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Author Topic: Box set scams on Passive Voice  (Read 93887 times)  

Offline CrazyHorze

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #100 on: April 28, 2017, 07:10:43 PM »
Which has nothing to do with this conversation.
I was talking to Monk, who was saying that people using her services were morally bankrupt (My words) and now he is attacking some woman somewhere whose child had surgery today and who is pregnant. This might sound strange to some here that are so heavily invested in this, but   writers on Twitter and Facebook like her and me personally after reading the blog post I will be joining her Facebook group. She's a bit of a drill sergeant it seems, but she gets things done. Some are treating her like she is murdering people to get on the NYT bestsellers list. We should all just get over it. It's not that important, really. And some of the opinions spoken here are actually not God's truth, really. Let's all get over ourselves. It's not that important, really!

Offline sela

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #101 on: April 28, 2017, 07:11:13 PM »
You're stuck on this gifting thing. Do you realize the numbers don't add up? It takes over 8,000 books to make a list. What the hell are 100 copies or 500 copies going to really do if they don't have thousands of pre-orders/sales already?


I sold 8,300+ books one week when I had a Bookbub without any promotion. None. Just the Bookbub 99c promotion of a single book. I missed the USAT by a couple hundred sales. Believe me, that couple hundred meant a lot.

Say someone else only sold 7,900 books that week but bought / gifted 500 copies to get to 8,400 copies and got on the USAT... Which of the two of us do you think deserved to be there?

It's unethical to buy/gift your own books to hit a list because those sales are not legitimate and shouldn't count. Just like it's unethical to pay click farms to bot-borrow books so you can hit the top 100 and/or get illegitimate page reads.

This should be a pretty easy ethical question to answer. That it isn't speaks to me of desperation and a desire for success -- or the appearance of success -- such that people are willing and able to close their eyes and plug their ears to unethical behaviour.

Bottom line: if a publisher gifts / buys several hundred or several thousand books in order to hit a list, they are not behaving ethically.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 07:15:01 PM by sela »

Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #102 on: April 28, 2017, 07:11:27 PM »
At $0.99 per book, $40,000 buys a lot of books. And yes, the amount I was asked for to buy into a boxed set was $2,000. I never could get a good answer as to how the money was going to be spent -- "advertising and promotion" -- and I bowed out.

And I'm getting really tired of people throwing the word "liar" around. I suggest you look up the words "defamation" and "libel" before using such words.
The amount is off. Her sets are never more than 20 books. How are you getting 40000 dollars from 2 grand buy in? Out of all her sets, only one or two had that buy in amount, out of all the others, the buy in was 500 and less.
The 20k one was for a NYT run, unless I missed her posting one.
I can also show you where she spends the money if need be.


Offline NeedWant

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #103 on: April 28, 2017, 07:15:56 PM »
I sold 8,300+ books one week when I had a Bookbub without any promotion. None. Just the Bookbub 99c promotion of a single book. I missed the USAT by a couple hundred sales. Believe me, that couple hundred meant a lot.

I've recently seen an author spamming a writer's Facebook group asking people to download their book on Apple, Kobo, etc. so they could make the USAT list. These are the kinds of people we're dealing with here. And I don't think that's ethical on any level, but that's just me.

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #104 on: April 28, 2017, 07:16:40 PM »
The amount is off. Her sets are never more than 20 books. How are you getting 40000 dollars from 2 grand buy in? Out of all her sets, only one or two had that buy in amount, out of all the others, the buy in was 500 and less.
The 20k one was for a NYT run, unless I missed her posting one.
I can also show you where she spends the money if need be.
Pull out your calculator and multiply 2,000 times 20. It's not that hard. I've watched you call everyone on this board a liar. Don't go there. I don't know what your stake is. Don't tell me what I know as a part of that FB group.


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Offline Boyd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #105 on: April 28, 2017, 07:20:00 PM »
The amount is off. Her sets are never more than 20 books. How are you getting 40000 dollars from 2 grand buy in? Out of all her sets, only one or two had that buy in amount, out of all the others, the buy in was 500 and less.
The 20k one was for a NYT run, unless I missed her posting one.
I can also show you where she spends the money if need be.



