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Respecting Posting Etiquette?

Lately, I have been on the site, and have been very disappointed in the way some people answer posts. If someone says they like a place, and someone disagrees, it can get very heated. I don't understand why people can't accept that people don't always have the same opinions, but that doesn't mean they are wrong. I think we should respect everyone's opinion, but there doesn't have to be major derogatory diagreements going on in the posts.

I have always enjoyed Chowhound, and I like to see what is being said, however, I don't like being disrespected for my opinions, whether people agree or disagree. I must admit that on several of the posts I wanted to say something to some of the posters, but someone already ( in my opinion) put them in their place.

The whole idean of this chat is to learn everyone's opinion, but not be put down for it. I propose that we respect everyone's opinion, even thought we may disagree, but not to be derogatory. TIA

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    1. Trying to put someone in their place just causes more conflict. Some people enjoy trying to encite flames.

      If someone actually violates site rules, such as personally attacking the poster rather than the opinion, hit the report link and report them to the moderator.

      There are some people, however, who fly below radar. They don;t really violate the rules, but they are board bullies. With so many responses on the board they don't catch the attention of the mods. In fact, it can be the poster who responds or ;tries to put that poster in their place' that gets dinged.

      I can only suggest that people send links with a number of these posts (if it is the same person or group) to the mods. I would hope with enough people reporting the same aggressive posters over and over, some action might take place as in the mods telling these people to tone it down.

      There are going to be disagreements. People get passionate about tastes. I'm not talking about an occasional post or two by someone. I'm talking about a person or group of people who seem tto take over the boards.

      It sometimes takes a long time if only one person is reporting problem posters. Maybe if more people did some reporting about this type of thing, the problem would stop.

      19 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        I'm just curious what the difference is between attacking the poster, personally, versus attacking the opinion?

        rw, maybe I'm one of those people who violate the rules and, as you say, fly under the radar, but if I come across a post or opinion I disagree with I am definitely going to reply directly to that post and state that I think the opinion (or poster, however you want to describe it), is wrong.

        Is that an attack personally on the poster? Am I violating site rules if I do so?

        I'm asking in all seriousness because I think it's a fine line.

        For example, let's take the following:

        POASTER X: Joe's restaurant has the best french fries in all of Narnia!

        ME (replying directly to Poaster X's post): That's hard to believe because the fries at Joe's restaurant taste like corrugated cardboard. I'd rather eat unthawed Ore-Ida fries straight from the freezer with rancid ketchup.


        So is that an attack personally on the Poaster X, or a difference in taste and a disagreement on the opinion?

        Someone could certainly make the case that that is an attack personally on Poaster X because what else do I know of Poaster X other than her opinion about Joe's fries? Is that trying to put Poaster X in her place?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Ipse, can you see any difference between this example you gave "ME (replying directly to Poaster X's post): That's hard to believe because the fries at Joe's restaurant taste like corrugated cardboard. I'd rather eat unthawed Ore-Ida fries straight from the freezer with rancid ketchup." in reply to someone else regarding "Joe's" fries and putting it up as an original post?

          It's easy to excoriate someones recommendation. It's harder to disagree without stomping their taste into the ground. But if we disagree in less absolutist terms we can still get our taste across and avoid leaving someone feeling like they don't want to participate here again. And just maybe that poster who hangs around to continue to post on Chowhound will come up with a great recommendation that turns out to be a complete home run for us.

          Just something to think about.

          1. re: Servorg

            For me when I originally posted this, was not so much saying you disagree, that's okay, but rather long diatribes going back and forth. For instance, in one recent post, the negative poster posted about six or seven responses getting nastier each time.. It's fine to say that they disagree, but to go on where you have a major dialog and gets nasty is not necessary. As I have said before, we just agree to disagree, but not necessary to get nasty and beligerent.

            1. re: Servorg

              You know, servorg, you at least gave me something to think about in two posts in this thread.

              I like the idea of saying you prefer another restaurant to the one someone likes. I know how lousy I feel sometimes when someone rips into a restaurant I like.

