Soft-blocking can be ableist, so what?

I get in so much trouble for this idea. I have people who unfollow me because they tell me I’m being harmful by pointing out that soft-blocking can be ableist.

I have people arguing with me because it’s ‘just what people do’ and no more harmful than ghosting someone in real life.

Spoiler, ghosting someone in real life (unless, obviously and I shouldn’t even have to say it they’re an ACTUAL danger to you) is ALSO HARMFUL, and hurtful too.

Soft blocking can be ableist. I feel it’s actually INHERENTLY ableist simply because it fits the definition of an action which not everyone is going to be *able* to understand.

If everyone isn’t *able* then the action that causes harm is inherently ableist.

It really, really is. Whether we like it or want to admit it or not. Whether it’s your favorite choice of ‘protecting yourself’ or not.

It’s harmful, it’s ableist.

Some definitions and terminologies. I’m writing about this phenomenon on Twitter, since that’s the place I’ve seen it most.

A follow, on Twitter is where you click ‘follow’ and you’re able to see that person’s tweets.

An unfollow means you click unfollow so you don’t have to look at the tweets anymore.

A ‘mutual’ is a mutual follower, someone who you follow and they follow you back.

A block is where you click ‘block’ and the person you have blocked can no longer see your tweets.

First… Soft blocking is the ACTION of hitting the block button on Twitter with a mutual or someone who has followed you because you don’t want them following you/seeing their tweets.

OR you want them to unfollow you without it being a stink about it. (I’ve been told it’s possible on other social media outlets like Tumblr, but I don’t use those so don’t know how it’s done there.)

There are as many reasons in the world to soft-block someone as there are people. SOME few people have reasons that deal with self-protection.

People should ALWAYS protect their mental, physical and emotional health. That is an absolute iron-clad rule. If y’all twist my words as meaning anything other than the ACTUAL words I’m putting on the page, that’s on you.

Oh, and that’s harmful.

Sometimes the methods you use to protect yourself harm others. There is really no way of getting around that. It is a fact when it comes to dealing with intersectionally marginalized people.

 

Second. I think I need to discuss what ableism is.

The simple definition is that its discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.

It gets a lot fuzzier when you’re dealing with intersectionally marginalized people, including those of us who are disabled.

So many of us are disabled in one form or another. Many of us have PTSD from so many things. (I certainly do, I’m diagnosed with C-PTSD and it fucks my life up A LOT.)

The deeper definition of ableism is this, I’ve pasted the definition below.

Ableism is the discrimination or prejudice against people who have disabilities. Ableism can take the form of ideas and assumptions, stereotypes, attitudes and practices, physical barriers in the environment, or larger scale oppression. It is oftentimes unintentional and most people are completely unaware of the impact of their words or actions.

Shall we dive even deeper?

We could. We could add on the ideas of privilege to that. Who has more power? Then even deeper, who has more PERCEIVED power.

Have we gone down the rabbit hole yet?

Here. We’d better take some carrots for a snack.rabbit-2505034_1920

Let me state this unequivocally. Soft-block to your heart’s content. It’s your space, do whatever you want with it. You SHOULD curate your space as you want/need to.

We all should.

Which includes me. When someone I KNOW knows that I have a problem with soft-blocking, AND they do it any way I’m well within my rights to block and not do business with that person.

For me, that means I won’t read or review their books. I won’t buy them. I certainly won’t be publishing them.

Now, the reason I HAVE to do that is self-care. If they KNOW I have a problem (because it harms me) with that action, then they do it anyway, I CANNOT trust them.

So I’m sure as hell not doing business with them.

If other people are allowed to soft-block because it protects them, then I’m allowed to protect myself too. Me being a publisher has nothing to do with that.

I’m a person before I’m anything else, and when my mental health isn’t good? I can’t publish books. So.

I block and blacklist. People don’t like that, but guess what? It’s my press. I make the rules. If that gets me a rep of being a bitch? I can live with that.

I HAVE to live with that because I’m a very, very broken person with regards to mental health.

There’s a million people out there who can help you get your book into the world, and so many hundreds more agents and publishers. You don’t like my rules of treating people decently and trying your best not to harm others in your words and actions?