20x2000=40000

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #106 on: April 28, 2017, 07:20:11 PM »

I sold 8,300+ books one week when I had a Bookbub without any promotion. None. Just the Bookbub 99c promotion of a single book. I missed the USAT by a couple hundred sales. Believe me, that couple hundred meant a lot.

Say someone else only sold 7,900 books that week but bought / gifted 500 copies to get to 8,400 copies and got on the USAT... Which of the two of us do you think deserved to be there?

It's unethical to buy/gift your own books to hit a list because those sales are not legitimate. Just like it's unethical to pay click farms to bot-borrow books so you can hit the top 100 and/or get illegitimate page reads.

Bookbub is the holy grail of marketing, so I can definitely see that happening. They take so few people, so congratulations for getting them to say yes  and almost making it!

However, I'm not going to get into an ethics conversation or 'deserving' conversation. My stance: As long as it's not against TOS, people will do what they want. If Amazon didn't want people gifting, they wouldn't make it an option. Amazon is very much "act first, ask questions later". I believe if someone was abusing their TOS, they would be banned and would have been banned long ago, especially with how many people report her for supposed violations.

I can appreciate your stance, and I definitely see your point of view. However, I'm not going to demonize someone for using all the -legal- marketing tools at their disposal.

And I think that's what this points down to: ethics vs legal. Now I'm sounding like a lawyer.

 We all make choices of how we want to do things and what we want to be known for.  You don't do it. Someone else might.

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Offline CrazyHorze

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #107 on: April 28, 2017, 07:23:29 PM »
Bottom line: if a publisher gifts / buys several hundred or several thousand books in order to hit a list, they are not behaving ethically.
A bestseller list is a marketing gimmick. Oscars are marketing gimmicks. That has nothing to do with ethics. All of us need to get over ourselves.

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #108 on: April 28, 2017, 07:25:27 PM »
I was talking to Monk, who was saying that people using her services were morally bankrupt (My words) and now he is attacking some woman somewhere whose child had surgery today and who is pregnant. This might sound strange to some here that are so heavily invested in this, but   writers on Twitter and Facebook like her and me personally after reading the blog post I will be joining her Facebook group. She's a bit of a drill sergeant it seems, but she gets things done. Some are treating her like she is murdering people to get on the NYT bestsellers list. We should all just get over it. It's not that important, really. And some of the opinions spoken here are actually not God's truth, really. Let's all get over ourselves. It's not that important, really!

Some interesting use of words there.  I don't see anyone else equating this to talking about murder.  One would think you're trying to paint her as a martyr.

And again, I say that has nothing to do with the conversation.  We're talking ethics and business practices.  Try to keep the histrionics out of it.


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Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #109 on: April 28, 2017, 07:25:44 PM »
That NYT buy in is $40,000. Again, a friend who had a $30,000 solo budget (in no way, shape, or form affiliated with Rebecca and Genrecrave), had hired people who run ads for a living to guide her, had loads of giveaways, everything you could think of, and didn't make it.

So, that price isn't unusual to me. Mileage varies based on so many different things. Yes, people can make it with less. But, if I was personally pushing for the NYT, I'd have probably more than that as my budget because I personally did the research, and talked to people who have done it, and attempted to it.

I err on the side of caution. I would rather listen to the average ($30K plus) then the outlier (I did it with $2k).

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Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #110 on: April 28, 2017, 07:25:51 PM »
Pull out your calculator and multiply 2,000 times 20. It's not that hard. I've watched you call everyone on this board a liar. Don't go there. I don't know what your stake is. Don't tell me what I know as a part of that FB group.
My mistake on the amount part.
There's a lot of armchair lawyers and people think they know certain rules, when they in fact don't.
I wouldn't even had replied to you if I didn't mess up the math in my head, since you were speaking from your own experience and not what you heard from other authors.


