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Anyone ever felt jilted by Chowhound?


I'm putting up a public protest for Chowhound itself...and we will see how long this post lasts before it mysteriously ends up in the scrap heap like many of our posts that were in some gray area or another that had someone yank it.

I mean no harm to the many ardent admirers of Chowhound who are unpaid VOLUNTEERS...yes, that's right, folks like us who are invited, by their dedication, to moderate things...and uphold CBS's profitability.

If it must, I would like this post to last 702 coments like the "Salt Wars" discussion, aka "What is one tip that you learned about cooking that was simple but made a huge difference?"

And what I would like to hear is, what don't you like about Chowhound?

  1. Sometimes it seems to me that the positive comments are more likely to be deleted than the snarkier ones. When I was a noob (still am) I was stung and confused by being told that there was a similar thread that was a year old. Once, I think it was on site talk, I asked if the moderators and some of my fellow chowhounds had ever taken the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test. Someone responded that they were annoyed by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. I never felt so dismissed on a forum. I didn't post for months after that.

    13 Replies
    1. re: givemecarbs

      givemecarbs, I think a lot of people are annoyed by Myers Briggs. But that was no reason to feel dismissed! Please keep posting in the face of minor disagreements!!!

      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Thanks Sam! That book about the test, Gifts Differing, has transformed my life and I was just curious as to whether more chowhounds were close in personality type to me. I was also wondering if the moderators tended to fall under certain categories. My father raised me to get along well with all people and when I couldn't meet his expectations I felt pretty down on myself. Then I read Gifts and I feel so much better. I think it will take me a lifetime to fully understand her book. The test was devised by a mother daughter team and the daughter perservered despite much resistance.

        1. re: givemecarbs

          I find the Myers-Briggs fascinating! (I'm an INFJ) But I can totally relate to being turned off by the weird "you don't speak in exactly the right lingo so you don't really belong here" vibe some people will give off. A lot of people are just territorial and it seeps into everything they do -- how they drive, how they stand in an elevator, and how they write on these boards. I say -- if you love chow so it is a priority for you (to whatever degree *you* think is significant) -- you belong here!

          1. re: khh1138

            I could talk Myers-Briggs all day myself (INTJ), but it's not a perfect model, and some people just hate being categorized. I can understand where they're coming from ... I've participated in a couple M-B threads on another forum, and people there were very interested in talking about it. It seemed that Ns were very disproportionately represented there ... some of the rarest types IRL were some of the most commonly reported.

            1. re: foiegras

              I think an overwhelming number come to CH much more interested in discussing Meyer-Lemons, and would prefer to leave the other Myer (B's) discussion for a more appropriate site.

              1. re: Servorg

                Excellent way to explain it, S. Interesting to some but not appropriate here.

                1. re: Servorg

                  Well, it's interesting ... the other forum where people were very interested has a definite focus, and nothing to do with Myers-Briggs, but like this forum, it has areas for more general discussions. One difference is that the average age on the other forum is way less than here ... I think that probably makes a difference in people being up for discussion of anything.

                  1. re: foiegras

                    I have no desire to be part of a board that discusses "anything." NAF gets too off-topic plenty of times. Discussing personality types? Maybe around your own dining table. Here on CH we all peacefully or not so peacefully coexist.

                    1. re: foiegras

                      We all tend to think that our own little digressions aren't going to cause any problems for site usability. But when you add all those posters up and then factor in those who chime in we get so much "noise" that the "signal" gets lost. And as someone once sang, "You don't know what you got till it's gone"

                      1. re: foiegras

                        au contraire mon jeune foie. Us old fogies are willing to discuss everything as well, but the big difference is us almost social security folks were taught boundaries. MB may be a good topic of conversation over a few brewskies and burgers, but CH was designed to speak of the latter. And jfood is an INCT.

                        1. re: jfood

                          No "almost" for me. First check was last August and I thank y'all.

                          We used MB in a corporate, team building setting and saw its use. Also helped me understand that I will never understand my husband :) But, yes, fellow fogey, there are other venues but not here. I'm surprised anyone's surprised.

                          1. re: jfood

                            Stop The Presses! An impostor who slipped into the first person has hijacked jfood's identity.

              2. re: givemecarbs

                So some jerk displayed a dismissive attitude. Shrugging off this stuff is part of being a self-reliant person.

              3. 1. A few years ago the low, slow, indirect BBQ people got pretty hostile to impure ways.

                2. After pointing out the difference between sushi and sashimi, abd that sushi need not have fish, I was told to get over it and that Americans call it all "sushi" and expect fish.

                3. Once I made a comment on either the LA or NY board; and some certified member asked WTF I was doing commenting there.

                4. Then, of course, I get irritated when Hounds read a wiki and google a couple of things and think that they're doing "scientific" "research".

                3 Replies
                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  "3. Once I made a comment on either the LA or NY board; and some certified member asked WTF I was doing commenting there."

                  Sam, you are always welcome on our Southern Cali board! ;-D>

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Sam My Man

                    You are welcome at Tri-State, Southern New England or in jfood's backyard. Mid- to late summer the veggie garden will be in full bloom (he hopes, 200+ plants in process) and you can eat, swim and post to your delight.

                    The only scientific research needed to be performed is a correlation analysis between food, fun and laughter.


                  2. >>And what I would like to hear is, what don't you like about Chowhound?

                    An apparent reduction in the % of posts about delicious food.

                    An apparent over-reliance on media sources (including Chowhound) to choose where to eat (rather than independent and critical explorations to sniff out the good stuff).

                    As far as possible, it should be directly about finding delicious food. There's still room for improvement.

                    1. To paraphrase Winston Churchill:

                      "“I find that Chowhound is the worst form of food talk site - except all the others that have been tried.”"

