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Author Topic: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)  (Read 10878 times)  

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #175 on: September 08, 2017, 10:46:43 AM »
You've created an adversarial relationship where you might have had a cooperative one. You've also drained part of the well of sympathy from outsiders because now it looks like you've used a real problem that people sympathize with as leverage in a business negotiation. So, yeah, working great.

 

To piggyback, this is also "crying wolf" before the wolf is sighted. It exhausts the general pool of good will and ends up leaving those with proven discrimination problems with fewer resources, less sympathy, and less help. Those opposed to, say, LGBT+ rights get free ammunition "proving" that group will "smear the innocent to advance their agenda."

If you want to watch mob mentality form in realtime, keep reading KBoards--but remember, next time the mob may be coming after your "tribe."

(this is in no way a threat--just a caution).
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 10:51:30 AM by David VanDyke »


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Offline David VanDyke

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #176 on: September 08, 2017, 10:56:47 AM »
As to how it happens, right or wrong, we have a default to "straight" in the categorization of things. Nobody labels romance "straight" or "cis" or whatever, but they do label everything else that's not the default, just like we don't have (in most western countries, in English) "white" or "Caucasian" fiction, but we do have "black" of "African-American" descriptors in some categories.

I'm not saying this is right, but it is how things are currently done--and that gives rise to situations like this, where the Venn diagram of categorization creates some unexpected overlaps and connections--but those will only ever happen when there is a positive (non-absent) descriptor. It's always the difference that is spotted, even by machine algorithms.


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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #177 on: September 08, 2017, 11:23:02 AM »
As to how it happens, right or wrong, we have a default to "straight" in the categorization of things. Nobody labels romance "straight" or "cis" or whatever, but they do label everything else that's not the default, just like we don't have (in most western countries, in English) "white" or "Caucasian" fiction, but we do have "black" of "African-American" descriptors in some categories.

I'm not saying this is right, but it is how things are currently done--and that gives rise to situations like this, where the Venn diagram of categorization creates some unexpected overlaps and connections--but those will only ever happen when there is a positive (non-absent) descriptor. It's always the difference that is spotted, even by machine algorithms.

I think you're misunderstanding what happened here.

There IS actually an erotica/gay or erotica/lesbian tag, but there is ALSO a romance/gay and romance/lesbian or just a plain fiction/gay.  Playster took these latter ones and treated them like the former SIMPLY because they were gay or lesbian.  They claimed to be evaluating or eliminating erotica altogether because of minors engaged in sex in erotica. What this means is that someone at Playster determined that ANY book that contained gay or lesbian characters, no matter erotica or not, was AT RISK for having underaged sex in them. This is, as Speaker To Animals said an old canard that homosexuals are more likely to be pedophiles.  That Playster looked into this and "fixed" it to not be discriminatory against gay and lesbian fiction is to their credit, but it DID happen.

So this idea that we don't have a STRAIGHT tag is actually wrong.  Romance by itself is considered the "straight" tag and "gay romance" or "lesbian romance" is not.  So the "romance" tag, i.e., straight people, WASN'T barred, but all gay and lesbian romance was.


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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #178 on: September 08, 2017, 11:50:41 AM »
I think you're misunderstanding what happened here.

There IS actually an erotica/gay or erotica/lesbian tag, but there is ALSO a romance/gay and romance/lesbian or just a plain fiction/gay.  Playster took these latter ones and treated them like the former SIMPLY because they were gay or lesbian.  They claimed to be evaluating or eliminating erotica altogether because of minors engaged in sex in erotica. What this means is that someone at Playster determined that ANY book that contained gay or lesbian characters, no matter erotica or not, was AT RISK for having underaged sex in them. This is, as Speaker To Animals said an old canard that homosexuals are more likely to be pedophiles.  That Playster looked into this and "fixed" it to not be discriminatory against gay and lesbian fiction is to their credit, but it DID happen.

So this idea that we don't have a STRAIGHT tag is actually wrong.  Romance by itself is considered the "straight" tag and "gay romance" or "lesbian romance" is not.  So the "romance" tag, i.e., straight people, WASN'T barred, but all gay and lesbian romance was.



I can't tell if I'm misunderstanding what happened here--and neither can you. I'm reserving judgment. You're making assumptions in the absence of information, it seems to me.