Of apologizing and owning your shit when you fuck up?

Of respecting boundaries?

I’m not someone you want to work with.

And honestly? I recommend self-publishing, you’ll make more money by far and if you actually look at it, it’s not that hard to do.

So. Soft-blocking is curating your space as you need to.

I’m not telling you not to do it.

I *am* saying it’s inherently ableist to do it, if you’re neurotypical or abled.

An argument could be made that it’s ableist of me to share how badly it fucks with my head.

To be soft-blocked, I mean.

The argument for *me* being ableist by sharing how badly it messes my head up is that guilt comes into play. By sharing how badly it upsets me, I could technically be putting pressure on people not to soft-block.

I really don’t care if you use a harmful tool to protect yourself. You do you. Your guilt is the price you have to pay for that. I guess that’s too honest for most people though.

*Your* guilt is not *my* problem. It’s not *on me* (the one being harmed) by your action to absolve you of your guilt.

Hence it’s a long stretch to call me sharing my feelings and educated opinion on the realities of soft-blocking and the damage it can and has done ableist.

But it *could* be. A skilled debater or manipulator can make someone absolutely certain the sky is green with purple polka-dots.

The only thing that makes it *not* ableist for me to do that is that it’s also a self-defense mechanism. It’s selfish, but it’s not ableist in that scenario.

Life is not, much as many people would love to think it is, a black and white construct of right vs wrong.

For *me* soft-blocking is wrong. It causes far more harm than it could *ever* ease.

For others, it’s a no big deal, it’s an ‘I just don’t want to confront this person enough to tell them I don’t want to follow them anymore.’

For others, soft-blocking is a self-protective mechanism IN ITSELF. They feel safer soft-blocking than they do just unfollowing.

(I don’t pretend to understand that, the safest way to not see people’s tweets and to signal you want nothing to do with them is to either unfollow or block them. Period.)

But I *am* autistic and I *do* favor bluntness over all your allistic mind games. You guys can play those. I don’t and won’t.

Now. The reason I’m talking about soft-blocking and sharing my reactions is because *to me* (and probably people like me) it causes PTSD trigger episodes.

I’ve been gaslit so freaking much in my life that any little hint of anything that can make me doubt my memories, my experience, my thoughts… it’ll send me into a downward spiral where I’m left touching real-life objects to assure myself that they’re real. Holding my kids and doing all sorts of things slowly, just so that I can know it/they are real. That I’m actually in the space/time that I’m in.

THAT is what soft-blocking does to people like me. And the number of responses I get to this subject anytime I talk about it, saying something along the lines of ‘that happens to me too!’ mean I’m by far and away not the only one this practice is affecting badly.

Harmfully.

If someone is soft-blocking as an act of ‘fuck you for saying it’s ableist’ (I’ve had this happen a lot) it’s kinda obvious what the motivation is, you know?

It happens most from people who are on the younger side, FWIW. I guess I can’t hold it against them. Their brains aren’t done growing yet. (Seriously, medical fact, your brain isn’t mature as far as action/repercussions/risk assessment until you’re around 25, go ahead and look it up if you want. It’s why your car insurance is higher than mine.)

So what about what I said earlier? What about privilege? How does that play in?

I look white (I’m not, but I sure do look it) so I automatically have more privilege than anyone who is visibly not-white.

But when both people look white, that privilege is removed.

I’m unemployed, (I work for myself, and make very little money) so anyone who is employed or gets a regular disability payment is automatically more privileged than I am.

If you’re healthy, have a good income, if you own your home vs rent, there are SO many socioeconomic and anthropological factors that can go into your actual level of privilege that it pays, I think, to be cautious in how you act/react and what actions you use to protect yourself.

In the age of ‘me too’ and allegations of sexual assault being everywhere, soft-blocking is a viable self-protection tool for many. But like any tool, it can be misused and that particular tool has really sharp edges that can hurt both the wielder and the one it’s wielded against.

(I’m a sexual assault survivor, so I can almost see why it would work for people. I don’t quite, though.)