                      1. What an strange thread to stumble upon after months of not even lurking here anymore.
                        Someone asked for recommended brand names of Chinese condiments.. I directed him to a site that gave a picture of the stuff, the Chinese name, an audio track that gave the pronounciation and recommended brands. Everything the guy could want......It was deleted. It was then I realized that the mods were on a power trip and I have never been back until today.

                        27 Replies
                        1. re: billieboy

                          Did you get an email or other notification that your post had been deleted for particular reason? There could be a number of other the reasons why your post disappeared.

                          - it wasn't fully submitted (some times I hit that 'attach photo' button thinking I was submitting the post)
                          - the data base might have down, or corrupted, or overloaded
                          - some post higher in the thread was deleted because of inappropriate content, and took your's with it.
                          - the thread might have been moved, or lost in the recent reorganization.
                          - someone may have mistakenly thought it was spam.

                          Sometimes it is better to assume things happen by accident than by malicious intent. It is still easy to find a lot of your contributions (a search turned up some 15 pages in 2009).

                          1. re: paulj

                            Agreed. Any time I've emailed the moderators, I've gotten a reply back. I didn't always LIKE their answer, but they did always answer :)

                            1. re: c oliver

                              I've had posts taken down by moderators, and upon reflection, it made perfectly good sense to me. I like how proactive they are in maintaining a mission and a positive tone on these boards.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                "any"...now jfood feels jilted

                                1. re: jfood

                                  Don't be, I don't get a response to everything I've ever sent.

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    I eliminate the middle man (I never send anything asking why and I am never disappointed when I don't get a reply)... ;-D>

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      yeah usually they start the email chain.

                                      "You have been sent the following email from a Moderator." Uh-oh

                                      then jfood asks for clarification...then radio silence.

                                      sorta shrug, eat some more ice cream, watch American Idol and yawn. doesn't move the BP 1 point, life's too short.


                                      1. re: jfood

                                        This is exactly the treatment I get. I'm alright with them pulling something. As long as they give me a good reason why. Not hide behind the "Suspicious post" argument.


                                        1. re: Davwud

                                          I don't know about the "suspicious post."

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            even if no explanation, I want them to send me a copy of the post so it doesnt end up in the ether...

                                            1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

                                              I don't think that's a bad idea but the volume of posts might make it diffficult. I rarely get deleted that I don't know why. I can either try to rephrase or just let it go (more often).

                                      2. re: Servorg

                                        Aww, Servorg, you're reminding me of one of my mom's favorite/annoying (fave to her, annoying to me) expressions affixed to her fridge:
                                        "Guaranteed way to get more of what you want out of life:
                                        WANT LESS."

                                        Funny enough, there is a cartoon image of a chef next to these words!

                                        I respectfully must disagree with c oliver and note that jfood, the dog, is quite adorable in his (?) hat and shades. If cuteness factored in, the mods would send me/April Katt flowers. HA HA HA HA! :) I do agree with jfood--life's too short to let any of this move the BP whatsoever. This is about fun and deliciousness. And I thank everyone who shares in that goal for keeping the playground fun and entertaining.

                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                            Well, you're a GIRL CAT so you might be slightly biased.

                                            But really I don't think the site or the hounds are all that broken. When I first saw this post, I was all excited about posting something. But I "examined my conscience" (12 years parochial school) and honestly couldn't find anything big enough and consistent enough to expound on (and I seem to be abe to expound on almost any and everything). And if I felt that CH and I really and basically couldn't agree, I'd go away and try to find something that suited me. Or just go away. This isn't a "one size fits all" type thing. It mostly works for me and that's just damn good enough :)

                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                          I've never gotten an email about a pulled post. Which is fine with me, actually.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            Wow. I'm impressed. Until you've gotten the following intro you really haven't lived :

                                            "You have been sent the following email from a Moderator."

                                            After the first time, you quake at least a teensy bit :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Now I'm starting to feel jilted. Why don't I get emails telling me how bad I've been? ;-)

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Clearly you're an underachiever. You don't acquire Gold status without one of those emails. 'Course I'm a "rather ask forgiveness than permission" kinda gal :) Keep up the good work; your day will come.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  It's not as if they haven't found me badass enough to delete numerous posts, just not aggressively non compliant enough to email me, too. I feel kind of neglected.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    It's the same here. I've had lots of posts deleted, but no emails from the mods. Sigh.

                                                    1. re: queencru

                                                      We're under performing in some critical way. It's like being the gum that isn't annoying enough for someone to scrape off their shoe.

                                                2. re: mcf

                                                  if it would make you feel better jfood can forward one or two. :-))

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    Awww, I'm touched. But yannow, Badass by Proxy is so subordinate. ;-)

                                                3. re: c oliver

                                                  Agreed...the first time I got one of those, my heart did a little flip-flop. :-) There are times I disagree with the reason for the pull, there are many more other times when I fully agree with it. Sometimes you just hope that a little off-topic will slip through. But because of the conversational tone of these boards, when the OT expands, it usually gets pulled. And I'm OK with that.

                                                  Still, flippety-flop goes the ticker. "OMG, what did I do NOW?" LOL

                                        2. re: paulj

                                          See my response to the post below this -- I pasted in direct quotes from the moderators, which shed some light on the situation.

                                        3. re: billieboy

                                          LOL. Welcome back! It's not a power trip...it's a hard job. What drives me crazy is that I found out that the moderator job will continue to be a bunch of calls made on the greyish lines of participation -- and that effort is managed in part by volunteers!

                                          1. re: billieboy

                                            Ohmygod, man, I've been missin' you! Please stick around. I miss your posts. Just stumbled across an old recipe of yours I had saved for making stir-fry sauce. WELCOME BACK, billieboy!

                                            EDIT: And if you're NOT planning to rejoin us, will you please send me an e-mail? My address is in my profile. But I hope you're back to stay.

