable of sorting fact from fiction, real life from fantasy.
Also, I watch a lot of Criminal Minds. Does that mean I'm in danger of becoming a serial killer? Nope. So why would it be dangerous for me to read lots of romance novels?
Anyone in a fandom who tries to tell me how I should or should not enjoy media is getting blocked. I'm allowed to like whatever I like, no matter how problematic or messy YOU think it is. Live and let live.
Anyone (but especially men) who argue about how great The Rise of Skywalker was
This one is "kind of" tongue-in-cheek...but not entirely. Look, the movie was a misogynistic dumpster fire that I wish I could nuke from orbit, and anyone talking about how "great" it was because they love the pew-pew is NOT going to get along with me, so the block is as much for me as it is for y'all. If you liked the movie, I'm happy for you. But don't try to convince me that it wasn't offensive to women (and anyone who appreciates a coherent plot and good storytelling).
Those who cry "troll!" too quickly
Calling everyone who disagrees with you a "troll" is a good way to get blocked. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a troll. Some of them just don't agree with you--and that's OK.
Anyone in an online argument who stoops to petty name calling is getting blocked. Not because you offend me, but because you're unoriginal and boring.
If you're a vanity publisher who claims you aren't a vainty publisher, but who charges authors to publish their work, you're a scammy scammer and you're getting blocked.
If you follow me, then immediately spam me with "buy my stuff" messages when I follow you back, I'm blocking you. Spamming is a dick move.
If you're one of these "my way is the only way" bossholes who get preachy on social media, I'm blocking you. Example: The douche who said, sometime last week, that authors who sell their books cheaply are devaluing literature. He went on to say that even though he'd just told authors what to do, he hated it when authors told other authors what to do. Then he called me a troll for pointing out his hypocrisy. Yep. I blocked him.
Enough said, I think. All you "well, actually" folks know who you are.
But that's just an off-the-top-of-my-head list. What about y'all? What types of people are YOU going to block? Let's discuss.