But the gaslighting I’ve been through has scarred me deeper than the sexual assault. I react and have stronger PTSD triggers to anything resembling gaslighting than I do to talk/reading about sexual assault.

This is not the case for everyone. If my words or actions have hurt anyone in those shoes, I do apologize. I’m trying to educate on the results of a harmful behavior that has and does cause damage to people.

I still don’t agree with people insisting that soft-blocking is harmless. Because it just isn’t.

An anecdote from my own life. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may recognize it.

Last October (I think?) I was repeatedly soft-blocked by someone I had more privilege than.

I did NOT understand I was being soft-blocked.

Let me explain something, Twitter is a really weird place for me. It has followed people for me in the past, and unfollowed people who have sworn they didn’t soft-block me. I’ve had people tell me it’s blocked people for them, people they NEVER would have blocked.

It goes pear-shaped ALL THE TIME. So how is someone supposed to know if they are being soft-blocked?

The problem that happened occurred because this person DID NOT want me to follow them, but they didn’t block me. We had mutuals in common so I would often see their name and I really liked what they had to say. I admired their bravery.

In my naivety, I wanted (because I do have more followers) to boost their voice and opinion.

So I’d see a tweet that I liked a lot, I’d boost it, then realize that (I thought, because I didn’t at the time understand soft-blocking) my follow had dropped because of Twitter weirdness.

I clicked refollow at least three times before I dim-wittedly clued in (that whole, I was NOT able to tell I was being soft-blocked) that it was intentional.

I’ve owned up and apologized for my perceived mistakes there, and for my actual ones. But do you see that if that person had said to ANY of our mutuals to drop a word in my ear that “Hey, you’re making X uncomfy with the refollows” I would have stopped and NOT caused the problems it did?

Instead, the person chose to use soft-blocking instead of communication or blocking.

How did that ACTUALLY help?

It didn’t. It harmed. It harmed me, and I inadvertently harmed THEM because I did NOT understand I was being soft-blocked. I was, at that point in time UNABLE to understand it. Making it an ableist act.

For what it’s worth, I *now* understand it when it happens. I absolutely do NOT like it because it messes with my perception of reality, but I DO understand.

How many people out there don’t though? Who are you hurting when you use this methodology? Is it worth it? (In some cases it absolutely will be, but you need to ask yourself that question.)

I’m not the only one this affects. There are so many people that don’t even know you CAN soft-block. Much less that people use it so flagrantly and without regard to the harm they are most definitely doing with it.

So what about power? Someone with more followers than me has more power. Someone with more money, a better job, better connections, they all have more power than me.

Someone who can work is also in a position of more power, or someone who gets a regular income in any form. They all have more power than me. So we need to be aware of our level of ACTUAL power as well when it comes to our actions.

Then we come to one that keeps biting me in the fucking ass.

Perceived power.

I really need to clear something up. People PERCEIVE me as having more power than I do because I was foolish enough to open a boutique press dedicated to diversity.

Out and out, we’re a shoestring operation, we don’t make any money, our AUTHORS won’t make any money. We have ONE patron. That’s it. (I say this on the webpage)

We (my editors and I) do it only because we love it and believe in diversity. That’s not a position of power, no matter HOW people perceive it as such.

If we were a big 5 publisher? Sure, we’d have power, both actual and perceived. But we don’t.

The perceived power people assign us because we could ‘make their book happen’, look, that’s a fallacy. It’s malarkey.

YOU publish your book. We help, for a percentage. That’s the way publishing works regardless of how you do it. If you’re lucky enough to have an agent, you (the writer) pays the agent for their time and connections via a percentage of a sold book. The publisher will ALSO keep a percentage of said book.

I take forever to get back to people submitting to me because I’m hoping like hell a better offer comes down the line for them.

Because they’ll NEVER make money with my press. Or if they do, it won’t be anytime soon, and an author’s work deserves to be paid for.

For my tiny little press and one of my editors to accept a book… it’s so astronomically rare because we have to BOTH love it so much we want to work on it for free AND we have to have the time to put towards it.

Since none of us make any money, and we all have to eat? The press and me being ‘a publisher’ is not a position of power, no matter how often I’m accused of it being so.