              Personally, I like posts tht disagree with my own because different people have different tastes and it gives a more rounded picture of the joint. But when someone disagrees, it is always better the more detailed the reason ... we went and the rare steak was charred and hard as a rock.

              Still it does seem more civil to say something like "I didn't have a great experience at xxx, but a steak I loved was at yyy"

              I guess before posting it is good to take a minute to think how you would feel if someone posted something similar to one of your opinions

              1. re: rworange

                "I guess before posting it is good to take a minute to think how you would feel if someone posted something similar to one of your opinions"

                Agree rw, but I think I have pretty thick skin and can own up to an error, or bad post, if pointed out -- as humbling as it may be. (But I know one thing, your fried rice sucks ...)

                All kidding aside, don't different people have different tolerance levels as to what or how they would feel to being disagreed with? This makes it difficult to gauge what's kosher or not.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  "All kidding aside, don't different people have different tolerance levels as to what or how they would feel to being disagreed with? This makes it difficult to gauge what's kosher or not."

                  Yep - that's why it's important to disagree in as gently as possible - i.e. to err on the side of caution. Not be nice, but to ensure a diverse stream of information from as many posters as possible.

              2. re: Servorg

                "Ipse, can you see any difference between this example you gave "ME (replying directly to Poaster X's post): That's hard to believe because the fries at Joe's restaurant taste like corrugated cardboard. I'd rather eat unthawed Ore-Ida fries straight from the freezer with rancid ketchup." in reply to someone else regarding "Joe's" fries and putting it up as an original post?"


                Yes, I do.

                Both are the same in that both disagree with the opinion of Poaster X.

                The difference is that the latter approach (replying to the original post), is sort of an underhanded way of disagreeing, which in my opinion is almost worst than just disagreeing.

                If you don't have the cajones to disagree directly with a poster, then don't do it all.

                Just my 0.02.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I'll borrow (without permission, but I hope he doesn't mind) from limster's reply above: :"Yep - that's why it's important to disagree in as gently (a way) as possible - i.e. to err on the side of caution. Not be nice, but to ensure a diverse stream of information from as many posters as possible."

                  I think I sort of said the same thing (but not as well) as limster when I posted above: "But if we disagree in less absolutist terms we can still get our taste across and avoid leaving someone feeling like they don't want to participate here again. And just maybe that poster who hangs around to continue to post on Chowhound will come up with a great recommendation that turns out to be a complete home run for us."

                  "Underhanded" seems like a pejorative characterization of my approach. I feel like offering other places as alternatives that one feels are better for a dish (in this hypothetical case - fries) does two things. It leaves the other poster not feeling like their "taste" was deficient in some visceral manner, and it supplies other suggestions that both the poster I'm replying to, as well as others who may be reading along now or who come to the thread in the future, with alternative ideas to find (what may turn out as) delicious chow.

                  Finally, even if someone sends me to a place where I don't end up liking the dish they suggested what have I really lost? Hardly anything. A little money and a minor amount of time off the calendar of life. And, if we are going to try and find great chow, that is the sacrifice we have to make at times in our search.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    ""Underhanded" seems like a pejorative characterization of my approach. I feel like offering other places as alternatives that one feels are better for a dish (in this hypothetical case - fries) does two things. It leaves the other poster not feeling like their "taste" was deficient in some visceral manner, and it supplies other suggestions that both the poster I'm replying to, as well as others who may be reading along now or who come to the thread in the future, with alternative ideas to find (what may turn out as) delicious chow."



                    I think you misunderstood my reply.

                    When I said "underhanded" I was talking about directly disagreeing with a poster but using the "Reply to the original post" option instead of replying to the poster directly that you are disagreeing with.

                    I have no problems with hinting at a disagreement with a particular recommendation by using the "Reply to the original post" with different recommendations by suggesting better alternatives. This simply leaves the OP with competing choices.

                    But if one were to disagree directly with a particular post (in our example, Joe's Restaurant), by using the "Reply to the original post" option with a post along the lines of "Joe's serves terrible fries" ... then I think it's a bit underhanded.

                    That's what I was trying to convey, probably not very clearly -- either initially or even now.