Somehow, whether by one misguided employee or by algorithm or innocent error, the LBGT+ tag seems to have been equated with the forbidden kind of erotica. We simply don't know how or why that happened. I totally get how this can seem like "enemy action," but we simply don't know. I've been involved in enough "where there's smoke, there's fire" situations where the smoke turned out to be, yes, just smoke, no fire, to instantly believe the worst. Playster seems to be taking action to correct the mistake. Good on them.

Instantly believing the worst is, precisely, what leads to the mob mentality. Secondary and circumstantial evidence, absent primary sources, is not good enough. If it were, then hundreds of people wouldn't have been exonerated and removed from death row by the Innocence Project.

And as far as the "straight" tag, I was talking about literally, as a computer thinks. There is no literal "straight" tag in most categorization, therefore a computer, or a poorly trained employee, one who very well may have been hired and given a task beyond his or her knowledge, is faced with only positive tags (in a Boolean sense--the presence rather than the absence, a "true" rather than a "false") to work with. Long ago, I used to code, and my wife did as well, and we've both seen situations where an algorithm did something we didn't expect. Heck, NASA has crashed spacecraft because of such errors, and I'm, pretty sure Playster has nowhere near NASA's number and expertise of coders.

Again, this boils down to: do you (general you) deliberately withhold judgment and insist on "innocent until proven guilty," or do you presume guilt and try to make the target prove their innocence? Because the latter what I see happening far too much in our society, and it gets reflected on KBoards.

In fact, it's EXACTLY what we're complaining about--Playster and Amazon and others who hold our careers in their hands declared a certain category of authors guilty until proven innocent. It's fundamentally hypocritical to complain about being judged guilty without proof, then to likewise judge others guilty without proof.





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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #179 on: September 08, 2017, 12:02:07 PM »
To piggyback, this is also "crying wolf" before the wolf is sighted. It exhausts the general pool of good will and ends up leaving those with proven discrimination problems with fewer resources, less sympathy, and less help. Those opposed to, say, LGBT+ rights get free ammunition "proving" that group will "smear the innocent to advance their agenda."

If you want to watch mob mentality form in realtime, keep reading KBoards--but remember, next time the mob may be coming after your "tribe."

(this is in no way a threat--just a caution).

So, to sum up: some KBoarders noticed what appeared to be discrimination; called out the company involved; were informed they were correct; were apologized to and told it was an accident; and were offered remedy ... and this is your example of how horrible KBoards is?

I think many of us who've become involved with this *don't* think it was a case of "crying wolf" and *do* see it as a case of "proven discrimination." Just because the discrimination was caused by some sort of mistake on Playster's part doesn't mean it wasn't real. Conducting yourself responsibly in a position of power means, among many other things, checking to make sure you're not being discriminatory. If you're careless (in designing your algorithms, for instance) and end up discriminating accidentally, that's a wrong -- one you need to admit to and fix, as Playster has done. Discriminating through carelessness may not be as bad as setting out with the desire to do harm, but it's still bad, and it's still discrimination. Smaller acts of discrimination do have an impact, and there's nothing wrong with insisting they be addressed.




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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #180 on: September 08, 2017, 12:12:40 PM »
Becca, you're a moderator. Did I say "horrible"?

And KBoards is the medium, not the message--but this is where I am, watching the mob mentality form. You're stripping out all the heated rhetoric in your summation, deliberately ignoring the repeated implications that this was an intentional assault on LGBT+ when we still don't know anything about intentions.

And really, as a moderator holding the power, you should not be taking sides in public. "Conducting yourself responsibly in a position of power means, among many other things, checking to make sure you're not being discriminatory." Exactly. You've just crossed that line, in public, as a person with the power.


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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #181 on: September 08, 2017, 12:25:26 PM »
The notion that this could have been some completely accidental database quirk is ludicrously farfetched. If it was a CSR who didn't know what they were doing, bringing it to the attention of Playster should have been enough to solve the issue, but instead we got an explanation that invoked one of the classic hateful stereotypes used by anti-gay hate groups.

But yeah, let's not jump to conclusions. It's not like any of us who are gay have any experience in this...

As far as I'm concerned, this was a textbook example of exactly how it's supposed to work. Discrimination was discovered, pressure was brought, the company backed down. If they want to save face and make an excuse, that I don't care about. The structural problem is fixed.