But all of these things (and probably more that I can’t think of) play a part in the interconnected strands of how people interact with one another on Twitter and other social media outlets.

ALL of these things are things that make soft-blocking ableist if you have MORE power, and selfish, perhaps, if you have the same amount or less.

So what. So it’s selfish. Big whoop. There aren’t any Twitter police. Obviously, or we wouldn’t have any Nazis.

So you feel guilty about using a double-edged sword to protect yourself, one that can and does hurt people.

Big whoop. Again, your price to pay. If the cost is worth it to you, fine. Do it.

If it isn’t, then don’t, just unfollow instead.

If it’s ME you’re dealing with? I guarantee you that I will react better to a straight up unfollow or block than I will to you soft-blocking me and making me doubt the cohesion of my mind.

Because to me, and many people LIKE me. That’s exactly what that does.

It’s a very minor form of gaslighting.

As I’ve said on Twitter in the past 24 hours or so, intent does not excuse the harm you cause.

It’s my intent to educate about the damage of soft-blocking. I’ve been told I’m hurting people by pointing this out.

I can’t pretend to really understand how it DOES. But I trust that people are telling me the truth that it hurts.

I’m sorry for that.

Truth often does hurt? It’s the precursor to growth and awareness.

Me pointing out that soft-blocking harms others is no different than whoever first noticed and pointed out that we needed ramps for disabled people to access public buildings.

I’ve been wondering the past day if those people, the ones who fought for that kind of accessiblity, have gotten as much flack and push back and accusations as I have about this issue.

Probably. But progress is never made by being silent.

I could go on with this and try to unpack how it’s less ableist for another disabled person to soft-block another disabled person, because if it’s done out of self-protection, at least there’s a justifiable reason for the harm they’re inflicting.

But again, intent and reasoning doesn’t change the harm they’ve done.

For any of my mutuals? Straight up unfollow me.

I unfollow for unfollow. You unfollow me, I unfollow you, always. Period.

I don’t follow many ‘real people’ on Twitter, at the time I’m writing this I have 515 accounts that I follow. More than half of those are images/news/weather etc accounts.

They aren’t people I talk to. I follow 4 people who don’t follow me back (they’re all authors, FWIW, some of my favorites.)

Everyone does Twitter in the way that best works for them.

If people don’t like the way *I* do things. They are well within their rights to not have anything to do with me.

Just like *I’m* well within my rights to do what *I* need to do to protect myself.

Welcome to the mind of an Autistic

TL;DR: I’m sorry if my thread on marketing and entertainer professionalism hurt or insulted anyone. It was never my intent. I am not harassing anyone here’s the definition of harassment) and I’m utterly horrified that given my history someone could believe I’d BE CAPABLE of harassment. If you need this post without colored text you can download a document here with black text only.Welcome to the mind of an autistic text only

You can listen to me recite it here, because it is awfully long. Recording quality is terrible because it shows exactly how upset I am at what’s going on. But it’s here on soundcloud.

Keep reading for the rest: I hurt, emotionally, so badly right now, I’m shaking as I type, I’m nauseated and it’s really hard not to burst into tears again. Just in case y’all are thinking autistic’s can’t feel.

Some of you know me, maybe you don’t. Few of you know me well.

Part of that, I admit, is me. I don’t trust people because I’ve been hurt too much. (Hey, HI this experience didn’t help!!) I don’t understand the way the massive percentage of people think, and I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m never going to.

Y’all… before I get started, please stop asking me in DMs and emails who soft blocked and who subtweeted me. I’m not going to tell. I’m certain you can figure it out if you look but I have too much integrity to name names.

It’s been kindly pointed out to me by someone (thank you so much!) that my thread on author behavior and marketing could be taken as an insult. I freely admit I do NOT come close to understanding how that can be insulting, any marketing class or book is going to tell you the same thing. Phrased better, no doubt, but it’s the same point.

I’ve also been advised to just apologize and say nothing more, but I can’t do that. It would be so inauthentic of me to not explain what was going on in my head that aside from being off brand it would be totally untrue to myself. So here’s me. Bleeding my heart and experience out for y’all. If I shut up about one thing, I’ll shut up about everything.

