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Month: November 2020

Authors On Parler

Posted in Uncategorized

Content Warning: hate speech of any flavor

This is a controversial post. I know that before writing it because people have told me that it’s controversial.

“I think putting people on a list is childish and unnecessary,” one person told me. “You’re going to name names and hurt someone’s career!” another said. Of course, the old chestnuts “freedom of speech!” and “just because they have a different opinion!” came up.

They were talking about my plans to out authors who joined Parler in the days after Donald Trump’s landslide failure in the 2020 presidential election.

For those unacquainted with the dregs of the internet, Parler is a Facebook alternative that brings together the worst of QAnon, MAGA, militia aficionados, Christian Dominionists, and more white supremacists than you can shake a blue lives matter flag at. Feeling “censored” by Facebook’s policy of gently suggesting that users double-check some of the baseless, absurd, and dangerous propaganda the right cranked out on the platform by the minute.

It is here I would like to point out the irony of people so invested in free speech not understanding what the First Amendment actually says. And I would like to reiterate that Facebook didn’t remove anyone’s content or prevent them from sharing it. They simply put a little note at the bottom of articles, memes, and lengthy diatribes that stated some of the information included wasn’t the truth when it was, in fact, not the truth. It wasn’t freedom of speech that these people had an issue with. It was the fact that they weren’t being allowed to spread hate, disinformation, wild conspiracy theories, and absurdly transparent calls to violent insurrection or the assassination of political figures as irrefutable truth that made them take their toys and run off to their hate circle.

Again: these are people so invested in destroying any non-white, non-straight, non-Protestant person in the country that they feel any attempt to correct or question their deliberate lies and destructive conspiracy theories was an attack on their personal liberty. By not tacitly accepting that what they are fighting for–genocide, eugenics, torture, tyranny, religious persecution, martial law, the list goes on and sinks lower–is righteous and unimpeachable, the word is ripping away their freedom.

They do not consider themselves free if they are not allowed to harm anyone who doesn’t look, act, and believe exactly as they do.

They do not consider themselves free if they are not allowed to kill, see killing, threaten to kill, or celebrate killing.

But these are the people that I, a queer, disabled person, should treat with the grace of anonymity. The people I should work alongside, potentially meet at industry functions. The people who should be celebrated by readers, who should have an easy path to success because…

Why?

Why should we not name the names of people who will happily show up to a book convention and sit beside a marginalized author, smile sweetly, take pictures, then immerse themself in the comforting embrace of free speech like:

  • “For everything that is wrong with this world there is a j** behind it.”
  • “I love laying in bed and rubbing my wet pussy to officers killing n***** men.”
  • “N***** lives don’t matter.”
  • “AIDS kills f*** dead.”
  • “THIS ISN’T OVER YET – NEVER BET AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP! WE ARE MANY – WE ARE MIGHTY WE ARE ARMED – WE ARE UNITED WE ARE TRUMP PATRIOTS – AND WE ARE PISSED! #SayYourPrayersDemocrats #MayGodHaveMercyOnYourSoulBecauseWeWont”
  • “Let’s see them try to enter the people house and attempt to remove our President, a National Treasure!!! Death will become them!”
  • “This woman is Evil Incarnate. We Cannot Allow This Satanic Shill To Enter Office. (Kamala Harris’ eyes turn completely black several times during this interview, she is full of unclean spirits ECHO THIS PLEASE)”
  • “Voting will not remove them. The only things n****** understand are pain and fear”
  • “IN WAR, IT’S KILL OR BE KILLED. WE NEED 50 MILLION ARMED AMERICAN PATRIOTS TO STORM DC AND KILL ALL THE SWAMP CRIMINALS NOW!!!!!!!!!!”

What was that, people who were horrified at the idea of naming names? Oh, you thought Parler was just the garden variety dog whistles you’re comfortable ignoring?

And this is the stuff in public posts made by users of the site. One can only imagine what kind of horror show goes on behind the locked accounts.