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #182 on: September 08, 2017, 01:03:55 PM »
Becca, you're a moderator. Did I say "horrible"?

And KBoards is the medium, not the message--but this is where I am, watching the mob mentality form. You're stripping out all the heated rhetoric in your summation, deliberately ignoring the repeated implications that this was an intentional assault on LGBT+ when we still don't know anything about intentions.

And really, as a moderator holding the power, you should not be taking sides in public. "Conducting yourself responsibly in a position of power means, among many other things, checking to make sure you're not being discriminatory." Exactly. You've just crossed that line, in public, as a person with the power.

So ... being in a position of power at KBoards means I can't advocate for authors I think are being discriminated against? I don't think that's right, David. I'm still a person, and I still get to take positions on issues I feel strongly about. Yes, I try not to take wade into threads where KBoarders are actively pitted against one another, but this really didn't strike me as such a situation. Advocating for authors of the excluded LGBT books didn't entail advocating against some other group of KBoards members. A KBoarder's book with straight characters is not going to get dropped from Playster's catalog in order to make room for a book with gay characters. It didn't occur to me that there would be an opposing "side" to this situation.

Personally, I'm willing to take Playster at its word that there was no "intentional assault" here. I'd still like more explanation of what went wrong, but I think the quickness with which the company responded and fixed things supports the idea that the exclusion was accidental. But as I said in my last post, I also don't think intentions are the be-all and end-all of situations like this one. Intentionality matters a lot, but it's not the whole story, IMO. When it takes over as the whole story, it quickly becomes a way to dismiss events and situations as not significant, not worth addressing, etc.




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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #183 on: September 08, 2017, 01:12:51 PM »
FYI: All my LGBT books published to Playster today. I have two D2D accounts and only reached out on one. All books on both accounts published.

I'm assuming that means we need do nothing as far as re-subbing? Although D2D could have pushed all my books from both accounts... I have not heard back from them on my support request yet.

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #184 on: September 08, 2017, 01:13:47 PM »
And really, as a moderator holding the power, you should not be taking sides in public. "Conducting yourself responsibly in a position of power means, among many other things, checking to make sure you're not being discriminatory." Exactly. You've just crossed that line, in public, as a person with the power.
At the risk of stirring fresh controversy, moderators are also Kboards members. As moderators, the only statements the mods make are cautions about people getting too close to the edge of what's allowed, announcements regarding locked threads, etc. As Kboards members, I see no reason why they can't enter into discussions, as long as they don't violate the very rules they are enforcing, which I don't think is what happened here. (I'll admit that's a difficult line to draw, but if we didn't, I suspect we'd have no moderators. Is someone who isn't an author going to be willing to spend so much time reading posts on this forum? I think not.)

Your point about lynch mobs is well taken. I didn't really feel that was the tone of the thread, though. The bottom line is that Playster made a rather dramatic error. I say error, because there is no evidence it was deliberate. I'm inclined to agree, though, that discrimination by accident is still discrimination. In such a case, however, it is easier to make up for it, and Playster did its best to do just that. No lynch mob, but some pressure, problem resolved. I think we need to take the win and move on.


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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #185 on: September 08, 2017, 01:23:09 PM »
Mob mentality? Really? I guess we see what we want to see. I saw a company discriminating against LGBT books simply for having gay characters. Not erotica, normal, every day sorts of books. With no explanation, no warning, no clarification of content rules. It wasn't wrong to bring that to people's attention, as we are all thinking of our livelihood which is affected by having books summarily unpublished.

Now the company has said there was an error made, and they are fixing it. Problem solved. No one was hurt, or threatened, or accused of doing something they didn't -- because it did happen, no one imagined it. It's not wrong to question things that don't look right, and I for one won't be shamed into keeping quiet when I see it.
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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #186 on: September 08, 2017, 01:29:52 PM »
Is someone who isn't an author going to be willing to spend so much time reading posts on this forum? I think not.)

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #187 on: September 08, 2017, 02:53:57 PM »
I think Elizabeth did exactly the right thing.  She had trouble getting a response, she wondered if others were having the same problem, people started wondering what was going on, there was some speculation, the company made contact and promised to look into it, they did and the problem was resolved.

Keyword mistakes are going to happen especially with computers.  There is plenty of speculation, but as we say on Kboards, we give people the benefit of the doubt.  The company is working on it and books are being put back up.