Edited. - Becca

« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 09:33:04 PM by Becca Mills »

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #111 on: April 28, 2017, 07:26:52 PM »
A bestseller list is a marketing gimmick. Oscars are marketing gimmicks. That has nothing to do with ethics. All of us need to get over ourselves.

I agree. Hell, the NYT isn't even ABOUT best-selling anything. It's vetted. If you sell a lot you might impress them enough to get on the list, but there's no guarantee.

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Offline JalexM

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #112 on: April 28, 2017, 07:27:34 PM »
20x2000=40000
I've been staring at a program called blender for too long. Never try to rig and do math at the same time.
My stock trading buddies would be disappointed in me.

Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #113 on: April 28, 2017, 07:28:04 PM »
Jalex, to be fair, some of my sets do end up with more than 20 authors in it. It's not intentional, as I prefer a 20 person limit. But it happens, and I want to make sure everything here is presented factually.

To those defending me, you are wasting your breath. Those who are saying untrue things know what they are saying is not true. Those who don't know can simply join my group, see the screen shots, and see if it lines up what these people are claiming or not. Then they can go to Amazon reps, Amazon TOS pages, their lawyers, and whoever else they want to ask questions. But those people who are innocently getting dragged into this either need to...

1) Choose to see the information that's intentionally being withheld from them by some of the posters here.
or
2) Choose to just go along with it, because it somehow the logic holes add up in their head and they don't care to see anything that might disprove what they want to believe.

EITHER IS FINE WITH ME. Why? Because I have no desire to a) help people who don't want me help or b) to work with anyone who mindlessly follows things when they COULD have all the facts IF they wanted them.  That is a choice for the individual to make.

I've told them where to go if they want to see how the money is spent. That's up to them.

I've already said  - and this can ALSO be confirmed by joining the genrecrave marketing group - that not all of my sets have buy in. MOST are $500. Only twice did I do a higher buy in. Do I say where the money goes? I not only say it, I SHOW IT. there are screenshots in the group that have been up since January that literally show receipt for receipt where that money went. As well as people who LOGGED INTO MY ACCOUNT AND CONFIRMED THE ACCURACY OF IT ALL.

So if someone wants to say I "don't say where the money goes" - they can say that.
If someone wants to see if that claim is true, or if that person is knowingly or accidentally misleading them, then they can join genrecrave marketing group and SEE for THEMSELVES the SCREENSHOTS that show every penny spent AND talk to the people who LOGGED INTO MY ACCOUNT and confirmed. (PS: Those screenshots also show that I provided that login before all this even started. I said "I want a witness that this money is being spent right" - so that part wasn't something I did after the fact, just to be clear.)

But again, it's all a moot point. I could dismantle everything said here, piece by piece by piece with screenshot evidence and irrefutable facts. But you know what? I've done that a DOZEN times now. And every time, they hide those parts of the conversation, or go away for a while and then come back and say the same things, pretending they didn't already see all the proof that shows they are lying. So why keep dismantling it over and over again? When people can just join the group and see for themselves? Instead of me posting the same things over and over again, if they REALLY want to know, they can go there and see it where I've already posted it.

Everything else is rumors on their part and a waste of time on mine. (Yes, even making this post is a waste of time). but you know what has slowly but surely been happening? People ARE going to that group. And they ARE finding out the truth. And they ARE realizing that these people who claim to have "morals" apparently KNOWINGLY withholding information from them because it doesn't fit their narrative. And they they see that, there's one thing they all want to know:

Which moral is it again that condones knowingly misleading people? I can't think of any, personally. The truth speaks for itself to anyone who is willing to see it. And to anyone who doesn't want the truth, well, what's the point in showing it to them?

Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #114 on: April 28, 2017, 07:29:51 PM »
I agree. Hell, the NYT isn't even ABOUT best-selling anything. It's vetted. If you sell a lot you might impress them enough to get on the list, but there's no guarantee.

Correct. I've had sets that had NYT numbers (and didn't gift a single copy to create buzz!) and didn't make the list. And I've had sets that did make the list with about the same numbers. One set actually made it HIGHER with LESS numbers than another set that made a list. NYT is known to curate. If they don't think your writing is good enough to be there, they simply knock you off the list.