Marginalized people should not, will not, and cannot take a stance of non-involvement and polite tolerance toward people whose sole motivation is our total eradication. Asking us to do so is actively protecting the goals of these people. If your first thought upon seeing this list is, “That’s not nice,” then congratulations: you’re complicit.

But I know the perfect social media site for you to join.

Criteria for inclusion:

Because authors make their money off the internet and building a reader following, when a new platform pops up, we generally see them flock there. You never know when the next mega-platform will pop up, and being an early adopter comes with an initial lack of competition for views. Plus, other platforms have a habit of applying advertising and content rules haphazardly, often punishing authors for sharing excerpts or covers that are too racy. It made sense for many erotic romance authors to try out Parler two years ago; for them to still be there, they must have a damn good reason.

For an author’s name to be included on this list, their Parler account must include one or more of the following:

  • Posts or “echoes” of hate speech
  • Posts or “echoes” of election disinformation
  • A “following” list featuring at least two right-wing provocateurs, i.e., accounts following Donald Trump, InfoWars, or any QAnon accounts are automatically included regardless of original content posted by the user
  • A post-election “joined” date
  • A locked account
  • An announcement on other platforms directing readers to the author’s Parler account for reasons described in the introduction to this post

What are some reasons an author might have a Parler account and not be included in the list?

  • The account is an early adopt that hasn’t been updated frequently
  • The account doesn’t follow anyone
  • There are no posts/”echoes”
  • The author’s body of work is self-explanatory

The authors in question must also be published (either indie or traditional) or in the process of querying; we’re not gonna wait for these people to get book deals.

I came up with these criteria based on things I saw on the site itself, as well as from defenses used by authors and readers. Here are some examples:

  • Jamie Mcguire has a locked account with a verified badge. One of her readers argued that because Facebook removes ad content it deems inappropriate, McGuire was forced to switch platforms in order to advertise her books and publicize herself. This would be more believable if the account wasn’t behind a lock on a website that doesn’t allow access to anyone who doesn’t have a user account. Because that rationale makes absolutely no sense at all, she is on the list.
  • Jim Butcher has a Parler account. It is not verified. He joined in August of 2020. He follows no one. The only post on his account is the default post the site makes to get you started. He is not on the list.
  • Laura Loomer has a book coming out in 2021. She doesn’t need to be on the list because she calls herself a “proud Islamaphobe” and has built her entire brand on her profound hatred. Including her would be redundant. Yes, she’s a bigot and an author; no, she is not on the list.
  • A handful of authors on Parler really do seem to be there just to talk about writing and promote their books. They don’t follow any red-flag accounts, they don’t post weird stuff about killing their fellow citizens in an orgy of patriotism and finally getting to use all those bullets they’ve invested in. They’re just there. Maybe they’re there for nefarious purposes, but there’s no way to prove it. They’re not on the list.
  • Some authors expressed dismay at the fact that they’d joined the site in its early days and didn’t realize what it was for. Usually, their accounts were barely used or completely scrubbed of posts. If I can’t prove a person is there with malicious intent, they’re not on the list.

After nearly a month of combing hashtags and search terms, these are the names on the list. They are not in alphabetical order because for some reason, after reading about how I should die, how my friends should die, how half the country should be murdered, etc.? It just seemed like the straw of work that would break my back.

Please also note: it’s become something of a trend to use initials or close spellings to game search engine and retailer algorithms. Please be absolutely certain that you’ve done your own due diligence. This isn’t a list of hot gossip; this is a list of people who pose a danger to their fellow authors.

Click read more for the list.

So…anything happening in the news? And other updates.

Posted in Uncategorized

CW: This is an overall positive post but the word “suicide” does come up and IDK where everyone is around here, mentally. It’s not super heavy, just the grim, passing reflections of someone who’s been suicidal before. It’s not like, about suicide.

As you know by now, President-Elect Joe Biden is a thing. I partied over the weekend, woke up this morning and was like, wow. This is what it feels like to not wake up disappointed that I didn’t die in my sleep. Wild.