                  2. re: ipsedixit

                    One way of disagreeing with cojones but still being gentler might be:

                    "I disagree. To me, the fries at Joe's restaurant taste like corrugated cardboard."

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  No you are not one of those people who flies under the radar. The only time you were ever a twit was a response you had to my fried rice thread.

                  That last sentence was a personal attack ... and of course, was only used as an example of a personal attack.:-)

                  Any direct name calling like that violates the rules. BTW, I thought you would appreciate the humor in that second sentence or I would not have wrote it.

                  If your response about Joe's had included "You are a idiot who doesn't know what they are talking about" That would be a personal attack. No matter how harshly you talked about the food, you didn't talk about the poster, his mother or use various other personal insults.

                  Flying under the radar is sneaker.

                  Sometimes it is a person who has a strong opinion about a restaurant and type of food and posts endless arguments until people just give up posting about that place or topic.

                  Sometimes, and this is especially true on the NAF board, there are posts ... and they are not usually direct replies ... that imply the opinion is by someone who lacks moral character, is lying, etc. They look like random responses to unsavory people as a whole.

                  For example:

                  "I was brought up correctly and to me it shows a lack of character if anyone xxx'

                  Someone says they are a big tipper and the response elsewhere in that thread is "The people who say they are big tippers are the biggest cheapskates I know"

                  These people don't let up. They go on and on.Because they are not doing a direct reply, it doesnt look like they are personally attacking someone.

                  Then there is the gang bang.

                  That is the clique that takes over the board and if posters don't agree with their opinion, they get a flurry of posts questioning the posters taste.

                  Fortunately, there's not many of these types of posters and with a lot of effort you can work with the mods to get them to knock it off. Still ... you know that saying about one rotten apple spoiling the barrel. It makes the boards a less pleasant place and, IMO, it scares off and discourages other posters who don't want to be mugged for posting. That risks the loss of lots of good tips.

                  1. re: rworange

                    rworange, in ipsedixit 's hypothetical, his response is an indirect attack on the o/p

                    the INSINUATION is that the O/P likes food that tastes like crap... so therefore the person who responds in such a manner renders all other food opinions from the O/P completely useless.

                    1. re: cgarner


                      Then by your logic does that mean no poster is ever allowed to disagree with another poster's recommendation by saying that what was recommended (e.g. fries) is not very good? Because to allow such a post would be an indirect personal attack?

                      If one poster says they like the fries at Joe's, am I ever forever forbidden to express my contrarian opinion simply because it might be construed as a personal attack of some sort?

                      Isn't Chowhound a forum for the expression of opinions and ideas -- be they concurring or dissenting?

                      And honestly, if one is too thin-skinned to take criticism (from an anon source), should that person be even posting on a public forum in the first instance?

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        You are an entertaining poster to read. But humor can backfire as I’ve learned personally too many times by my lame attempts on the boards.

                        Personally I would be amused if you were directly replying to me about the fries.

                        Some of the other posts in this thread made me think about this.

                        >>>That's hard to believe because the fries at Joe's restaurant taste like corrugated cardboard.

                        Translation: Are you lying or a shill for this joint?

                        >>>I'd rather eat unthawed Ore-Ida fries straight from the freezer with rancid ketchup.

                        Translation: So you must have really, really … really lousy taste.

                        Possible conclusion by poster: So you think I’m a liar who knows nothing about food. So long.

                        I think what servorg is saying is that type of creativity is better if you start a topic about Joe’s.

                        Too thin-skinned? Could be.

                        Responding to an established poster who can take it?

                        There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of new people reading that post who won’t post because those first few posts are intimidating and they are afraid their opinion will elicit a similar response.

                        I can be thick-skinned myself most of the time.. However this was my second post on Chowhound and the first topic I started. With the replies I got, especially the second one, I didn’t think I was going to bother with Chowhound.

                        Many years later when I looked again at that thread about prepared pie crusts, I wondered why I was so put off by the suggestion I make my own.

                        “Modern technology ie. food processors has transformed pie crust making from an art into a push of a button that any idiot can do in 5 minutes”

                        “i've used these more than once when … (I) was just too lazy, yes, even i rely on the premade at times, i know, i know, but it's a confession that must be made to be believed.”