                                          2. By Chowhound? No.

                                            By other users? Certainly. I feel some "revered" members are given far too much credit, and often times it's gone to their heads, and then newer or less vocal members are just dismissed.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: irishnyc

                                              Here is a response I received from a moderator last week: "We understand that there's a fine line between sincerely wanting to point your fellow hounds to good info which happens to be elsewhere and plotting to steer our large audience elsewhere for promotion/self-promotion. The problem is that we have far too many users and far too little time to draw this distinction. We need to stave off the considerable desire to use our loud microphone for promotion, and so we ask even veteran participants (whose motivations are beyond question) to help by not setting examples that could be seized upon by people with selfish agendas.

                                              We try to do where there's a bigger issue that we think people need to be aware of, or we think they might not understand why something was removed, but in general, there's simply not time. We're a pretty small, mostly volunteer, crew back here, and we don't have the resources to email every user about every post that's removed."

                                              1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

                                                So what's wrong with that? I assume it's why I've had posts deleted, too, despite never having behaved in a commercial manner, when trying to show someone a product in answer to a question. Whatever it takes to avoid the stench of advertising is ok with me.
                                                That's hardly a power trip, it's just thoughtful policy that may catch some small fry at times.

                                            2. I've never felt badly treated or disrespected by the CH team at all. I like CH a lot, especially as compared to other board communities I participate in.

                                              1. I like CH a lot. I've liked it since I first stumbled on to it. There's a thread on Red Flag Deals about how much CH sucks. Even though it's not what it used to be, it's still really good.

                                                The biggest complain I have isn't that my posts are sometimes getting deleted. It's that they don't want to stand up and justify it.
                                                I get a form email saying it was deleted. If I'm lucky enough to get a response to my "Why" email I get a vague answer with no evidence.

                                                It's at the point where I don't even care anymore. I don't use the site as much as I used to because the content isn't there as much anymore (a recent post of mine asking for recos at a place I'm eating at tomorrow has been pulled) and I'm tired of spending wasting time on posts that get pulled.

                                                Another problem is the newbie who posts a rave review. It's to the point where anyone who does that has their post dumped immediately. That's no way to build the community. I've seen ones that are so obviously shilling that they have to be pulled. I know it's not easy but I think innocent until proven guilty. We'll see through the shills.

                                                Anyway, just my 2c.
                                                I'd also like the thank those in charge who are letting this thread go. I think maybe it's time they heard what the members think. It's our site after all.


                                                11 Replies
                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  I was with you until your last sentence. CH makes it clear that we're guests at their party. If we choose not to attend, others will. We may not like that but that's how it is. And I don't disagree with that BTW.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    "Others" are still us. It's there for us to use. Without us there is no need for a board.


                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                      Okay, the "we" is c oliver and Davwud. Others are those other than c oliver and Davwud. Don't try to be obtuse. You're too smart - it doesn't work :)

                                                  2. re: Davwud

                                                    i agree, i find that a few of my posts were pulled while other posts that do exactly the same thing are still up. in the ontario board, there is a thread about what's your worst dining experience. i posted my reply which was a very popular resto that served raw veggies and meat, but one of the leaves had a slug on it. i described what happened, and said that the staff was apologetic, and then i left. this post was pulled b/c:
                                                    "But while different chowhounds can balance each other's opinions - pro and con - for a restaurant's pasta or chocolate cake, once someone reports a bug, cootie, or foreign object, that warps the gravity of the discussion. It can never be balanced. And while we trust your sincerity, many people who report such things do so out of a motivation to smear a place. If you find a restaurant lousy or sloppy, that's a matter of opinion that can be corroborated. But a report of finding a fly in your soup can't possibly be confirmed or argued or verified or balanced, so we declare it out of bounds for our discussion."

                                                    i appreciate being given a reason why my particular thread was pulled. however countless posts are about things that simply can't be confirmed or argued (e.g.: waiter didn't fill my water, we made reservations and they ignored us when we got there, the lettuce in my salad was totally brown, etc etc). secondly, there have been lots of posts about the place that " warps the gravity of the discussion" like when the owner or servers argue or yell to blatantly disrespect its customers, or mention of mice or rats. these comments would be equally as damaging to the resto. thoughts?

                                                    1. re: chalenegirl

                                                      I'd say insects come under the cleanliness label and imho it's important. Who wants to go and get sick??


                                                      1. re: chalenegirl

                                                        "...like when the owner or servers argue or yell to blatantly disrespect its customers, or mention of mice or rats."

                                                        First of all any mention of mice or rats is going to fall into the same category as slugs. So those posts would be removed too.

                                                        CH has always encouraged hounds who spot problems such as bugs or other issues that threaten diner safety to report those sorts of issues to the proper (local health) authorities.

                                                        A boss yelling at his employee is not going to threaten the health of the restaurants customers, no matter how unseemly that particular issue is.

                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                          I respect and understand what you're saying in your last sentence, Servorg. I hope you--and others--can also appreciate there are certain posters whose contributions equally "warp the gravity of the discussion" to the degree subsequent reviews "can never be balanced" due to the negativity of the original post. I have seen it happen on my local board in the past and found it very disheartening. As many people who will chime in with differing opinions, a negative (and detailed) lead is enough to throw some people off the idea of ever even trying a particular establishment for themselves. I think that's both sad and unfortunate.

                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                            Absolutely, k-e. I've dined with a CH who reviewed restaurants and I found it hard to believe we ate at the same place at the same time. There are those who build a reputation as naysayers but if you don't know any better, you believe them.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              Yes to both you and katty. As I have said before, I lend no credence to those who have nothing but good things to say about every place and I lend exactly the same amount to those who have nothing but negatives to say (90 + % of the time) about every place they go. Neither end of the spectrum can be trusted, nor should they be. They are aberrant and dismissed by me immediately as far as being a good gauge of anything edible.

                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                And, to me, the "popular kids" on CH get that way because of their fairness.

                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                  Right on all points. I look for balanced reviews and trust the people that consistently provide them.

                                                      2. I've had posts deleted before without any notice, but since I complained to them, they explained it to me and I was cool. They just don't have time to respond personally to everything.

                                                        Once I realised the way they work, it's impossible for me to get upset about them

                                                        1. Why, thank you for asking.

                                                          I have recently felt irritated by the apparent coddling of people who seem not to wish to be in touch with reality. I feel that we ought to be able to handle the truth, rather than get our egos in a knot when discussing the relative merit of the cuisine available in various locales.

                                                          Overall, though, I really like the quality of information available here ... and others to whom I've recommended the site seem to feel the same way.

                                                          1. they keep pulling replyies ,i just had one disapear to my alberta celiak help post,and when a discusion gets good ch locks it.

                                                            1. A while ago, in a "worst of" thread, I posted a comment about a restaurant (when travelling) where I had to send back 4 out of the 5 dishes in a tasting menu as they were salty to the point that they were inedible. I did not get charged for the meal, but as there was wine accmpanying each dish, I had to pay the restaurant $120 for my wife and myself. As you can well imagine, I was not amused.

                                                              What I did not realize was that the restaurant was a sacred cow on that board, and I got attacked, but I also got some positive comments, thanking me for my post. I was really disappointed that the CH team deleted all of the positive stuff, leaving behing two snarky comments.

                                                              The attack was a real surprise to me because on my "home" board (Quebec) people post negative stuff all the time about popular restaurants, and no one gets attacked.

                                                              I was also criticized for posting based upon a single meal, so I can't help but wonder if people are so cavalier with their money that if they have a truly horrible meal they go back to the restaurant to give the chef another chance.

                                                              I regret using the handle "souschef" as some of the attacks were based around it; I am really an engineer who cooks well.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                I am certainly not that cavalier. The only reason I can imagine for doing that is that you live in a small town and there are so few restaurants, you have to hope against hope you were somehow wrong, or the bad experience was a fluke! I was once in a small town in the deep South on business, and I kid you not, the best food in town by far was at Captain D's (seafood fast food). A week was torture; can't imagine living there.

                                                                I don't live in a gastronomic paradise by any means, but there are always plenty of restaurants I haven't tried yet ...

                                                              2. >>And what I would like to hear is, what don't you like about Chowhound?<<

                                                                How mods can just capriciously delete posts with no reason given. I just had that happen to me on this thread from the LA Board:


                                                                If you read through the thread, some are already making negative comments about a place that at the time had not even opened yet (sounds like they have just opened at this point in time). All of their negative comments are completely based on pure conjecture. I felt this was uncalled for. I posted accordingly for my otherwise highly respected peers to keep things real, and to write off a place before it even gets started is wrong. I felt my rant, while still a rant, was very well written and as polite as could be in addressing this issue. The mods did nothing to address this concern. Moreover, they deleted my post, which is a further insult to me, to the upstart business, and of course, the mods' reputation for, well, fair and capable moderating.

                                                                So my assumption is that I can go ahead and slam a place totally based on my personal biases, without actually trying the place first, and have the mods give my actions a big nod by insulating these kinds of comments from those who rightfully so point out this kind of behavior. Who's moderating the mods?

                                                                PS: Let's see if this post gets deleted as well...

                                                                21 Replies
                                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                  Can I argue the other side of the coin for a moment? I saw your post, and I have read all the posts on that thread. If you had written about how, without trying Top Berkeley Dogs (g) you were sure that those dogs would be incredibly tasty based on their "pedigree" alone (and, which logically holds just as little logic as those who you posted about nay saying the place) that would have been on topic for the LA board. But you're opening up a whole different subject (kettle of dogs?) that, if it's going to be discussed, needs to be done on Site Talk or Not Food. That's undoubtedly why your post got redacted, bula.

                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                    Hi Servorg,

                                                                    Thank you for the guidance. I hate jumping on the soapbox as I'm sure I've been guilty of less-than stellar behavior as well. I'll definitely keep your consult in mind. But considering why my post was nixed, I'd appreciate at least a simple email as to why it got poofed into cyberspace netherworld, or just redirected - as they often do - to the appropriate board/thread. Far more importantly, mods should moderate. I don't need to post a link to the definition of, "moderate," or "moderator." Their job is to keep things real. If my post is preempting their duties, then maybe they should recognize this and moderate by commenting to those concerned about how their conjecture and biases cross doesn't come close to a reasonable standard - or is this just me? Thanks again.

                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                      I just meant to convey that it's okay to post conjecture or have a bias toward or against Berkeley Dog on the LA board (as illogical as anyone may find it when you've not tasted the product yet). Where "you" got into trouble was wanting to discuss the inappropriateness of folks being negative about a place that they hadn't tried yet. That's off topic for a local board like LA where the discussion needs to be focused on the food. If you want to take up that sort of topic it needs to be done over here on Site Talk.

                                                                      In any case, I hope Berkeley Dog is a big "wiener success" and they expand to Mar Vista ASAP! ;-D>

                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                        Hi bulavinaka,
                                                                        I just wanted to add to your post about the importance of keeping things real. Similarly, I've seen people slam recipes they've never even tried and find the behavior equally distasteful.

                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                          Really? To me those are almost apples and oranges. IMO, if someone is knowledgeable about a particular "cuisine" and a moderately competent cook, then reading a recipe is a pretty OBjective exercise. Whereas criticizing a restaurant where one hasn't eaten is, at best, SUBjective and more commonly just BS. But , ya know, now that I think about it, I don't remember many cases where a recipe was "slammed." Sure, I've seen gazillion that will say that carbonara should or should not have cream (!!!!!) but I wouldn't generally put them in the slam category.

                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                            People that slam or praise stuff without trying aren't usually taken seriously. Chowhound is about empirically trying something and sharing the results. This would of course be separate from clarifying factual stuff (e.g. "You can't call it fried chicken when you're using clams." or "Nope, chicken fried steak is not a sichuan dish.")

                                                                            1. re: limster

                                                                              Thanks, limster. That's what I thought. The rest is just noise.

                                                                              1. re: limster

                                                                                So Chowhounds should have open minds about food?

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  My point wasn't about open or closed minds. It's about thinking/eating critically and drawing conclusions based on empirical experience.

                                                                                  It's not about being open to multiple possibilities; it goes beyond that -- it's about testing these mulitple possibilities to see what they're about.

                                                                        2. re: bulavinaka

                                                                          bulavinaka, I'm not seeing what's negative on that thread. So perhaps they deleted those as well?

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            Linda, I think bula was referring to posts like this one http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7040... in that thread.

                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                              While that particular post was a bit difficult to understand, I didn't see that particular post as negative...more as hoping for the best from the Berkeley Dog location, but not expecting it.

                                                                              But High Maintenance later said in response to someone else who had TRIED the Berk-Dog on opening day and said that it was exactly like the Top Dog of yore that if they could replicate "the hot link, they're a winner in my book."

                                                                              The confusion seemed to have been that Top Dog didn't have any information about the Berkeley Dog on their site so people were assuming they weren't affiliated. Yes, technically they're not. But they're ENDORSED by Top Dog.

                                                                              So it was a bit of conjecture earlier on, I'll agree with bula on that point. We all do that when we don't have certain information (it happened on a Boston thread about a Portsmouth, NH breakfast place opening up in the immediate Boston area and whether the menu/atmosphere, etc. were going to be the same). And I don't know what bula's post said since it's been deleted. But maybe just a "Well, try it out when they open and if they aren't up to Top Dog's par, then you can complain about them" post would have sufficed. And perhaps that's along the lines of what bula posted. Don't know.

                                                                              If I were a Top Dog aficionado living in the area, and I had heard of Berkeley Dog opening up and had heard it was going to be Top Dog food in all but name only, I'd most certainly try it out, regardless of what a few people had said on a message board. But again - I didn't really see anything wrong with the little bit of conjecture that's still on the site. They weren't trashing the Berkeley Dog - just saying "Top Dog doesn't have anything about this on THEIR site; how can it be Top Dog food?" At least that's the way I read it.

                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              Hi LIndaWhit,

                                                                              Servorg is correct in which post I found to be out of line. There also another reference having to do with previous employment with Top Dog in Berkeley while attending Cal, and how this experience allows judgement as to how this now place, "Berkeley Dog" probably has no attachment to Top Dog. I just read this as negative conjecture as well.

                                                                              I've seen this kind of behavior on other posts. Those guilty of negative posts being called out on what others felt was undue negativity toward a place they never tried - particularly when they're upstarts - and then those guilty of said-behavior trying to validate their posts by further specifying what led to their conjecture. Here's one of an upstart Pastrami sandwich truck:


                                                                              I found many of the negative posts about Fresser's to be unfound because of - again - pure conjecture. And guess what? So did the person who started this business. I spoke with him at length about this post when I happened upon his truck parked curbside. He was dejected to say the least. He's a small business owner with limited means, but with a great passion for great food - a defacto Chowhound - who felt he'd been unfairly smited by people who didn't even know his product. He said he literally cannot view Chowhound any more because of what he viewed as unwarranted attacks on his business. This is nothing new in the internet world, but up until then he had always considered Chowhound to be of a much higher standard. I feel for him. Being a small business owner is a tough gig unto its own. This kind of unfound criticism only makes things a ton harder.

                                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                And now, bula you have found the proper venue to air your feelings on this subject (and your vented spleen is sticking like a big bug splattered on the windshield of life)...all is good, hot dogs are good and Chowhound is running in it's normal "highly eccentric orbit" once again. ;-D>

                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                  You ultimately always put a smile on my face! Thanks again, Sir Vorg. :)

                                                                                2. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                  OK, that kind of thing really bothers me, too. We had a southern food/BBQ place opening, and long before it was open, right after it had been announced, everyone was condemning it. Toronto is not known for southern food. So everyone felt it was safe - and acceptable - to assume that the owners of this place knew nothing about southern food, were fibbing about their credentials and had looked up recipes on the internet? It was insane. They've been open for a while now, and you know what? The food may not be 100% authentic, but it is very very good.

                                                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                    OK, I somehow missed Servorg's post to your original one, bula, which is why I only responded to his response to me. And I now have a better understanding of what your post was and why it was pulled. Yup, the comments that aren't related to food usually do get pulled on city-specific boards, and I do understand why from the Mods' POV.

                                                                                    But I see where you're coming from, bula. sel, on Jan. 12, 2010, had an appropriate comment (although no one responded to him/her):

                                                                                    "It does not surprise me that there are so many (15 replies as I post) negative comments, ALL from posters that have not tried their offerings. Unprofessional menus, instant spuds (I don't like them either) or whatever don't make for a bad Pastrami Sandwich so I for one will reserve judgement until I try it, and all of the other 'new wave' food trucks!"

                                                                                    But while I'm not making excuses for any of the early comments before the truck opened for business, the comments *seem* to be about the pictures not being as appetizing as Langer's pastrami sandwiches can taste. Even the OP, Mr. Taster, said "Overall, a superior sandwich and one I'd go for again." once he finally got out to the truck and tried a sandwich.

                                                                                    The ONLY way that the negative comments could be avoided is to not allow any comments about a place until they've opened....virtually impossible to do, yes? There's always buzz going on about a new place - whether it's because of the chef, the food, the type of food, the decor, whatever.