Offline sela

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #115 on: April 28, 2017, 07:31:36 PM »
Bookbub is the holy grail of marketing, so I can definitely see that happening. They take so few people, so congratulations for getting them to say yes  and almost making it!

However, I'm not going to get into an ethics conversation or 'deserving' conversation. My stance: As long as it's not against TOS, people will do what they want. If Amazon didn't want people gifting, they wouldn't make it an option. Amazon is very much "act first, ask questions later". I believe if someone was abusing their TOS, they would be banned and would have been banned long ago, especially with how many people report her for supposed violations.

I can appreciate your stance, and I definitely see your point of view. However, I'm not going to demonize someone for using all the -legal- marketing tools at their disposal.

And I think that's what this points down to: ethics vs legal. Now I'm sounding like a lawyer.

 We all make choices of how we want to do things and what we want to be known for.  You don't do it. Someone else might.

But you see, you are already getting in an ethical conversation when you say that "as long as its not against TOS..." As we have seen in the past, the TOS can be inadequate and people are always trying to find loopholes and quick fixes that push the boundaries of ethics in order to get ahead. It may be seen as okay, but we know it really isn't. What if I decided to buy 20,000 copies of my 99c book?  Should my book beat out someone else whose book actually sold 20,000 copies to actual readers?

We can't avoid ethical questions in life. Every action has ethical implications. Every decision in which we have to choose to follow or bend or break rules is an ethical decision.

Someone wrote that the law is no substitute for morality and that right and wrong is a very different standard than legal and illegal. 

Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #116 on: April 28, 2017, 07:33:47 PM »
Just going to throw it out there, that's it kind of hard for ANY of us to speak about the NYT aiming list. I've only run sign ups for one, and that one didn't run yet. And I had interest in a second, but haven't collected money or moved forward with it yet. Still considering who's interested in that. So harping on THAT set up, that NO ONE has seen in action yet, is a waste of time. It's literally 1 set out of dozens with that sign up...that hasn't run yet...so I just don't get it. It's like harping one thing proved to be malicious so the goal posts got moved to be about the NYT sets instead, to see if that will work better at swaying people to join the hate fest.

If we want to talk to the $500 buy in sets I've already run, as I've said, there's screenshots that show how that money is spent. Anyone who wants to see it is welcome to join the group and see it for themselves. Many who are starting these rumors have already seen it and are aware, and there's a reason they didn't share those screenshots when trying to paint this misaligned, misleading, and purposefully deceitful picture.

The screenshots disprove their narrative. Join the group and see for yourself. And then you can decide who isn't being ethical here.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 07:37:34 PM by TheForeverGirlSeries »

Offline CrazyHorze

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #117 on: April 28, 2017, 07:36:02 PM »
Some interesting use of words there.  I don't see anyone else equating this to talking about murder.  One would think you're trying to paint her as a martyr.

And again, I say that has nothing to do with the conversation.  We're talking ethics and business practices.  Try to keep the histrionics out of it.
You're talking about ethics? Look how you're talking to a woman whose daughter had surgery today and who is pregnant and who is a real living human being and you equate that with a fake, pro wresting belt marketing gimmick like a best seller list? Are we all out of our minds?

Offline sela

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #118 on: April 28, 2017, 07:37:31 PM »
A bestseller list is a marketing gimmick. Oscars are marketing gimmicks. That has nothing to do with ethics. All of us need to get over ourselves.

I really can't believe this statement.

You're saying that it's all BS so if people cheat, it's of no consequence and shouldn't matter.

This is cynicism at its apex. It's nihilism. That's scary.


Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #119 on: April 28, 2017, 07:39:14 PM »
You're talking about ethics? Look how you're talking to a woman whose daughter had surgery today and who is pregnant and who is a real living human being and you equate that with a fake, pro wresting belt marketing gimmick like a best seller list? Are we all out of our minds?

