I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.
Last week the STGRB started sending out web spiders (a.k.a. web crawlers) to crawl our new Booklikes blogs. This was the notification I got from my IP tracking software when they tried to hit mine:
(Click on image to enlarge)
So why are they telling their adoring, but oh-so-clueless, supporters that they are not following us, when they know full well they have set up a database back-end to store our user content, and have web crawlers to capture it?
Web spiders crawl websites to scrape server data and store it in a database for later use. They do have a legit purpose, and sites such as Google, Bing and many price comparison sites depend on the ability to crawl and index web content.
But they also have a malicious nature as well, especially if they are trying to crawl behind password protected areas. (Currently, Booklikes does not have password protected sections).
In general, they can:
Spiders are legal, mostly. Posting content on the web makes it public, and accessing that public information is not illegal. But when used maliciously and unethically, the question of their legality becomes a real concern.
So what does the STGRB want with our public information, and why do they want to index it? Especially when they just announced they are going into retirement on the same day the spiders were sent out? And what other web blogs have they sent spiders to? Hmm, are you thinking what I am thinking? Athena has something to hide.
When a site such as STGRB use web spiders for the purpose of stalking the same specific group of users they have been stalking and attacking all over the web-sphere for over a year, this goes go well beyond just being unethical, IMO.
So don't panic, but be aware. If you want to add IP Tracker code to your blogs and monitor activity from the Stopthegrbullies.com site, http://www.tracemyip.org/ is a good tool. Embed their code at the end of your < /html> tags on each of your pages. I will try to set up a user tutorial soon.
Booklikes has been notified. It will be up to them to determine if the STGRB spiders meet legal protocol, and how to handle blocking them. And rest assured, I have no doubt they will block their lying, cyber stalking asses.