                                                                                    But I also understand that the actual comments about the food in that thread eventually gets buried under the "The website is awful with misspellings, wrong menus, and they have god-awful looking pictures!" posts. Which isn't fair to restaurant or truck owner.

                                                                                    But that's the nature of these types of threads...yes, it stinks. But it happens. Perhaps a new thread could be started with the FAVORABLE comments Permalinked in the new thread along with a comment that you (or whoever) didn't want the good comments buried by the "before the opening" negative comments.

                                                                                    Just a thought...

                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                      Thanks for you detailed response. The thread about the pastrami truck really bugged me as it developed. But after hearing first hand from the truck's owner, it made me realize even more how these kinds of specious comments do really affect others. The owner was visibly hurt over the comments about his business. I guess this is what has motivated me to truly consider how I write and about who or what. Where I would often just shoot at the hip about places that I've tried and didn't like for some reason, I try to be more diplomatic about my responses, even for those places that I feel really should be doing a better job. This stuff that we top away from our keyboards is out in the public domain for just about anyone to read. Here I go up on my soapbox again, but I think far too many people forget or disregard the fact that responsibility and ethics buttress the concept of free speech.

                                                                                      As a footnote, the OP, Mr. Taster, is a lover of and connoisseur of sorts when it comes to pastrami - so much so that when he and his wife were married, she (being of Chinese descent) and he (being Jewish) decided as true Chowhounds to have a reception at a well-respected dim sum house and to serve Langer's pastrami side-by-side with the dim sum. He knows and respects the culture of pastrami. Not that the pastrami truck's owner knew this, but for Mr. Taster to give the sandwich a green light was check and mate on this thread for all others concerned.

                                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                        Yes, I agree - the anonymity of the Internet makes for more shoot-from-the-hip comments. Your comment about thinking about your responses, trying to be diplomatic, is a very good one.

                                                                                        Here's another thought - perhaps save this thread, and when issues like the pastrami truck crop again (as you know they will!), permalink the part of the thread that begins with your post ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6975... ), and perhaps the readers of the original thread will realize that trashing a place before they've even tried it has far-reaching effects, especially for the small businessperson trying to get their establishment off the ground.

                                                                                        And I love Mr. and Mrs. Taster's wedding buffet - dim sum and pastrami? That SO works for me! LOL

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          Hi LindaWhit,

                                                                                          Thanks again. Your idea about permalinking this thread is great. Mr. Taster affectionately refers to his wife as his L.T.A. (aka his Lovely Tasting Assistant.) :)

                                                                                    2. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                      I would hate to see Chowhound become a place where all we do is blow sunshine up the restaurant industry's posterior.

                                                                                      Yes, it's disheartening and feels unfair to read negative things about one's business, especially pre-opening. But that goes both ways. For every owner who has gotten smited (smote... smitten?) by the unruly mob, I'd bet there are at least 2 more who have gotten good vibes off the bated breath can't wait for it to open oh my god I heard this owner just ROCKS sort of posts.

                                                                                      A good business owner needs to learn to take the constructive feedback from a consumer opinion site and not let either the negative or positive opinions get too far under their skin.

                                                                                      I'd really hate for us to lose sight of the fact that we'r enot here to provide these owners with feedback/criticism. We're here to inform each other, our dining compatriots about where great food can be found. If a business owner wants to be a fly on our wall, good for him/her, but listening to conversation that isn't directed to your ears means you're going to hear some things you don't like.

                                                                                3. I've never had any problems with posts being deleted, but sometimes users have made me want to pull my hair out. For example, someone will ask for recommendations about a specific restaurant. I'll pipe up and say that for X dollars, Y on the menu is really great and it's one of my favourite things, and I've never been let down. Someone else comes into the thread, says that at another restaurant, you can get something similar to Y - item Z - for X+20 dollars, and it's so much better and that they actually feel bad for me - they feel BAD for ME! - if I think that Y is worthy of being a favourite!

                                                                                  Maybe Z is better than Y. For an extra $20, I should hope it is. That doesn't change the fact that the item that was being focused on originally is still very good. And there isn't any user who has the right to look down on me.

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: precia

                                                                                    One of the things I love about food is that it can be so great all over the price spectrum. (Not so for something like, say, furniture, where you're likely to get off-gassing MDF on the low end ...) I feel bad for THEM that they don't 'get' low-end food ;) In one of my favorite Chowhound moments, user Woofy (living in his own glass house) said that of course I wouldn't know anything about non-precious food due to my username (I'm paraphrasing here). In my mind, to be a foodie, you really need to be familiar with the whole range ... and there's a whole lot of food clustered at the lower end of the spectrum.

                                                                                    I remember once when I was working crazy hours ... I was eating good restaurant food & could even expense it, but after about two months I was ready to walk the plank for my own home cooking. To me it's all about balance ...

                                                                                    1. re: precia

                                                                                      Insulting someone's taste is SO rude and SO inappropriate, it's one of the things I really hate to see on the boards. I don't know precisely what the creators and maintainers of this forum want at this point, but I think we can respect the current users have different lifestyles, tastes, and incomes. Commenting on the nutritional value, economy, or quality of an item should never collapse into rudeness.

                                                                                      And I enjoyed your algebraic explanation, as well.

                                                                                      1. re: FullPalate

                                                                                        Opinions fall under the laws of physics. For every opinion there is an equal and opposite opinion.

                                                                                        If you don't want your opinions criticized, don't voice them. It's the only way.


                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                          My perception is that percia is fine with healthy debate and discussion. It's when it descends into derision and disrespect that it crosses the line. I've been guilty of that myself, and gotten (justifiably) deleted for it, though all too much of it is allowed to stand. I've seen some portray this (as you have) as an issue that some posters can't tolerate being disagreed with, when in fact what they don't want to tolerate is the underlying hostility in some posts.

