Cover art for the novel “Blood Heir” by Amélie Wen Zhao
If you read my February blog post “Blood Heir” and Social Justice (or is it vengeance) which echoed many other voices on the web, you’ll recall how author Amélie Wen Zhao was bullied on social media to pull her book Blood Heir from publication over what Slate.com author Aja Hoggatt called accusations of racism and being “anti-black”.
Tablet Magazine called her detractors a twitter mob composed of what’s been referred to as “YA Twitter:”
an online community composed of authors, editors, agents, reviewers, and readers that appears to skew significantly older than the actual readership for the popular genre of young adult fiction, which is roughly half teens and half adults.
The Tablet article goes on to say:
As Kat Rosenfield, a Tablet writer who is herself a published YA author, wrote in a deeply entertaining Vulture feature on The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter, in the summer of 2017, “Young-adult books are being targeted in intense social media callouts, draggings, and pile-ons—sometimes before anybody’s even read them.”
Even though the author defended herself and explained the cultural context (her own) that inspired her novel, she was dragged through the virtual gutters and intimidated into indefinitely delaying the release of her book. She’s an excellent example of having apologized when, objectively, she really didn’t do anything wrong except cross paths with the YA twitter “powers that be.”