The Mortal Instruments author Cassandra Clare recently stepped away from social media following a spat that broke out between her followers on Twitter. And Thursday, Clare, along with fellow YA author Maggie Stiefvater, addressed fandom in a candid discussion for a piece published on MTV News.
“You watch as some fans begin to separate you from your work,” Clare told MTV News. “They talk about how much they love the work, but they hate you personally, sometimes intensely, specifically for being the person who has control over the characters.”
Sadly, Clare isn’t the first author to feel the need to address online bullying on her social media accounts. Here are how a few other authors who’ve recently faced similar experiences handled their trolls:
Several Tumblr users recently took to the social media platform to accuse the Fault in Our Stars author of sexual abuse. The posts prompted Green to respond to the accusations, saying, “Throwing that kind of accusation around is sick and libelous and most importantly damages the discourse around the actual sexual abuse of children.”
He went on to state that he would no longer use the platform in the same way, citing he needed some “distance” for his well-being. Other authors responded to the backlash on Twitter in support of John Green including Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Dessen, and Holly Black.
Maureen Johnson, inspired by the recent events with Green and Clare, shared her feelings on the topic of “online attacks,” saying criticism should be welcome, but threatening or making up claims that could “poison someone’s life” is unacceptable.
“I think we have a real shot of turning back the tide and making people feel safe again,” Johnson wrote, “making the internet a good place where creativity can flourish and people can be themselves. I’ve heard from so many readers who are now afraid to be online. They’re afraid to be themselves. This is not a good state of affairs.”
Johnson ended the letter on a positive note, encouraging those reading to be able to tell the difference between a writer and his or her work so the Internet can remain “totally open and free.”
The famous author not only uses Twitter to discuss Harry Potter, but also to voice her own political beliefs. Such was the case in early May when Rowling tweeted her support in keeping Scotland a part of the United Kingdom, sparking an online debate that quickly turned abusive as she was called a “traitor,” “whore,” and “bitch.”
Rowling defended herself, choosing to address several users directly.
This posted has been updated to remove references to Anne Rice, who has stood up against “gangster bullies” online but was also accused of bullying by other authors.