                                                                                          On a recent conversation about credit cards, I watched as one poster got away with telling the OP that if they didn't like the cc practices at one high-end restaurant, then the OP should just stick with Applebys - and it was all done in a very rude way. It's pretty mild as a standalone comment, but if all of us participated regularly in that way, this place would get ugly right quick. I was disappointed both b/c I generally like and respect the poster who made the rude Appleby's comment, and b/c the mods will allow that kind of rudeness while seeming to arbitrarily delete others. There's no apparent rhyme or reason, though I think the job of the mods is likely a lot tougher than it looks, so I like to give them the benefit of the doubt.

                                                                                          Though your use of the law of physics is delightful!

                                                                                          1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                            Please keep in mind that we don't read every post. If you see that sort of comment, please report it to bring it to our attention.

                                                                                            1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                              I tend to agree with you.
                                                                                              I'm not saying it's right (or wrong for that matter) for someone to jump down another's throat. I'm just saying that if you venture an opinion, be prepared. It's not just here either, it's in life in general.
                                                                                              Not too long ago I heard the credo, "If you don't want to be criticized, say nothing, do nothing and be nothing." Imagine if Edison gave up when his friends were teasing him about his (not) glowing ball of glass.

                                                                                              I sometimes myself get a bit snippy too.

                                                                                              And thanks


                                                                                              1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                Sometimes it can be a matter of not knowing how it's going to come across when you don't mean it as derision or disrespect. Communicating is so much easier in person. I've seen it happen many times when someone doesn't mean anything by a comment (off the bat I'm thinking of LindaWhit being called the unofficial poster of Top Chef but when called on it clarified there was no ill intent) but it's mistaken as such. It helps to give the benefit of the doubt and ask. I've been part of discussions where someone will say it's getting heated when the parties involved have just been discussing different views.

                                                                                        2. Never jilted. Disenfranchised? Yes.

                                                                                          Fairfield County in Southern Connecticut and Westchester County in New York are twins joined at the hip. Chowhound forgot this when they rejiggered forum boundaries. Pity. Lots of synergism was lost.

                                                                                          Jim Leff knew this when he drew the original boundaries. Chowhound should reconsider and acknowledge the natural relationship we share with our overtaxed brethren.

                                                                                          1. Jilted? Not really. I live where most people would consider “the middle of nowhere” and apparently there are very few local chowhounds around here. A feature I would like to see is a way to search for chowhounds by region. Of course, that would only work if they include their location in their profile. So, for now, I’m happy cruising the general topic boards, and reporting on the few local threads that are regularly active.

                                                                                            1. It's hard not to think sometimes that some of these moderators can't tell their arses from their elbows. I don't see the point of posting outside my regional board anymore, because every time I do it ends up being a big waste of time and energy. Something that just got confirmed this very morning.

                                                                                              43 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                On the other hand I know exactly why I get my posts removed about 99% of the time.

                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                  As do I. I think the mods are very consistent as a rule, and it quickly becomes evident what one is to avoid doing wrt posting content.

                                                                                                2. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                  If you're getting deleted everytime you post anywhere other than your regional board, then you're doing something wrong. I get deleted occasionally and I've gotten reprimanded by the mods more than once but it's the exception rather than the rule and I usually damn well know why it happened :) I don't usually post on a regional board as the region I live in (CA outside the urban areas) is just too broad. I'm a VERY prolific poster who can edge towards sarcasm but I try to rein myself in. If you would like your posts to stand, you may want to email the mods and get some guidance. They'll be glad to provide it, I'm sure!

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    Yep - these boards are never an exact science, and usually justice and good behavior prevails.

                                                                                                    But sometimes, things get out of hand, like this commercial post that's been on the site for nearly 20 days, and even once recatorized by the Chow team (how did they not bounce this?)


                                                                                                    1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

                                                                                                      While we do normally ask that people limit their signatures to a single line, the thread otherwise seemed okay to us.

                                                                                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                        But that he's promoting his business? dot com?

                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                          It's a puzzle to me, too...and I was equally surprised to see it stick.

                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                            It looks like a commercial billboard and sales promotion is clearly the entire reason for his participation here. It's not as if he's ever posted anything else or in other topics/threads.

                                                                                                            Shocking to me that an obviously commercial post is still up because some of the thread is interesting. That will be welcome news to artful spammers from now on.

                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                              Puzzling that it remains, in spite of the obvious attempt at Guerrilla Marketing with what was posted by a one time single issue poster...

                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                That is jfood concern as well. Now spammers can write some whimsical tribute to something and post a URL to their products. Once that door is open it is tough to regulate.

                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  If we feel people are abusing their signature privileges specifically to promote something -- the most common way is to drop a lot of inane, info-less comments all over the site, each with the signature -- we'll disallow the signature, at which point they usually storm off in a huff. That doesn't necessarily seem to have been the case here -- he posted a number of replies (which we removed because they were bumping the thread without adding new info) but none of his further posts contained his signature. He may have come just to promote himself, but that's something we usually judge as a pattern of behaviour, and something we're watching for here, but one post with a signature in it isn't much of a pattern.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                    jfood (and he thinks others) are speaking to a different pattern. Not that grill guy will return, he has posted and now moved on. but the pattern is that grill guy tells his buddy water-purifier gal who posts about her last dinner with her mother and then has a link to a purifying system. then they change their login to blender boy and do the same. it will be a tough job for the mods.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                      And even one, clear abuse of the site is too many...

                                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                        He doesn't have to tell his friends; he can just keep posting about all the other stuff he probably sells using this apparently acceptable spamming technique for those, too, under different IDs.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                        Is it possible for CH to edit a post, i.e., deleting the sin but not the sinner?

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            I don't. Delete the whole thing. I don't want someone editing my posts.


