Having trouble wrapping my head around authors who think pen names are fine, but need all reviewers to be outed. I've seen douchey behavior on all sides, and I try to be as civil online as I am in real life.
Not saying I succeed 100% of the time or that I've never typed something I've regretted (I'm only human), but I try.
I also have issues with a petition spearheaded by Anne Rice, an author who has no problem with her flying monkeys going out to harass reviewers. [edited to add this link from The Mary Sue about this: http://www.themarysue.com/anne-rice-poor-review/]
I'm a reasonable person, though. As Rice is upset that we reviewers sometimes review under a pseudonym, I have removed every one of my reviews for her books. Of course, quite a few were 4-5 star glowing reviews that I doubt she had issues with, but as she is so bothered by it, it was the least I could do. I also promise to never buy or review any of her books ever again. Of course, that means that I also can't exactly tell all of my friends to read her books either, but c'est la vie.
I read a couple of interesting articles that painted only Rice's side of the story - yay for balanced journalism! - as well as saw some of the authors who supported this petition. I noticed that one of the authors wrote a book that I had on my TBR list. I of course removed it immediately. If you don't want reviews from someone using a pen name, I am more than willing to do my small part.
If you are an author and have the same concerns as Rice, please, let me know and I will make sure that I never read and review your work. It doesn't have to be public. You can send me a message and I will never mention you. Ever.
Think about that for a second.
Because I can tell you, I have bought books based on 1 star reviews. I have had comments from readers who said that they read one of my less than favorable reviews, but something I didn't like interested them, so they bought it. And yes, I have seen reviews where it looks like someone has a beef against the author, but those have as much effect on my book purchases as all of the 5 star "Best Book EVAH!" one hit wonder reviews. Sometimes those "mean" little 1 star reviews have actually made me check out a book, buy it, love it, and then write a favorable review.
And if you want to talk bullying, what do you honestly think will be the result if reviewers are only allowed to review if they use their real names? It ain't going to be tea parties and friendly conversation.
We're in an age where everyone can be a reviewer, just like everyone can be an author. There's growing pains to that. There's also wonderful things to come from it - new voices, new opinions. I value the opinions of friends I've made here and on twitter, goodreads and other venues. They've steered me to many a good read. They have sold quite a few books.
I think that is still the goal, right?