It was good to see authors from different genres get together to try to figure out what was going on...and ask the company to respond to the issue.  I didn't know if the company would in all honestly, but I'm very glad they did. :)


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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #188 on: September 08, 2017, 02:55:12 PM »
I can't tell if I'm misunderstanding what happened here--and neither can you. I'm reserving judgment. You're making assumptions in the absence of information, it seems to me.

Come on. It's a rare that any individual knows 100% what's happening in any given situation, let alone situations that involve multiple parties and companies. We probably never will know the full story. Playster may come back and fill in the remaining blanks, but I'd guess that's unlikely. Either way, people fill in the blanks all the time, don't they? Isn't that a part of everyday life? Are you up and through threads about Amazon and why it's doing what it's doing? Are you scolding authors there that fill in the blanks to the best of their ability based on what they know and have experienced (even though that will never account for the full picture)? Have you never made an assumption? Have you never felt you were correct in your assumption even though you might never know for sure? ::)

And KBoards is the medium, not the message--but this is where I am, watching the mob mentality form.

Deductive reasoning is not foolproof but it also doesn't equate to mob mentality. I've been reading this thread post by post since it was started. Quote the people who were stoking this mob you're seeing. I'm curious what exactly you think is crossing the line.

You're stripping out all the heated rhetoric in your summation, deliberately ignoring the repeated implications that this was an intentional assault on LGBT+ when we still don't know anything about intentions.

Intent is one of the hardest things to prove. Are you suggesting that everyone wait to post about experiences and opinions on kboards until they know the intent of distributors and vendors beyond a shadow of a doubt? Because that's a tall order and there are a lot of threads that would need your attention and instruction. Rhetoric is unreasonable or dishonest language intended to influence others. I repeat, quote where you saw this happening. I'll wait. All I saw was authors trying to inform each other of what might be happening based on their experiences/first hand knowledge and get answers, but I'm curious what you can come up with that I missed.

If you want to watch mob mentality form in realtime, keep reading KBoards--but remember, next time the mob may be coming after your "tribe."

LOL. Okay... This wasn't a mob, but I've seen threads where most people strongly disagree with a select few. I've even been one of a few. I wouldn't even call that a mob. I'd call it a group of passionate people debating their feelings about topics they care about. It's not that big of a deal and besides, my "tribe" has dealt with much worse. We're good.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 12:42:23 AM by Markus Croft »

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #189 on: September 08, 2017, 04:29:08 PM »
So ... being in a position of power at KBoards means I can't advocate for authors I think are being discriminated against? I don't think that's right, David. I'm still a person, and I still get to take positions on issues I feel strongly about. Yes, I try not to take wade into threads where KBoarders are actively pitted against one another, but this really didn't strike me as such a situation. Advocating for authors of the excluded LGBT books didn't entail advocating against some other group of KBoards members. A KBoarder's book with straight characters is not going to get dropped from Playster's catalog in order to make room for a book with gay characters. It didn't occur to me that there would be an opposing "side" to this situation.

Personally, I'm willing to take Playster at its word that there was no "intentional assault" here. I'd still like more explanation of what went wrong, but I think the quickness with which the company responded and fixed things supports the idea that the exclusion was accidental. But as I said in my last post, I also don't think intentions are the be-all and end-all of situations like this one. Intentionality matters a lot, but it's not the whole story, IMO. When it takes over as the whole story, it quickly becomes a way to dismiss events and situations as not significant, not worth addressing, etc.

I think you can't be both judge and jury. You have been elevated to being a judge. It's wrong for you to adjudicate the merits of arguments as well as to judge how they're conducted. It's a conflict of interest--or at best, the perception of one.

It's like a sports referee choosing who wins a game based on which team is "better" in your subjective measure--you like their stance of social issues, or their uniforms, or their arguments better.

No. That's wrong. It's wrong on the face of it. It's not that you aren't entitled to your opinion--but you expressing it on these boards from your position of privilege skews the free expression we have here.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 04:37:15 PM by David VanDyke »


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Offline David VanDyke

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #190 on: September 08, 2017, 04:35:13 PM »
Mob mentality? Really? I guess we see what we want to see. I saw a company discriminating against LGBT books simply for having gay characters. Not erotica, normal, every day sorts of books. With no explanation, no warning, no clarification of content rules. It wasn't wrong to bring that to people's attention, as we are all thinking of our livelihood which is affected by having books summarily unpublished.