                        Well damn. I will agree that not only am I too much of a lazy idiot to make pie crust, but I’m also too lazy to pull out the food processor and then have to clean the whole mess up. But I don’t know you folks. How dare you imply I’m an incompetent sloth?

                        Fortunately, a lot of Chowhounds picked up the insinuation and jumped in to undo the damage and really even the posters who wrote that didn’t intend it that way.

                        Fortunate because my food world would be so much narrower today without all I'velearned on Chowhound. I can't think of one poster who vehemently disagreed with me that ever changed my mind. It was the people who just posted one good suggestion after another that have guided me to unimaginable deliciousness.

                        Argue with me about Joe's fries. I'd still be eathing the. Tell me instead of a better place, maybe I'll try it and learn the error of my ways.

                        Jay Leno often says about humor when regular people try to be funny and bomb “:It’s not as easy as it looks, is it?”

                        The web has made us amateur mini-critics. This line from an old film “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” has always stuck in my memory more in terms of reporting about restaurants rather than replying to posters. Maybe it applies to this situation a bit as well.

                        “For a critic that first step is the first printed joke. It gets a laugh and a whole new world opens up. He makes another joke, and another. And then one day along comes a joke that shouldn't be made because the show he's reviewing is a good show. But, as it so happens, it's a good joke. And you know what? The joke wins."

                        If the joke wins at someone’s expense, maybe it shouldn’t be told

                        When I asked about the different varieties of fried rice and posters blew me off and made jokes desite my asking them not to, it made even me not feel like asking any more questions. And you know what .... that turned into a super informative post with the type of info I knew was out there.

                        Not to say, don't disagree. There are times when obvious out-of-towners post suggestions about the great food I just know they found in some tourist rag ... "You must eat at The Stinking Rose"

                        I've been more than guilty of responding "The Stinking Rose stinks" I try not to do that anymore.

                        I've found out there can be good dishes at the most obvious traps. So I'll more likely ask what they had and why they liked it because most of the reports on the board have been negative. Sometimes I learn something. Also, chef's and owners change. The fries just might be great today.

                        And the poster who makes a lousy rec is probably like most of us and taste-blind on certain items for no good reason. I've been known to rhapsodize over the McRib and Carvel Ice Cream.

                        LIke someone says, if anyone follows a bad rec and has a lousy meal ... well, its just a meal. Swill happens.

                        1. re: rworange

                          "I think what servorg is saying is that type of creativity is better if you start a topic about Joe’s. "

                          Egg-zactly (g). If I want to get "creatively negative" then doing it in a brand new post won't embarrass anyone for no good reason. I am also likely to check posting handles I'm not familiar with and try to be especially gentle in my disagreement if they are really very new to CH. Encouraging new posters to come back increases the odds of adding great new posters to our "gene pool" here.

                          So, time to move on from this thread it looks like. It seems (not knowing what might have gone on behind the scene) that this has been a very civil and enlightening (for me) discussion. Thanks to all who participated and gave me new things to think about in the way I reply to others.

                          Sometimes the best reply is the one not sent.

                          1. re: rworange

                            oh, since you bring it up, rw, since you are away from US advertising for a while, you might want to know if you haven't seen it on cable TV already: the McRib is back! :-)

                            It is interesting to me to see several LA Board posters on this thread, because, for some reason (though I love LA and many of its posters) sometimes the tone of posters on that board bothers me a bit. For example, a poster gave a description of their experience at a particular restaurant and several other posters took her to task for posting about a negative experience on a first visit, basically stating that she shouldn't 'review' a place until she'd been more than once. Huh? Chowhound is NOT a review site; it is a place for all of us to post experiences, and there was nothing personal or inappropriate in her post (that I could see), which made me wonder if there was some personal history there involving the posters in question that I didn't know. When I start to wonder about that issue, it also makes *me* less likely to want to post because it feels sort of like I am coming into the middle of a conversation with undertones I don't quite understand...

                            Well, perhaps it is just the same 'LA factor' that makes everyone who lives there honk their horn if I slow down just enough to check out a restaurant sign while driving by... :-) (A joke, ITS A JOKE :-))

                            still, I think if I see it again I will say something to the moderators. I see nothing wrong with saying, "Actually, I've eaten at Joe's many times, and I've always loved it; sorry your visit wasn't great, and if you try it again, check out the xxx". No need to say, "You shouldn't post about Joe's being bad based on only one visit".

                          2. re: ipsedixit

                            @ipsedixt - Disagreement is fine, and how will we ever experience new things if people dont' offer differing opinions, but remember what's "ew" to one person is "chow" another!

                            Why denigrate the person who likes Joe's fries with such a post? what's the point of that EXCEPT to be a contrarian and show how much more knowledgable you are than the o/p (at least that's how it comes across... you're saying "YOU EAT THAT CRAP??" to the o/p)

                            Rather why not just say, they're not your taste and even offer your recommendation for the place that has the fries that you DO like?

                            I've got thick skin and I know what I like, so I could give a flying fig if you think that Joe's Fries taste like corrugated cardboard because I know at least for ME Joe's fries are 'da bomb!

                            The other side of the argument is that there may be others out there who may like to eat fries prepared in the manner which I do, who will probably never even give Joe's a try because of your 'colorful' language about their fries... thus Joe's a neighborhood treasure begins to lose customers, languishes and ultimately fails...

                            R.I.P Joe's restaurant

                    2. re: rworange

                      "board bullies" - great phrase to suggest how some people undermine civil discussion with subtle comments and tone while retaining plausible deniability, thereby muting alternative viewpoints. I have a lot more problems with this than those who outright attack, since the latter are either 1) reportable, or 2) often willing to have an honest discussion, even if it gets heated.

                      1. re: rworange

                        on the other hand there are some posters whose stuff gets regularly moderated out of proportion to what they write

                      2. I hope I'm not guilty of this with you (or anyone else). I try not to give replies that drip with condescension when someone says that they like something that I don't. In fact I try and avoid directly denigrating any restaurant in reply to someone else who likes that restaurant.

                        Only when I'm putting up an original post do I get "creatively negative" with my descriptions of the food or service I've gotten. If I disagree I will usually talk about some other place that I like better as a response. Kind of an "oblique" way to disagree.

                        But RWO is right when she says that trying to get into it with another poster on the board is not the way to go. I ought to know having done so enough in the past. Try as I might there are times when I can't control my impulse to "set the record straight" and so I let loose. It reminds me of the old west (or the Pace commercial when the guy says "Get a rope!") with instant justice being meted out. I swear I'm trying my level best to get over that urge.

                        In any case it's good to have these types of posts here now and again, paprkutr. It makes me question my behavior and I hope it improves it. So thanks for putting up your thoughts on this subject.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Servorg

                          Thank you, and no it is neither of you. I don't get into it with them either, but I find it annoying when they keep pushing it. I understand that we all have different views, and that is what this site is about. However, just because someone disagrees doesn't mean they have to shove it down everyone's throat.

                          Thanks for your input, I am glad that I am not the only one that thinks this way.

                        2. It's funny that the people who are responding to this post, are not the ones that this is intended for.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: paprkutr

                            I think the opposite of what you mention also happens- someone disagrees on a board where everyone is praising one restaurant and everyone gangs up on that one person. People should feel free to disagree without having to worry about that happening, as long as they disagree in a polite manner.

                            I think that's just as bad as the people who vehemently disagree that a restaurant is good. I haven't visited the Chains section in a while, but whenever I did visit it was always full of people who complained that anyone would ever visit a chain. Why bother to go to that board then? It's just not productive.

                            1. re: queencru

                              I feel like it's the other way around. People will trash a place but don't want to hear that someone had a great meal there. There's a place in Manhattan where we always go for dim sum when visiting and it's always really good. But it gets no love :) Same with dim sum in SF. There's thread after thread and poster after poster who'll cry "dim sum sucks in SF" and I love it at a number of places. Oh and we must never forget Babbo, the place that seems to cause so many people to rip it apart.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                It probably depends on the location. In some areas, people are really protective of the restaurants they like and can get nasty if someone doesn't like it, especially if that person doesn't post that frequently. I don't really go to the city-centric local boards to notice what you are mentioning.

