"Mean Comments: When Your Self-Esteem Is At Stake" by SongSmith is an important article, and we need more like it. This information also applies to authors and book reviews/reader comments.
One particular line caught my attention, but I suggest you read the rest of the original article, which makes some good points and provides tips.
“… the Internet has also created a cozy space for those anonymous self-proclaimed critics to step into the light”
Some people comment just to be hurtful or to deliberately lower overall ratings. In the world of books, it is obvious with some comments that the critic read a book outside of his or her preferred genre, and the comment refers to his or her tastes rather than the merits of the work. In other cases, you can see when the critic has not understood the book. I've made a study of reading such comments, especially about known good books, watching their ratings suddenly plummet. These types of comments both fascinate and infuriate me because of the needless negative effect on the book and on the author. The only antidote is if readers of reviews are informed--which is why I reblogged the "Mean Comments" article.
In theory, everyone has the right to state their opinion, so comments of all types and voices are possible. The thing to keep in mind is that any review or comment says more about the critic than the work. Recognize trolls and don't gratify them with attention.
Even reviewers are entitled to their opinion, but that's all it is: an opinion. The harm comes when readers and authors see "pseudo-reviewers" as experts, people with authority in the field, when that may not be the case. Readers, take it one step further: read the credentials and look at the book list on reviewer sites.
Public awareness is growing, but it’s still difficult to deal with the feelings of having your life’s work placed under personal attack. The only solution is to keep spreading awareness about what constitutes legitimate, constructive comments or reviews versus trolling or uninformed criticism, so we all know how to weed out the latter.
Books are a matter of personal taste, just like music, movies, and anything else. A person has to decide for himself if a book or piece of music is something he or she will like. Just because someone else doesn't like banana peppers doesn't mean they're a bad thing.
Here is the original article: