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Troy

Goodreads and Wikipedia Diss Us by Dissing Zane

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Zane used to be a contributor to this discussion forum during it hey day BSM (before social media). 

 

I was just running a simple query on her name and all this stuff about her owing the state of Maryland hundreds of thousands of dollars popped up quite prominently.

 

I though to myself well that is messed up that a state like Maryland likes putting people personal problems stuff on blast.  I guess they figured it would shame someone into paying up.  That tactic would just piss me off and make me want to pay them that much less.

 

Putting something on the World Wide Web is entirely different than putting it in a newspaper.  Things spread quickly online and never really go away.

 

At any rate, I was content to forget about what can't be a comfortable situation for Zane.  And despite the extra traffic it would bring this site, I would never consider sharing the information.

 

So I continued my search.  Then i stumbled on Zane Goodreads entry-- which mentioned the tax liability.  I really could not believe it.  Knowing that Amazon now owns Goodreads, I decided to check Wikipedia -- low an behold Wikipedia mention Zane tax liability too!  I was not only floored I was angry that some sanctimonious "free encyclopedia" of the people. Would feel it necessary to highlight Zane's tax issues.

 

Neither Goodreads or Wikipedia made any attempt to relate Zane's many accomplishments.

 

I wrote this article to call these two sites out for their insulting citations for one of America's most accomplished authors. 

 

Why are Goodreads & Wikipedia promoting Zane's tax liability rather than her literary accomplishments?

 

zane-goodreads.jpg

 

So while I did not want to give Zane's tax liability any more attention, I thought it was more important to expose Goodreads and Wikipedia even more. Besides Zane tax story was now on the verge of going viral.  I also wanted to use the opportunity to demonstrate how Google conspires in all of this and why the internet worse off as a result.

 

 

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A couple of people have asked me why don't get on the Washington Post for bringing of Zane's Tax issues.  The Post's motivation is plain; they are using scandal to sell newspapers.  The additional issue of hurting Zane at worse was a goal, at best was of no concern.

 

Wikipedia and Goodread Badreads motivations are not as plain.

 

Wikipedia asserts itself as a egalitarian, open, free, encyclopedia of the people.  It constantly demonstrates that it is not.  Despite this, Google has elevated Wikipedia above all other sources, while using Wikipedia's content for its book pages. 

 

The only rational explanation for Badreads behavior is malice.  I'm all ears if someone can provide and alternative explanation.  Again Google have also elevated this sites.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't people edit and amend information contained in their Wiki bios?  Why doesn't Zane, speak up for herself?? I question as to whether she cares about this gossip.  It has no effect on her sales. 

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Cynique, the controversy is probably helping Zane's sales.  Zane is the victim of so much hate (did you see the comments on the Washington Post article?)  I suspect she is immune to it, at least as far as any feeling person can be. 

 

The idea of the Washington Post hosting a platform to allow so much vitriol against Zane is problematic.  I think the Washington Post should hold them selves to a higher standard that you run-of-the-mill gossip site.

 

A far as Wikipedia is concerned. You probably know I have had problems with them for sometime now, partially because they are ranked so high by Google and many, if not most, consider it authoritative.  In any event, Wikip[edia is on of the top 10 of websites visited on the web. 

 

For Christ's sake Google RANKS Wikipedia 1st with the bull-sh-t about Zane?!  There is no justification for that when so many more sites providing more and better content on Zane.

 

Sure, technically, anyone can edit Wikipedia, but have you ever tried to edit a Wikipedia page? 

 

I have and it is not exactly easy.  Also your changes can be overwritten and rejected by one of Wikipedia editors. Many of my entries have been rejected for, in my opinion, very subjective reasons.  Whatever rules Wikipedia have the are inconsistently applied and favor large companies.  

 

Further 85% of all Wikipedia updates are written by white men.  Despite the pretense and Google's exultation Wikipedia does not represent the people.

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I am not surprised at the coverage of Zane's problems versus her accomplishments. If we reflect we will see the divide between the accomplishment os African Americans in certain fields outside of athletics until trouble comes their way. The lauding and elevation of Fifty Shades of Grey like it was first time something like that had ever been wiritten when Zane and other African American authors have been writing that type of material for years. There seems to be a practice of shaming versus mainstreaming like the old practice of cover records in the past of black songs by artists more acceptable to the mainstream audience.

 

There are a lot of subtle messages being sent when troubles like tax issues and bankrupties are exploded into the media and we have have black singers and actors that get much more attention from the mainstream media when they fall than for their successes in their field. This practice of lack of mainstream media recognition for thier craft and massive exposure for failure is troubling. We know it's not just Zane or as recently reported music mogul Vincent Herbert getting hit with tax leins, but the media coverage of these issues is massive with these people, and some of that digital media is black owned. We also have a negative news sells culture that plays on scandal reporting. Misery loves to see the mighty fall. None of this excuses the real issues these people have run into, but others have similar problems and they don't become as exploited in the media.

 

Wikipedia is something that can be edited and changed so someone decided to place that content about Zane's tax issues on that page. Why that information ended up on Goodreads is baffling to me. What a lot of black authors write is dumped into sub-genres and gathered together in urban sections of bookstores even if they don't belong there. Often other readers never even take a look at a section that is physically or electronically labeled African American or Urban so even if an author is sucessfull they are almost unknown to the wider public until something like what is going on with Zane comes along and that ends up defining them to the rest of the world that doesn't read their work. Why this is happening to Zane is a mystery to me, but not shocking.

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A Goodreads user, Rochelle D. Carter (the President/CEO of Ellechor Media LLC and the author of The 7-Step Guide To Authorpreneurship), after reading my story removed the tax information fro Zane's profile.

 

This is the troll who updated Zane's page with her tax information.  Needless to say, their identity is hidden under "Lobster Girl." 

 

zane-troll.jpg

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DT I agree.  Unfortunately, the top Black site reporting on Zane's troubles often persue traffic (revenue) in the same manner corporations do buy posting information on Black troubles and dysfunction.

 

It is very difficult to generate revenue with a platform that strives to uplift Black people.

 

This is happening to Zane for two reasons; (1) People share the scandalous news about Black people to get traffic ($) and (2) There are people interested in hurting Zane. 

 

Unfortunately, in America, the goal of hurting Black people and generating profits are often perfectly aligned.

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I have found the same thing about writing. I have written stories that are about positive characters that are role models and heroic in the black community and have an uphill battle getting readership while feeling it was some of my best work. On the other hand pieces that I publish filled with drama, sexual situations and strong language sell many times more. It's a tough world to write in broadly and know that probably 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your work, but I keep writing in totally dirrerent genres to broaden my readership and it is working to an extent as I'm getting a foothold in the UK with steady sales of work that is not urban fiction, but the Elder Erotica series, and it is dragging readers to my other work.

 

Back to the Zane deal. I don't know if anything went on between Zane and the woman that updated her page, but that is pretty public way to hit someone. I met Zane once at a booksigning at a bookstore in Dallas that closed last year and gave her a copy of one of my books, Rooftop Diva, and she seemed to be just a regular person.

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DT, Zane is a regular person.

 

I removed the tax information from Wikipedia and it was added back 28 minutes later. I looked at the editing history of the page and was very surprised by what I saw: Zane tax problems are going to stay on Zane's page if Wikipedia has anything to do with it.

 

Look at the edit log: http://aalbc.it/wikifail2

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