As I trust the person who told me about the subtweets as much as I’m able to trust someone who is essentially a stranger, I’ll address things based on people being hurt and insulted.

Thread in question because I don’t delete things if I mess up. The only things I’ve ever deleted are posts with typos because they drive me batty.

I’ve been told people are saying I’m harassing others. I haven’t messaged anyone, I haven’t emailed anyone, I’ve not said a persons’ name… how am I harassing anyone?

Honest question there… HOW?

I’m horrified. Utterly, reprehensibly horrified. I would NEVER harass someone. It’s been done to me and I would never, ever, ever do that to another person. (It also isn’t harassment guys, to share an opinion on my own timeline, here’s the definition of harassment if you need it, go about halfway down to ONLINE.)

If my thread on professional responsibility and marketing insulted/harmed someone I am so sorry. It was never my intent. Nor, despite what several people seem determined to believe, was it directed at any one person. I’d been planning a thread LIKE that one for a while because I see a lot of people in the industry using techniques that are going to cost them in the long run.

Unfortunately, my timing absolutely sucks. In no way was my thread a direct comparison to one or more people. It WAS a commentary on the fact that you can’t do whatever you want as a public figure without consequences.

Someone else pointed out that the subtweets are saying that I’M saying you can’t block anyone, ever. (Thank you to that person, too.)

A. I didn’t say that.

B. I block people all the time. You ARE allowed to curate your space as you wish. SOFT-BLOCKING of followers is not blocking. It’s some weird thing that I don’t understand, especially because twitter drops followers and follows people for me all the time. (I’ve spoken to others who’ve had the same experience so it’s not just a ME thing.) I’ve found people in my mutuals folder that I would never, ever have followed. It’s been weird for me on twitter. It’s not sneaky or covert to soft-block someone because… you know… many of us notice who we’re following and who we don’t?

I follow around 600 people by the numbers, only roughly about 200 of those are people accounts, the rest are image retweet accounts, foreign news, and bots reminding me to do self care things like drink water.

A good 10 to 20 of those are famous authors who I fan-by over and I have no hope they’ll ever follow me back, I just want to know what they say. So losing at last count 8 mutuals out of 180-190 people I follow is a lot of people to lose in one day and yes, I’m very hurt. I don’t auto follow because I’ve been harassed, so for me to follow someone is on one level an act of trust and an offer of ‘maybe we could get to be friends someday if we work at it’. Especially if those people were from my early twitter days when I’d pretty much follow anyone interested in talking.

I’m in the business of building a career as an author and finding people who want to read words like I write. I (and most authors I know) use multiple tracking apps for who I’m following and who I’m not, so… um… we notice??

From my perception: I noticed that Twitter dropped someone I wanted to follow so I could boost their voice. I wasn’t expecting friendship or a follow back or anything from this person, I just wanted to boost their voice. That’s it. I respected something the person did once and I wanted to be boosting younger voices over others. I strongly feel that YA needs an influx of younger writers who actually WRITE FOR TEENS. I have a tweenager, I want diverse books written for xem. So I refollowed. Too many times before I figured out that they were soft blocking me.

That’s what *my* motivation was. That’s it.

I intentionally did not name the person who soft blocked me. It’s been pointed out that this is subtweeting. (Thank you, again. I thought subtweeting was only talking about an issue, I didn’t realize that not naming a person was also subtweeting?)

I didn’t name the person for other reasons involving privilege.

There is always a power imbalance in things like that. I didn’t want to cause harm, which is why I didn’t name names and why I will not.

I am allowed my opinion on my own feed. Everyone is.

I don’t have a problem with the concept of subtweeting. If you’re sharing an opinion or experience on your own timeline about your own feelings about an issue… that’s your right. If you’re being mean about it, that’s not cool, but it’s still your right. *I* don’t perceive my words as being mean, I don’t even understand how they could be perceived that way. They weren’t intended to be, but my honesty has totally gotten me in trouble in the past.

I can’t not be me. I can try to learn what makes people upset with me when I’m too honest, but the pure fact is that my mind doesn’t work the same way. It works differently, not lesser, never, just differently.