                            2. re: paprkutr

                              Was I derogatory to you?

                              Are you talking about the "gas station hot dog post" where you posted:
                              "Sorry, but very few of the Costco's still sell Hebrew National, the sell the new Kirkland brand. A couple years ago, there was a problem with Hebrew National, so they went to their own. There were so many complaints, not very many like the Kirkland."
                              and my response to you was "You're sure of that?"

                              Or was it the:
                              "Looking for delicious chili" post and you suggested Carneys, Tommy's and The Hat and I responded to you "I don't think Carney's or Tommy's chili is edible by itself."

                              I gave my reasons why I didn't think Tommy's was "delicious" chili. One poster claimed I didn't know the menu when I've been going there 35 years.

                              Another poster said other posters are entitled to their opinions and I have no problem with that.
                              You don't know it, but that poster was "called out" earlier on another thread where that poster said, they didn't like something and that was it...no reason and someone responded with almost the same response they gave me.

                              1. re: monku

                                No, you were not derogatory to me. I know we all have our opinions, and even if they don't give their reasons they are still entitled to it, though it would be nice to say why. I've seen some bullying and I'm just saying that is not necessary.

                                Some people are more savy than others, and some are more into all the details than others, that doesn't mean that those who don't know as much aren't entitled to their opinion.. Maybe reading these threads also gives newbies a glimpse into what to look for when they are shopping around for restaurants. I like to read everything and then make up my own mind. I don't want to be turned off the to site because of some pickering, is what I was trying to get across.

                                1. re: paprkutr

                                  I know I'm the culprit you speak of.

                                  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is what CH is all about . If I don't agree with something I'll give my opinion and back it up with my reasons. If someone makes a statement or gives an opinion I have a right to my opinion or challenge them.

                            3. While I do agree that civility is necessary, I find that well-articulated differences of opinions are often the most enjoyable and beneficial discussions on the site. The synthesis/antithisis permits others to figure out which opinions might be most in line with their own preferences. For example, if I'm looking for what I think will be a good bowl of chili, I am more likely to pay attention to the comments of the guy who likes super spicy and doesn't have a strong position on the bean issue.

                              Simply labelling something a personal attach doesn't help matter much either. If we stick with the instant example, I see no problem with my responding to ipsedixit in the following manner:

                              "Oh, ipse, there you go again being a dictum. Your hyperbole aside, Joe's fries are kinda bland, but that's what makes them so terific. They remind me of the McDonald's fries from when I was a kid. What can I tell you, I don't really like these fancy hand cut fries that are popping up everywhere. If I want to taste a potato, I'll bake one. . . ."

                              I mean, is that an attack? Is there not something helpful to another reader contained in the "conversation?" I suppose ultimately I suggest that one approaches posting the same way one approaches real life interactions. Act with respect for others, but disagree if you disagree. When you do, however, please articulate why. Nothing is helpful in a drawn out "awesome vs. sucks" volley.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: MGZ

                                thank you MGZ for your excellent articulation of a point I was trying to make!

                                1. re: MGZ

                                  Hmmm. I read the response you thought was fine and I read: You are full of it, you have no taste or at least only the taste of a person with unformed tastebuds"

                                  I wonder if conflict could be avoided when you find your opinion at odds with another by saying that it is interesting to read an opinion that runs contrary to yours (and it must be interesting because you are responding). Here is what you found OR maybe you will be willing to give it another go OR funny how tastes are so different... without a snarky add on like "some of us have a more refined palate..."

                                  People need to realize that their way is not the only way, their taste is not the only taste and that there is merit in seeing food and eating and all that goes with it thru another guys tastebuds.

                                  That said - it is really hard not to respond to the flame throwing jerks. Maybe it should be named "last post syndrome".

                                  I think Chows might consider abiding by a doctor's "dictim" and that is to "do no harm" to their fellow Chows.

                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                    As I noted above, I think the dialectic is what makes this site both useful and enjoyable. I'm not sure that a prefatory apology is necessary prior to dissent. Nevertheless, I understand the added civility suggested.

