True story - I had an almost 6K post penned last night on this very topic/rant I'm about to post, but decided to ditch it and go with something more concise.
First point: Badly Behaving Author meltdowns drive me absolutely bonkers. Then again, I know I'm not alone in that because there are so many of my friends and followers who discuss this very topic and I see the tension and decisions that result from such crosses. This latest case with E. Llewelyn is probably the worst I've seen in a long time. Between blatant attacks on Goodreads members to where she was banned from the community, and now making racist remarks against a reviewer and calling them as target practice when she's supposedly being "bullied" - you do not know the amount of times I mentally facepalmed and raged in the past 24 hours.
Second point: As both a reader and writer/aspiring author, sometimes I feel pretty darned helpless. Each and everytime someone has a meltdown like this, on one hand, I know that not every SPA is like this. I know that mentally. And I'm not going to personally cast a blanket statement because I've seen even traditionally published authors have these kinds of reactions. Julie Halpern was one, Tucker Reed and her mother were another that shocked the dickens out of me (and I wanted to read their books at one point in time). It's indicative more, I think, of a larger problem in the mentality of this changing world of publishing where more people really not only lack understanding of the nature of critique and deliverance of critique, but also misconstrue it by attributing it to terms with much heavier meanings, like "bullying" and "stalking" - thereby perverting the definitions and making them apply to much lesser things than what they really are.
Third point: You ask yourself what would be the kind of thing to do to stop this kind of thing from happening, but you can't pinpoint a cause or measure of prevention. Education would be the best method, but the people who really need to hear it don't bother listening at all. You'd hope that many would have the maturity and know how to handle this beyond putting a pen to a page, or at least have the curiosity and ownership to figure it out if they screw up. Questions come up like: Are people just that ignorant of how to use social media? Do they not know the responsibilities of being a business person versus what a consumer's experience would be? Do they not know how to take criticism? Is there a way to reach out to tell them "WTF are you doing? Take a step back and look at what you've done. Own up to it!" Some do eventually, but many others don't, and the only thing you can do is try to steer clear of the people who get off or seek to profit from the drama. And then have them realize on their own "I screwed up big time." Some will, some won't.
Fourth point: I'm going to do what is within the locus of my control: keep reading whatever the devil I want and if someone tries to cross me for it, I'll face it head on when it comes, with as much intelligence and drive as I possibly can. I love reading - that's the bottom line. I also love telling stories and sharing those with people. That will always be my focus, and I use that as a way to power through any drama that might be occurring in the background. I think that's important to remember, that a love for something powers you through any kind of adversity.
There are times when I'll admit that I worry about picking up a work and getting attacked by my person just because I have critical things to say about someone's grammar, or a controversial issue (like portrayals of rape or portrayals of POCs or lack thereof or the ever-loving sameness that is New Adult) that's within a work. I shouldn't have to. But ultimately what gets me through that fear? The knowledge that if I don't speak at all, the dialogue won't continue, and others who may feel the same way I do won't be able to have a point of connection and means of speaking up and thinking. Holding to a passion for me is more important than any personal criticism I may face. I'm stubborn like that. If it helps others gain the strength to keep going, keep sharing, discussions going and think about the things that pick up and make decisions on within this passion - then it's worth it. It's very much worth the push.
So ultimately, fifth point: I'm not going to let BBA drama slow me down or deflect from anything I truly wish to do. If anything, I'll use it as a lesson of discourse - I'll choose to stay away from people who perpetuate and use this kind of thing to supposedly "further" their careers. I'll speak against people who pervert the definitions of bullying and stalking with what I know on the matters, whether it's speaking from my personal experience or education. And further, I'll always stay true to my critical voice and way of rating and reflecting on the things I read and write about. I can only hope that in the end, the constructiveness of that critique shines through and the people who can use it for something will.
End rant. I honestly don't know if that comes across as clearly as I want it to, but I'll be open for comments and questions for clarification if necessary.