I was more or less holding off on making any, you know, plans or whatnot until after the election. It just didn’t make sense to me to be like, “Yeah, good news, I’ve got all this stuff happening and good content coming just as soon as I know that I’m not going to be sent to a re-education camp.

Since it seems safe (for now) to make future plans, I am tentatively announcing a soft release date for the final book in the Sophie Scaife series. The Daughter will, by all accounts, unless I’m crushed by something heavy or there is a military coup that seizes control of the country, be out on January 21st, 2021.

Because I’m going to be damned if I say goodbye to my imaginary friends and strand them in a Trump presidency. No way, no how.

My first Jennifer Morningstar title, In The Blood, will re-release in February 2021.

Damn, it feels so good to be able to actually write again. You guys. seriously.

Please don’t assume that it was just the election that made me regret waking up in the mornings. Nay, nay! as my good friend Kris Norris is fond of saying. Nay, nay, I have had all sorts of other bullshit going on totally unrelated to politics, white supremacy, and all that other fun MAGA jazz. I have more health bullshit!

As you may know, since I feel like I complain about it constantly, in 2009, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Shortly after the birth of my daughter, I injured my neck while nearly missing a head-on collision with another car. Within weeks, I was calling my doctor complaining of fatigue, the pain from my moderate whiplash turned severe. I was in pain all over, a pain I could hear like a low buzzing in my ears. It took months of insisting that this was not normal childbirth recovery, that I’d had a baby before and never felt so run down and in so much pain in so many non-birth related body parts. Finally, someone listened and sent me to a specialist, and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

Cut to September of last year, when I slipped and fell in the shower and broke my foot. I was prepared for my body to take a long time to stop hurting. In the years since my diagnosis, I’ve racked up a rather impressive number of accidents that have caused pain that never went away. And I don’t mean “aches and pains when the weather changes,” although I have those, too. Surgery to remove a tumor resulted in a scar that burns even when the evil wizard who put it there isn’t thinking of me. Sometimes, it feels like it’s coming open. The whiplash has never gone away; it, too, has morphed into constant burning.

I thought this was all Fibromyalgia and continued with my life.

Until one day back in September when I posted on Facebook asking if anyone else still had pain in their foot after breaking it. “It aches every time it rains,” seemed to be the most popular answer. When I tried to explain that it wasn’t an ache, that it hurts exactly the way it did the day after I broke it, someone suggested I look up Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS. And I laughed. Because it’s a rare condition and I know someone who has it. What are the odds of that happening?

I went to my friend, whom some of you know as St. Petra of Getting Peter Capaldi to Wish Jenny a Happy Birthday, who also has CRPS. I told her how funny it was that someone would coincidentally suggest I have the same rare condition she has. And since she and I had bonded over our mutual chronic pain and she knows my symptoms, she finally told me something she’d apparently thought for a while: that my symptoms are symptoms of CRPS.

After my diagnosis, I stopped researching Fibromyalgia. What was the point? It’s incurable, I’m treating it the way that works for me, I don’t really need to obsess over it, right? I’d just been noodling along, thinking everything I was experiencing was Fibro. And then I compared and contrasted the symptoms of both and called my doctor because while I have a few symptoms of Fibro, they’re all symptoms in common with CRPS, which I check every single box on.

I am not yet diagnosed, as it is a diagnosis of exclusion. There isn’t a test for it, you just have to test for everything around it. Just like with Fibro. And that process, dear readers, is exhausting. On the heels of a year where I had two mental breakdowns, it’s really been a lot.

However, I’m positive and happy and cautiously optimistic about the future. It’s way, way better to worry about health issues when I know healthcare access will improve and that we’re not as close to plunging into full, unfettered fascism as we were last year.

I don’t really have a way to end this post, so to recap: The Daughter releases January 21, 2021, In The Blood releases in February, it’s likely I have what’s known as the “suicide disease” (which is a stupid name for it because not only is that grim as fuck for people who have it but also there’s already a disease that causes suicide and that’s called mental illness), but I’m still chugging away and things are looking the fuck up.