Now the company has said there was an error made, and they are fixing it. Problem solved. No one was hurt, or threatened, or accused of doing something they didn't -- because it did happen, no one imagined it. It's not wrong to question things that don't look right, and I for one won't be shamed into keeping quiet when I see it.

If we see what we want to see, then we ALL see what we want to see--the "guilty until proven innocent" crowd as well.

I prefer to think we see what we're sensitive to. I'm sensitive to misuse of power and privilege, whether it's appointed power, elected power, popular power or mob opinion power. That's what I'm concerned about at a meta level. Restrict and regulate that--ensure the rule of law rather than of persons--and much of the rest will fall into place. But if it's the rule of persons--no matter how much we like them at the moment, no matter that they're "our tribe", it always goes wrong eventually, even if only after the good person finally departs or retires.

It's been said that if you want to know someone's character, give them a little power and see what happens. Cops, city councillors, CEOs, drill sergeants, prison guards, it's all the same.



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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #191 on: September 08, 2017, 05:05:29 PM »
I think you can't be both judge and jury. You have been elevated to being a judge. It's wrong for you to adjudicate the merits of arguments as well as to judge how they're conducted. It's a conflict of interest--or at best, the perception of one.

It's like a sports referee choosing who wins a game based on which team is "better" in your subjective measure--you like their stance of social issues, or their uniforms, or their arguments better.

No. That's wrong. It's wrong on the face of it. It's not that you aren't entitled to your opinion--but you expressing it on these boards from your position of privilege skews the free expression we have here.

David, the moderators here are also members and do participate as such. You can see me navigating the distinction in posts like this one, from earlier in this thread:

Putting on my moderator hat ... I recognize that the situation with Playster touches on many other areas of LGBT+ rights and resistance thereto, but due to KBoards' no-politics policy, we need to keep our focus on Playster. A couple posts that were getting too far afield have been removed.

So far as I know, the above was the only moderation action taken in this thread.

Obviously, a certain level of trust is required -- trust that moderators won't abuse their office by maliciously deleting or altering the posts of people they disagree with, or other such malfeasance. That's the case whether moderators articulate their views or not. I would hope we've earned that trust. If I'm too new at moderating to have earned your trust yet, I hope I will over time. :)




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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #192 on: September 08, 2017, 05:06:48 PM »
I repeat, quote where you saw this happening. I'll wait. All I saw was authors trying to inform each other of what might be happening based on their experiences/first hand knowledge and get answers, but I'm curious what you can come up with that I missed.

Here's your quotes:

It's messed up that people are still doing stuff like this. :( And not even up front about it either.  The latter strongly implies the "doing stuff like this" is attempting to be concealed.

Reply#7--a graphic I don't know how to copy--which says "Homophobes--homophobes everywhere." That's a declaration of intent and guilt. This post was not modded, therefore the mods are giving the accusations their implicit blessing.

My LGBT content has gone, just the hetero content is left. This is unconscionable. I will email them and pull my entire catalogue with them. Not "I will threaten to pull.." Not "I will insist they fix the situation." Again, declared guilty without a trial.

IMO, doing what they seem to be doing is a lot worse than just out-and-out saying they don't accept those books. Doing it the way they are, it's like having their cake and eating it too. Again, guilty until proven innocent, constantly implying this is intentional company policy. Or maybe it's just a mistake?


Sometimes companies only admit they won't sell something because of "those dirty gay cooties" when they get called on it...
Using loaded terms to whip up emotions, highlighting only one aspect of things. No different from saying "Sometimes black people deal drugs..." which is technically true, but omits the fact that people of every race deals drugs and that highlighting one race is a smear campaign, not a reasoned argument. Note this response immediately after: "This is true Becca, which is why I am saying people need to stop with the immediate urge to 'raise awareness' which is the usual code these days for get the crowd riled up and sic em on the company." (emphasis mine). So, it's clear to others, not just me, that this is trying to "whip up and sic 'em."

Okay, that's just the first two pages and the low-hanging fruit.

I was impressed, in the rereading, that so many people spoke up for not getting riled up (at least not until we hear something from the companies involved), and counseled a wait and see, measured-response attitude. Yet, there were some who continued to "whip 'em up" and to insist that rushing to judgment was justified.

