How an independent bookstore took on anti-feminist trolls and won

On Monday morning, independent Brisbane bookstore Avid Reader shared a Facebook post from Australian feminist writer Clementine Ford, who was happily announcing that she’d signed a contract to write her second book. Ford described the book, Boys Will Be Boys, as one that will “examine toxic masculinity” – making what happened next particularly ironic. Avid Reader’s social media manager, Chris Currie, said he started to notice “nasty” comments appearing on the bookstore’s Facebook post that evening, attacking Ford for her feminist views, and Avid for supporting her books. The comments were accompanied by a series of one-star reviews, which climbed into the hundreds overnight. “DISGUSTING MAN HATING BOOK STORE THAT PROMOTES MISANDRISM [sic]!”, read one review . “Since you promote misandrist Clementine Ford who hates men, I will never visit this bookshop/cafe ever again,” read another. But the internet is nothing if not an equalising force, and the trolling prompted an outpouring from the other side: Australia’s literary community and Clementine Ford’s fans showed up, flooding the page with five-star reviews and positive, heartfelt comments. At the time of publication, the Avid Reader Facebook page’s 246 one-star reviews had been outweighed by over 2,700 five-stars, giving the store an […]

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