by § Roseille ♥
How many people look at an anonymous review and shudder?
The person many of us know on this site as Anonymous can be remembered as an angel. I myself have received GPs from him/her, and even two different month-long upgrades! This unrecognized Good Samaritan has brightened up many of my days. I smile when I think of the wonderful things that have come to me with no signature.
But there are so many people who run around randomly bestowing 1.0 or 2.0 ratings, with hateful comments or no comments at all. Anonymous demeans and thrashes others publicly, or reams them out and condescends to them in private. Anonymous can be a monster, too.
So what do you think when you think of Anonymous? I hope you think of the former example, but sadly, many people don't. Some have logged on to find that a story's average rating has dropped a star because of a 1.0 without comment. Sometimes, Anonymous includes acid words, too.
Most people on this site can probably identify. I myself have gotten a few hate-rates without reviews, and other people I know have received pretty mean criticism. I know not all ratings are like this! I know there have to be exceptions. Perhaps a person gives a low rating, intending to return and give comments, but never does. Maybe they are afraid to hurt the person and can't bear to say something mean, so simply give what they consider a deserving rating and head out.
I guess what gets to me, either way, is that the person hides behind the mask of anonymity to land their blows. I have given a few low rates myself, but I always try to balance my suggestions with positive points. Just recently, I read a story. Many words were misspelled, and the punctuation could have been a lot better. Reading on, I realized that the user was not an English speaker. I was amazed that he had mastered as much English as he had. Again, I saw a very interesting story where seemingly obvious words were misspelled. I found that the author was fighting to overcome dyslexia.
There are many, many people on this site, who, for some reason or another, have trouble with writing. Most of them are earnest in their efforts to write. Some are young. Encourage them to keep writing, rather than sending them away from the site in tears.
Please do your part in making Anonymous a friend again!
If you are going to send an anonymous review, please make it a kind one. Too many abuse the right, using the opportunity to vent their anger, knowing that their spiteful words won't be attached to them.
Do a nice review for someone—anonymously! Put it on the public page.
If you are going to give a review with a low rating, give the author the courtesy of reviewing it in your name. Honestly, I have sent a few reviews with 3.0s or 2.0s, and I was afraid. I was afraid that the person would be discouraged, and stop writing, or that they'd be really mad. Surprisingly, all the replies to those reviews have been kind.
Sending a low rating without a review leaves many writers hurt and confused. Imagine if one of your own works—one you had worked very hard on—received a 2.5, without any explanation. Recipients of such ratings wonder what they could have done to make it better. What was so wrong with it? Though it is good to use the entire rating scale, send a comment if you are going to send a low rating with it. Give the author an opportunity to improve.
I hope, one day, that we can all think of Anonymous as an Angel. By all means, if you have an opinion, give it! But don't hide who you are. If you would not want your words to be attached to your name, don't say them.
What to do if you receive an anonymous review:
There are a lot of people on this site who do amazingly kind things for other members, and choose not to include their names. I would like to thank those people here. That is a truly selfless act.
If you receive such a kind review, thank the user honestly. They give Anonymous a good name! Their kindness is inspiring. Something many users don't know is that you can always thank that person for their kindness. Just like any normal review, if you use the feedback box at the bottom, they will receive your thanks!
If you have gotten a bigger present from Anonymous, such as an upgrade or a costumicon, raffle tickets, or GPs, then you can always express your gratitude in this forum here.
However, if the review you receive is not kind, don't get angry at the user! Ranting and cussing at this person is not going to help. Of course, it may make you feel better, but dealing cruelty in response to cruelty is not a long term solution. If you feel you are being harassed, you can submit a harassment complaint. Use this survey to do so.
There are a lot of forums on this site where you can get honest, constructive reviews. If you are looking for a review of your item, check this out. There are so many out there—some specialize in poetry or short stories, some offer superb advice on articles. Some cater to only a certain group. Whatever you're looking for, this is the place to start. And if you have your own review forum, you can advertise it here!
If you would like a review from me, you can drop by my own forum. I try to get to requests within a couple days. I promise to give my honest opinion, whatever it may be!
No one person can change the views of all of the people here. But if just a few of us work to make this a better place...maybe...just possibly, we'll change a few people's opinions. Hey, we were all pretty bad at some time, right?
I couldn't imagine where I would be write-wise without the help of all the members here. I hope to help others improve, just like so many have helped me. Anonymous or not, make your comments ones you would like to receive.
Give the people here a chance. They might just surprise you with how quickly they can grow! Just think, maybe one day you'll be acknowledged in their bestseller.
Please give Anonymous its good name back. I hope, sometime, that more people will think "Angel" when they see a mention of Anonymous. Until then, we can only try.