I'm sure some will still argue that without agitation, there would be no resolution. That may be true--or it may not. But agitating by attributing evil motives is wrong, unless there is actual evidence of evil motives.

Never attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by mere stupidity.


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Offline David VanDyke

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #193 on: September 08, 2017, 05:15:10 PM »
David, the moderators here are also members and do participate as such. You can see me navigating the distinction in posts like this one, from earlier in this thread:

So far as I know, the above was the only moderation action taken in this thread.

Obviously, a certain level of trust is required -- trust that moderators won't abuse their office by maliciously deleting or altering the posts of people they disagree with, or other such malfeasance. That's the case whether moderators articulate their views or not. I would hope we've earned that trust. If I'm too new at moderating to have earned your trust yet, I hope I will over time. :)


No, you haven't earned it. In fact, you've forfeited it by continuing to defend the practice of being both judge, juror and, now, attorney for the defense. I hate to sound like that's a personal attack, and I'm sure your intentions are good, but so are the intentions of the cop who, after separating two people having a mutual fistfight, proceeds to declare one guilty and one innocent. That's not a cop's role.

You cannot be both an impartial mod, and declare your partisanship within a thread. When you became a mod, IMO you gave up your privilege of taking sides. Sure you have the RIGHT to not follow this principle, but having the right doesn't mean it's right to do so.

Judges need to be impartial. A mod is, at root, a judge. You're being explicitly partial. That's conflict of interest. You could be my best friend and I'd say the same exact thing.



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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #194 on: September 08, 2017, 05:52:30 PM »
Sometimes companies only admit they won't sell something because of "those dirty gay cooties" when they get called on it... Using loaded terms to whip up emotions, highlighting only one aspect of things. No different from saying "Sometimes black people deal drugs..." which is technically true, but omits the fact that people of every race deals drugs and that highlighting one race is a smear campaign, not a reasoned argument. Note this response immediately after: "This is true Becca, which is why I am saying people need to stop with the immediate urge to 'raise awareness' which is the usual code these days for get the crowd riled up and sic em on the company." (emphasis mine). So, it's clear to others, not just me, that this is trying to "whip up and sic 'em."

I do think it's important to be fair, even when tackling discrimination. I remain comfortable with what I wrote in that post, so long as it's read in the context of the larger paragraph:

Sometimes companies only admit they won't sell something because of "those dirty gay cooties" when they get called on it and have to make a choice to 1) be publicly honest about their practices, so that consumers can make informed choices, or 2) changing their practices. Until they're called on it, they try to have it both ways -- say nothing that sounds discriminatory so as not to push away Group A while hoping word quietly gets out within Group B that this is a site where their kids can't get a hold of LGBT+ content. I don't think we know yet whether Playster is actually trying to play both sides of the fence like that, but the only way to find out is to shed some light on the situation and see what the company says. (emphasis added)

I went on in that post to say this:

If you made me guess right now, I'd say this will turn out to be a dumb decision made by someone pretty far down Playster's food chain. I don't see any sign in the company's web presence that it's trying to focus on a very conservative market segment. Rather, all their imagery is young, young, young, and today's young folks support LGBT rights in very substantial majorities here in the U.S. If they've made a high-level choice to exclude LGBT+ books, well, it seems weird and self-sabotaging. (emphasis added)

In other words, when you say, "Never attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by mere stupidity," I think you're echoing my point.

No, you haven't earned it. In fact, you've forfeited it by continuing to defend the practice of being both judge, juror and, now, attorney for the defense. I hate to sound like that's a personal attack, and I'm sure your intentions are good, but so are the intentions of the cop who, after separating two people having a mutual fistfight, proceeds to declare one guilty and one innocent. That's not a cop's role.

You cannot be both an impartial mod, and declare your partisanship within a thread. When you became a mod, IMO you gave up your privilege of taking sides. Sure you have the RIGHT to not follow this principle, but having the right doesn't mean it's right to do so.

Judges need to be impartial. A mod is, at root, a judge. You're being explicitly partial. That's conflict of interest. You could be my best friend and I'd say the same exact thing.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that.

Just to be clear, the "position" I'm taking here is a pretty basic one: Playster shouldn't exclude LGBT+ books, and it wasn't wrong to challenge that exclusion. Given KBoards's culture of non-discrimination, that stance feels reasonable to me.