                                                                                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                              Hmm. Interesting point. Perhaps a note "This post has been editted."

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                Nope, hands off. It's all or nothing. If you edit a post you may change what the post is trying to convey.


                                                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                  So with the issue upthread where his only offense was inserting his commercial site, you'd either leave it all or delete it all. I really do get what you're saying but still think there could be some wiggle room for this type of thing. Not the content.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                    I know what you're saying but to me this is a "Where do you draw the line" thing. Perhaps removal of a link would be fine but I think the easiest place to draw that line is all or nothing.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                      Jacquilynne seems to have opened the door on this subject by talking about the post that was changed to eliminate the link that effectively "outed" one of the regular CH posters by asking for and getting "permission" from the OP to remove the link. That leaves the question of whether, with an OP's permission the Mod's could go in and alter other, original content of a post and not just a link?

                                                                                                                                      Only time will tell if that is something that could or will happen.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                        Excellent point, Servorg. How could he say no?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                          I believe it was a she that was the OP, but you are right. She was cooperative, and from what I saw would have been in any case. But when the powers that be ask you to be a good netizen, how can you say no? (I suppose some could, but I know I could not).

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                    I've been a mod on a different site, and it was our policy to prefer editing to deletion in order to preserve as much content as possible. Now it may make a difference that I have edited professionally, but I found it not at all difficult to preserve the intent of the post while removing offending words/elements. I would use an ellipsis occasionally where I deleted something. There was also an automatic notation that the post had been edited, and the mods would insert the reason why.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                  If the *only* offense is the commercial link (as in this case), why delete an entire post that has otherwise positive content in what the OP wrote?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    A deterrent??
                                                                                                                                    I have to admit, I hadn't thought of simply removing a link but as I said, I'm just worried that a persons initial point would be lost.
                                                                                                                                    I'm also concerned about where this editing would become censorship.

                                                                                                                                    Again, my whole point of this is I don't know where you put the line. All or nothing is a good place IMHO.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                      "I'm also concerned about where this editing would become censorship."

                                                                                                                                      There's certainly no question about that when the entire post is struck... ;-D>

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                        I'd still rather the whole thing be gone than the message be missed.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                          What about in the case of a comprehensive restaurant review in which the poster happens to mention finding a hair in their salad? That entire post is struck as it stands now. Will removing the "hair" from a 3 or 4 paragraph review, rather than the entire review, be detrimental to CH? I don't think so.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                            Someone mentioned that s/he moderated some other board and when they edit they would note that. Seems easy enough to do that.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                              In that situation, the poster is sent an email with the original post, told why the post was removed, and is told they can repost the post without the problem portion.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                          Not quite sure how it's censorship if the only thing removed is the commercial link. That is obviously against CH policy. Or so we all thought as the one linked above remains.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                    In the old days I would have always said no to a question like yours. But since this was recently done in a post in which a link was provided that somewhat "outed" a Chowhound posters real I.D. I can't say that any longer.

                                                                                                                                    ADD: Which means that the powers that be could go in, remove both those shill "sigs" and leave the rest of the post and thread as is.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                      As a matter of policy, we don't edit posts without the permission of the poster.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                        So does that mean that if, in the case I posted about above, that if the poster who had the link in their post had not given you permission to remove the link you would have chosen to leave it up? Just trying to get the gist of the thinking on this issue. After all, removing any part of a post, even with the posters "permission" has an overall affect on those who have come to that thread and either responded to it or have simply read it and been interested in the information presented there.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                          Jacquilynne, I understand that. And CH allows for blog urls to be listed, as most blogs aren't selling anything - they're just another place for someone to talk about the food they're making/eating.

                                                                                                                                          But in this particular case, the FIRST link is a sales/commercial link to what that person is selling. The secondary link is their blog address. The blog address also has the commercial link in it - so why not remove the commercial/sales URL but leave the blog link? I think that's what people are asking - by leaving the first commercial link, you're (i.e., CH) are leaving it open for others to do the same.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                        Perhaps not, but it sure matches the pattern of the myriad spammers who've gone before. It seems like a very bad precedent to leave it there.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                          Don'tcha wish this could be one of those "the tribe has spoken" moments now that five of us are on the same page (and, no doubt, there are others)? How nice would it be to think someone listened, reconsidered, edited...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                            Actually, no. If the boards were moderated by whomever felt po'ed by a particular poster, it would be a chaotic nightmare. The mods here do a really excellent job, and that's so evident when you compare the tone and content here with so many other forums online.

                                                                                                                                            Do I hope they'll reconsider in this case and in similar ones to come? Definitely yes. But I don't think this particular incident means their control of the boards should be diminished due to dissent over this one poster.

                                                                                                                                            Just because someone doesn't decide to do what we ask doesn't mean we're not being heard, only that reasonable people can reach different conclusions.

                                                                                                                                            That said, I still think the handling of this obvious spam is extremely disappointing. Maybe folks who've never posted before shouldn't be permitted to post links to a commercial product/site at first?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                              To clarify, I didn't mean the "tribe" should speak in every instance. I do *in most cases* respect the mods and the work they do (as they are volunteers who are as passionate about this site as we are about this issue)....I was referring very specifically to the post we're discussing here and not posts in general. A democary of moderation would be a chaotic nightmare indeed.

                                                                                                                                              Agree with your last paragraph and the suggestion in your last sentence in particular. Though, I've seen other similar posts vaporize...which, again, is why this one continues to puzzle me.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                It seems like a no brainer way to prevent hit and run spammers, no? No commercial links for newbies.

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for your clarification.

                                                                                                                        1. Folks, this thread is kind of going in circles on a policy that's really not up for debate, so I'm going to lock it. We're not open to doing more editing of people's posts, and the advice we've been given from our legal team suggests we do it as little as possible or not at all.