                                    A related question - to the whole thread, actually - Does past experiences with a poster have an impact upon what is permissible in an interaction? What if you've read several posts from someone and realize they're not easily offended?

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      From the moderator perspective, whether the other person is actually offended carries a little bit of weight, but not much. It's a mistake to think of any interaction on Chowhound as a conversation between two people -- only two people may be typing, but many thousands are watching. And a snarky post might not actually offend the person it's directed at, but it sets a bad example for those many others, and leads them to believe that those sorts of posts are appropriate here.

                                      If they're inclined towards snark, that might lead them to be snarky too, and less careful in their targets. If they're sensitive to snark, it might lead them not to post at all, for fear of being the target of that kind of remark.

                                      -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                        I don’t envy you performing the task of trying to indentify “snark.”

                                        Sal’s reading of the hypothetical post I offered exemplifies how easy it is for a reader to perceive something that a poster never intended. It seems that at times the conflicts are born out of miscommunication. Sometimes, the miscommunication may be the product of a poor assertion by the poster. Other times, however, the disconnect is due to a misreading or misunderstanding of what is written, or worse, a miscomprehension of who wrote it. A response based upon misunderstanding may escalate polite disagreement to something ugly. May I suggest that in order to elevate the general level of the discussion, we read, and sometimes reread, those posts to which we respond?

                                        1. re: MGZ

                                          well, I'll second that. I like to imagine (most) people are chuckling when they type.

                                          1. re: hill food

                                            and there are some readers who seem to want to read a post as being ill-spirited, when it's usually not.

                                2. I'm glad that my original post has created a lot of dialog. I just want everyone to be comfortable writing their opinions, whether people agree or not. As queencru just posted I want to be able to post my opinions without having someone trashing my opinion. Some people may not like the places I say I like, but they don't have to be nasty or put me or anyone else down. That was the intent of my original post.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: paprkutr

                                    It’s a dialogue worth having, not only here but throughout both online and “real” communities. Fundamental rules of etiquette and civility, having been significantly lost in the latter are even harder to recognize in the former where individuals wear the mask of anonymity. My own feeling, after two decades of such interactions, is to approach my interactions in the same manner regardless of which “plane” they occur on.

                                    If I hold an opinion, there must be a reason for it. If I think anyone might be interested in my opinion, I will share it. I usually include at least some of the underlying reasons when articulating a point. If others disagree, that is their prerogative. If they cannot articulate a reason why they disagree, that is their problem. If they can, that is their position and we have conversation. I like conversation.

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      Some fine reading for a Monday morning. When I first started posting on Chowhound not so long ago, I shied away from reporting on a resto I had not enjoyed, or had a bad experience at. I have an inkling how hard it is to make a go of it in the food industry and it just seemed "mean" when I'd only been there once and I have no claim to reviewing expertise.

                                      Gradually I realized that feedback presented constructively and in context can be helpful to other readers and possibly even the restaurant in question. I still prefer to post positive comments but to me it's about telling it like it was when I was there and letting people make up their own minds.

                                      Another thing I try to avoid is calling something the best (or conversely the worst). This phrasing seems to invite verbal violence more reliably than most and belies the innate subjectivity of ranking food experiences. I sometimes will say I had the X at X and it was the best X I've had so far if the item was particularly mindblowing TO ME but go further at my own risk :-).

                                      The herd mentality can be offputting either way. I've certainly been in the position of scratching my head over loads of posters loving (or hating) a place I hated (or loved). I don't recall ever be attacked personally for disagreeing with the majority but I've watched it happen. It must be very discouraging for the lone dissenter, especially if (as tends to be the case) they've been somewhat humble in presenting their contrary opinion. I wonder how many such situations result in the loss of that poster's input either temporarily or permanently. Agreeing to disagree seems to be a difficult thing for many humans...

                                      1. re: grayelf

                                        Agree, as long as it is done civilly.