Not naming names, feels to me… like a way to protect people, but maybe that’s my autistic brain working against me.

I was also trying to protect that person from my followers because I’ve seen too many times what can happen when an author with even a little bit of social media power can do if they name names. I will not do what some people do and sick my followers on people.

One of the things the kind person in my DMs this morning pointed out is that they didn’t understand the Cartman gif. Maybe that’s my age speaking against me. Cartman on Southpark was ALWAYS getting into trouble for doing what he wanted without regard to other people and the ripples that can cause. The simplest of things Cartman did… they’d always rebound, but he wouldn’t care. Then he’d never apologize for it.

It’s rather iconic to the character, but maybe that’s where the feeling of insult came from?

I honestly don’t know or understand. I’ve read the thread over and over… I don’t understand and I doubt I CAN. Expecting me to is ableist. That’s not anything new though. If I could just write books and not have an author platform I’d consider it with how badly I’m hurting right now. But an author platform is necessary as a writer these days, there’s no getting around it. Honestly, most of the time I love twitter. It’s just been particularly hard for me lately.

I’m an AUTISTIC, mentally ill, disabled, mixed-race author. It’s going to cause some trauma for me. This is just another scar to bear from an ableist society.

Points of clarification, possibly repetitive, but I’m horribly shaken by the accusation of harassment.

  1. I did not understand I was being soft blocked. That subtle thing may work for some people, it didn’t work for me.
    1. Which is why I loathe the action of soft-blocking from public figures. (Yes, as an author, agent, editor, or writer, on social media, you ARE a public figure. If that’s insulting, I don’t know what to tell you except that you aren’t ready. People are going to follow you on social media as an author, that’s rather the point of using it for an author platform. You getting fussed about who is following you? Yeah, I don’t get it.)
    2. It’s an accessibility issue for people like me. It took three times (at least) before I clued in that I was being soft blocked. I honestly didn’t understand. If it’s insulting to point out that soft-blocking is ableist, I also don’t know what to tell you. It is. I didn’t get it because of the way my brain works. Twitter is weird and it has (repeatedly) followed and unfollowed people for me in the past. (Others I know have said similar things, so it’s not a ME thing.) I figured it was that. *I* have never done anything to that person (or any other). I wanted, foolishly I guess, to boost their voice. IF I had known they didn’t want me following them I wouldn’t have. It didn’t occur to me that a writer wouldn’t want people to read their words… it absolutely blows my mind that anyone wanting to sell their books and make a career as a writer would engage in soft blocking, but hey… you don’t want readers (ones like me who review a lot too?) that’s on you. The person in question has my email address, we’ve corresponded once there, it’s also publicly available, they could’ve told me to stop refollowing them and I would have. THAT is why soft-blocking is ableist. Not everyone is going to have the ability to understand something like that. I certainly don’t.
    3. WHEN I figured it out, man… I felt so stupid. I loathe feeling stupid because it’s always about something social. Autism isn’t about mental acuity, I’m incredibly intelligent and hold multiple advanced degrees. Autism is about social inability. It’s where I always run into problems because I’m not wired to understand how socialization works. I said (on my own timeline) it hurt me badly to be soft blocked because it made me feel stupid, but it’s their right to do what they want. Which it is.
    4. It’s also their right, as it is all of ours, to accept responsibility for their actions. Their soft blocking me hurt me. Blowing it all out of proportion and the reaction of my mutuals hurt me worse. WAY worse.
    5. I accept, even if I do not understand, that my thread on marketing and the inadvisability (from a business and ableism sense) of soft blocking as a public figure possibly hurt or insulted people. I’m sorry.
  2. Your actions DO reflect upon you.
    1. The people who unfollowed me, long time mutuals that I didn’t count as friends because it’s the internet, it’s twitter and the word friend actually means something to me. I definitely did count those 8 (or more after I publish this post) as close acquaintances or business associates… I’ve blocked them because I don’t want to see their AVIs. I don’t want to see their names, I don’t want to see their words in my feeds. The only thing I want to see from them is an apology for how they chose to unfollow me. One especially really hurt and surprised me because they’re very outspoken on ableist issues and how it’s wrong to exclude or penalize people based on the way they’re made. To have them unfollow me over an ableist misunderstanding is just richly ironic.
    2. That’s an action of self care because they each and every one hurt me BADLY by not asking me for clarification of my words. My DMs are closed to mutuals only, they each had the ability to ask for clarification from me. Only three people (yet) have. The subtweeting me all day didn’t hurt because hey, they’re allowed their opinions. I honestly didn’t notice most of them. I saw one subtweet yesterday then ignored it. What hurts most is that they didn’t ask for clarification and that they could even come close to believing that I COULD harass someone… so they’re blocked. They’ll likely remain that way, as will anyone else who UFs me without talking to me about it. My mental health is far too fragile for this.
    3. It’s also a business decision. It may cost me in a business manner. But I don’t want to be associated in a business sense with people who can do that. Who negate the very responsibility they have for the people they write for by their actions. There’s a reason some voices are afraid to speak up. Subtweeting the hell out of (then unfollowing after more than a YEAR) a disabled, autistic, mentally ill person who stated their feelings were hurt by an ableist act? (No, it doesn’t matter who the person committing the ableist act IS. It’s still an ableist act. There were many ways a situation where you committed an ableist act could be handled. Ignoring it is one.) Yeah. That’s not a good look, guys. To incite a large group of people to rabidly subtweet me? Do you have any idea how many teens are disabled, autistic, or mentally ill? They Are The Ones You’re Writing For!! 
    4. In business, especially, you clarify terms, you talk to people all the time, you don’t cut people off without notice because of something you perceived they did.