This was never really about ethics. That's just another word that can be used to persuade people to take their side instead of encouraging them to look at the facts and decide for themselves. "We're going to imply that if you don't agree with us, then you're unethical too." It's a bully tactic. Some people fall for it, some people see right through it. Others join the genrecrave marketing group and look at the screenshots so they can decide for themselves  :P

Offline Holly Dodd

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #120 on: April 28, 2017, 07:39:26 PM »
But you see, you are already getting in an ethical conversation when you say that "as long as its not against TOS..." As we have seen in the past, the TOS can be inadequate and people are always trying to find loopholes and quick fixes that push the boundaries of ethics in order to get ahead. It may be seen as okay, but we know it really isn't. What if I decided to buy 20,000 copies of my 99c book?  Should my book beat out someone else whose book actually sold 20,000 copies to actual readers?

We can't avoid ethical questions in life. Every action has ethical implications. Every decision in which we have to choose to follow or bend or break rules is an ethical decision.

Someone wrote that the law is no substitute for morality and that right and wrong is a very different standard than legal and illegal.

I am trying not to get into the ethical conversation. Because there are loopholes. Nothing is perfect. People will find a way to accomplish what they want and toe the line. Work smarter not harder, etc. That's just human nature.

Who am I to judge them, though? I try not to judge people, or what they do. Which is why I prefaced it the way I did. Ethics to me are very personal, where legal is black and white. So, I lean on the legal side because it should be cut and dry. Amazon is the final -legal- say in the gifting quandary. Not you. Not me. Just them. What we have are personal opinions.

I don't want to throw my personal beliefs at people, especially in a public way. That is just my personal preference.

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Offline crow.bar.beer

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #121 on: April 28, 2017, 07:40:33 PM »
The blog post explains how she is creating USA Today and NYT bestsellers.

If we stop and be truly honest with ourselves, we all know we're not talking about the participating authors being USA Today and NYT bestsellers, just the box-sets. No one gathers a team of twenty runners, does the Boston Marathon as a relay race where the baton gets passed along between them at each 1/20th segment, and then says I completed the Boston Marathon!" :D

Yet I see those authors proclaim that all the time on their covers.  ::)

And I don't understand it, because it's not true. I'd like to see someone have the cojones to put on their cover "1/20th of a USA Today Bestselling Author".

I think that kind of honesty would be nice...

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #122 on: April 28, 2017, 07:40:40 PM »
You're talking about ethics? Look how you're talking to a woman whose daughter had surgery today and who is pregnant and who is a real living human being and you equate that with a fake, pro wresting belt marketing gimmick like a best seller list? Are we all out of our minds?

The woman with the daughter in surgery who is pregnant is on Writer's Cafe defending her business practices.

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #123 on: April 28, 2017, 07:41:15 PM »
You're talking about ethics? Look how you're talking to a woman whose daughter had surgery today and who is pregnant and who is a real living human being and you equate that with a fake, pro wresting belt marketing gimmick like a best seller list? Are we all out of our minds?

And again. You're like a broken record.  I don't wish anyone's children ill or them for that matter. I have kids of my own.  But I'm not bringing them into this conversation because they have nothing to do with gifting books, making letters, box sets etc. 


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Offline sela

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Re: Box set scams on Passive Voice
« Reply #124 on: April 28, 2017, 07:44:19 PM »
I am trying not to get into the ethical conversation. Because there are loopholes. Nothing is perfect. People will find a way to accomplish what they want and toe the line. Work smarter not harder, etc. That's just human nature.

Who am I to judge them, though? I try not to judge people, or what they do. Which is why I prefaced it the way I did. Ethics to me are very personal, where legal is black and white. So, I lean on the legal side because it should be cut and dry. Amazon is the final -legal- say in the gifting quandary. Not you. Not me. Just them. What we have are personal opinions.

I don't want to throw my personal beliefs at people, especially in a public way. That is just my personal preference.

I'm saying that you may try to avoid getting into an ethical conversation, but you do so by default by accepting or ignoring unethical behaviour.

*shrug*

Turning a blind eye is what allows a lot of bad behaviour continue to exist.