Sadly the cure was worse than the disease and the ham-fisted approach GR took to try and resolve the problem has not only failed miserably but has in fact made the situation worse for writers. Here is a copy of the STGRB farewell and some solid advice on how to pursue the problem further:
Goodreads has, in my opinion, made no major policy changes that affect the troll population. What they have done is actually enforce the existing guidelines on the 21 most rabid accounts. they didn't even ban the trolls just deleted their filth. The only significant changes they have made is to make it bannable if an author makes any comment at all. The whole thing reeks of an attempt by goodreads to send a message to writers. What goodreads has done is just enough to stir the hornet's nest and get the trolls rioting and to silence all authors on the site. What goodreads actions in September accomplished is throw the trolls into a frenzy of 1 star ratings and reviews.
So in actuality this makes the site worse than before for writers. This was intentional on the part of goodreads and sends a clear message to writers that if you complain about fake ratings and reviews things get worse for you.
The actions by goodreads were well thought out and deliberate. They knew full well what would happen if they deleted the 21 worst troll account contents. They knew full well there would be a vicious backlash as a result and that all the wrath would be directed towards authors. They knew that this would make their API even more of a fraud.
This is nothing more than corporate bullying of small business people sending them the message, "If you complain about how non-buying members treat you and your product, your books, we can make things worse, don't forget who is in control."
Clearly Amazon is out to get complete control of the ebook market. This means they wish to control the content of books and the writers too. If you control the APIs for books you can control which books sell. With a fake API you can create the impression that most ebooks are poor quality and only the books advertised by paid promotions are good. This is why both goodreads and Amazon condone the trolls and to keep plenty of books down-rated to allow Amazon to tell you which books are good or not.
Getting back to STGRB I agreed with the conclusion they've come to; only legal action is going to address this problem of rigging the book rating machine. I realized that from the start and over time have come to see this is all a plan to get total control of the ebook market so it can be manipulated for profit by Amazon. Putting out a fraudulent API to manipulate sales is criminal. It's monopoly and racketeering.
Only legal action will stop this. That's why it's so important to contact the FTC and state attorney generals and file a consumer complaint stating the APIs from goodreads and Amazon are intentionally fraudulent. If these agencies keep seeing the same complaints about the same websites they will eventually take action.
There is an alternative, to put an end to all the down-rating and preview reviews, or the people on GR who do hundreds of reviews. The alternative is to render all the reviews on both Amazon and goodreads worthless, done by rank amateurs who don't even know what a book review is.
I am currently developing this website to make all other online reviews obsolete:
This is still under construction and I'm looking for good people to help develop the site and do reviews.
Books will be graded academically A+ - C-. Lower than C- will be rated 'Needs Revision'. A questionaire is used, the reviewer fills it out and then uses it as a guide to write their review. This ensures thoroughness and uniform quality. Reviews will be assigned by genre to reviewers without an author name or title. This allows for paid reviews since the author will be unknown to the reviewer no bias will be created. This is more like paying a fee to get your work graded using university level criteria. I see two levels of service. The one is a grading of the work. The second is the actual review.
An Author can opt out of having the review published. They may wish to do revisions and resubmit it for re-grading at a later date.