Offline David VanDyke

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #195 on: September 08, 2017, 06:11:38 PM »
I do think it's important to be fair, even when tackling discrimination. I remain comfortable with what I wrote in that post, so long as it's read in the context of the larger paragraph:

I went on in that post to say this:

In other words, when you say, "Never attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by mere stupidity," I think you're echoing my point.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that.

Just to be clear, the "position" I'm taking here is a pretty basic one: Playster shouldn't exclude LGBT+ books, and it wasn't wrong to challenge that exclusion. Given KBoards's culture of non-discrimination, that stance feels reasonable to me.



It's great to see you now posting balanced, sensible things. Some things you said above were not so balanced and sensible. I'm going to choose to view this as a course correction by "the system" when someone speaks up firmly but politely when it strays.

It would be nice to see the mods here establish some kind of written policy on this issue and publish it, though. Leaders or judges without any accountability or written guidelines can be easily tempted to go beyond "the rules," even the unwritten ones, and they end up going with their instinct or opinion when they should be following policy. 


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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #196 on: September 08, 2017, 06:38:42 PM »
So ... being in a position of power at KBoards means I can't advocate for authors I think are being discriminated against? I don't think that's right, David. I'm still a person, and I still get to take positions on issues I feel strongly about. Yes, I try not to take wade into threads where KBoarders are actively pitted against one another, but this really didn't strike me as such a situation. Advocating for authors of the excluded LGBT books didn't entail advocating against some other group of KBoards members. A KBoarder's book with straight characters is not going to get dropped from Playster's catalog in order to make room for a book with gay characters. It didn't occur to me that there would be an opposing "side" to this situation.

Personally, I'm willing to take Playster at its word that there was no "intentional assault" here. I'd still like more explanation of what went wrong, but I think the quickness with which the company responded and fixed things supports the idea that the exclusion was accidental. But as I said in my last post, I also don't think intentions are the be-all and end-all of situations like this one. Intentionality matters a lot, but it's not the whole story, IMO. When it takes over as the whole story, it quickly becomes a way to dismiss events and situations as not significant, not worth addressing, etc.
Thanks for standing up for us, Becca. I am glad to see the Playster problem resolved in a positive manner.

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Offline Sam B

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #197 on: September 08, 2017, 06:42:04 PM »
Thanks for standing up for us, Becca. I am glad to see the Playster problem resolved in a positive manner.

Agreed. Your advocacy on behalf of those of us who write LGBTQIA+ was helpful and appreciated.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #198 on: September 08, 2017, 06:45:23 PM »
After careful investigation of each step of our content ingestion process for self-publishing platforms, we discovered that our restriction on the 'erotica' category had unintentionally affected other tags and genres, including LGBTQ+ fiction.  We are extremely sorry for our mistake and any hurt it may have caused - it was never our intention to block these titles.

What happens now?  The books that were wrongfully declined are currently being added to the Playster catalog where they will join our existing collection of LGBTQ+ titles previously delivered by our other major publishing partners.

Playster takes an extra cautious approach when it comes to self-published fiction because we do not have a large in-house team that is able to thoroughly read and review all titles that are submitted.  However, we accept that, in this case, our efforts to solve one problem inadvertently caused another.

We strongly encourage authors to contact us if they have any further problems submitting books to Playster or notice that any titles that should be present are missing.  They can do so by emailing us directly at support@playster.com.

I'm happy to see this problem was solved, and that a mistake in trying to vet one thing lead to an unforeseen outcome that they are fixing now that it was pointed out to them. I think that was a great way for authors to work with a platform and keep it working for readers and authors alike. I think taking them at their word is fine. Mistakes happen. It was brought to their attention, they investigated, and are fixing the problem. Great to see something happened with this and it didn't just get let go. All you can ask of a company is to fix a problem if found.

Was it discrimination? I don't think it was initially done on purpose, and was working to separate without an intention to do so. It was, from what it sounds like in the explanation, an algro doing it's thing, and it needed to be tweeked. I think giving them the benefit of the doubt is really something that can be done. Companies that right mistakes instead of covering them up is the best way to do business.
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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)
« Reply #199 on: September 08, 2017, 06:50:05 PM »
Thanks for 'splaining