Before I end, let me reiterate that my point remains the same even if I could have worded my thread a bit better. (I’m not in a great mental or physical health place right now, it showed.)

You as an AUTHOR are a BRAND and a PUBLIC FIGURE. You are trying to build an author platform to people who will hopefully buy your books. If they don’t buy your books, they might review your books, or possibly boost your words or tell someone ELSE how they might like your book. You can have a personal account all you want, but your author account is a public place. It has to be. Block and curate for your own safety but soft-blocking is not a good idea from a professional standpoint on an author account. It just isn’t. It’s also ableist as fuck, but hey.

You as an AUTHOR are a BRAND and a PUBLIC FIGURE. You cannot escape that. You can choose what you share and what you don’t, but you really are in for a tough road if you try to have a ‘personal’ facade as well as a ‘professional’ one on the same account.

Many of us have personal accounts too, I do.

The absolute best marketing tool any of us have for our books is people talking about them and recommending them. It’s also authenticity, which is why I’m addressing this on my blog. I can’t not be authentic, I’ve never not been me, I’m never not going to be me.

Everything you do, especially if you’re marginalized, is under scrutiny. It’s not fair or right but it is fact. People are going to judge you by your actions your words. Look at what kind of judgment is getting slung at me right now for proof of that. For pointing out basic marketing information and business protocol.

I am sorry if my words or actions hurt anyone. I doubt anyone will do me the solid of apologizing to me.

You know… I feel like I was their token autistic. LOOK HOW OPEN MINDED I AM, I’M FRIENDS WITH AN AUTISTIC.

If that’s insulting? It’s meant to be if it’s true (hint as to whether it’s true is how much that statement bothers you), and that’s the only thing that I mean as an insult. If you can’t be bothered to ask for clarification from someone you’ve associated with for months to years? I don’t even know why it hurts me that you’re gone and blocked now. It shouldn’t. I wish it didn’t.

For what it’s worth, I’m personally very sorry for any harm my sharing of my pain at another’s actions and my ham-handed attempt at explaining why it’s unprofessional inadvertently caused. It was not my intent to hurt or harm. Only to educate because I know a lot about sales and marketing.

I’ll be doing a clean out of my facebook friends on the personal list, curating my author space there as well as on instagram and other social media.

This kind of stuff sucks peeps. In no uncertain terms. It’s bad business, emotionally and physically bad too. I’ve apologized, sincerely. Are you big enough to do the same?

As I’ve said, my email address is public. Kaelan.rhywiol@gmail.com