                                  2. What actually shocks me is the way that I keep seeing people slagging off on 'America' or the 'US'. Seriously, it's a breathtaking combination of ignorance and offence given that these sweeping claims denigrate a large swath of diversely populated territory. Ultimately, this seems to be done either by American hounds eager to look sophisticated and more knowledgeable or by European hounds who also want to look sophisticated and delight in the ways that their European provenance would seem to grant them knowledge or taste.

                                    As a person who has grown up in two continents I have frequently found myself frustrated by the sweeping claims of either side-- but at this point, the behaviour of many hounds (with the exception of a scant few) has managed to so offend that I am increasingly unlikely to want to offer any tips. It seems pointless since everyone wants their own preconceptions sated more than challenged. (Again, this is said knowing there are exceptions here... but those declaring that Wonder bread+ McDonalds= American? Those exceptions are not you.)

                                    16 Replies
                                    1. re: Lizard

                                      I truly have no idea what you're talking about! No offense intended but I don't see this. Maybe I travel in different CH circles than you :) Could you find an example? Maybe I'm just not understanding what you're trying to say. Thanks.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        Ugh. I know EXACTLY what Lizard is talking about, I see it all the time on the General Topics page and Not About Food. There's currently a thread about how Americans have no appreciation for good bread and hence no demand for good baguettes (General) and a thread about splitting entrees (NAF) that has somehow devolved into commiserating about the size of US portions. Frankly, neither of these generalizations have matched my experiences here in the US, but they have matched my personal experiences in another country- but I would never dream of making blanket generalizations about that country based on my narrow view. My problem is that no one seems to have the same qualms about making these generalizations about the US. Totally agree with Lizard.

                                        1. re: mjhals

                                          Sure there are topics and sub topics that land in all sorts of places but btwn the Mods, the ability to ignore or not participate in a particular discussion or posting a topic you'd rather discuss-what more can be done? This is a large community, bound to hit upon subjects that we do or don't relate to...but, changing human behavior? when is that going to happen :) respecting the posting habits of CH's goes both ways...I defer to the moderation.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            Actually, just more ranting than demanding moderators step in. I'm afraid I was cranky after watching the direction of a few threads (mjhals has called them out). I guess I just wish people used their internal moderators, and thought twice before making sweeping generalisations about entire continents and nations. Speaking to the specific experience rather than assuming it stands for all things of the area across time might help.

                                            And like others here, I wish people would temper their langauge when addressing something they don't much care for. I have seen people refer to others as 'animalistic' and posessing 'gaping maws' simply because of cultural customs around eating. I have seen others declare practices 'disgusting' where it really comes down to matters of personal preference.

                                            Yes, this is the world of the internet, but from what I've seen, Chowhound can mainatain a certain quality that distinguishes itself from the usual sites (where I tire quickly).

                                            1. re: Lizard

                                              that glass is always have full Lizard!

                                          2. re: mjhals

                                            +1 I see this pretty frequently, too, Lizard.

                                            1. re: mjhals

                                              Yep. There is a thread out there right now laden with Americans are fat, stupid and tasteless posts (by Americans). Oh the self loathing! LOL

                                          3. re: Lizard

                                            If I could say so, there are several areas of sweeping generalizations on the boards.

                                            1. re: Lizard

                                              "these sweeping claims denigrate a large swath of diversely populated territory"

                                              the US is a diverse place, maybe not the most diverse of nations but more than a few by far. makes you think that a person who posts something like "I went to X and ALL i could find was X-TYPE food WTF?" just sorta hates the world and isn't going to be happy with anything.

                                              to these people I just mutter "pfff" to my screen, note their name for future reference and just keep scrolling. but even they sometimes come back on a different thread with something constructive. maybe they were just having a bad day, I've been deleted a lot lately and I have been in a bad mood (and I apologize to all the toes I may have stepped on), but sometimes I was trying to calm a spat and it made no sense to leave my comments in once the mods started deleting, so to the mods - cheers!

                                                1. re: thew

                                                  well actually I can't think of one, but I don't like to make sweeping generalizations either.

                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                    facts are facts. when you literally have people from 150 different nations living in one neighborhood in one borough of NYC alone, it would be hard to find a country that is more diverse

                                                    1. re: thew

                                                      we're getting off topic, but I LOVE to read Calvin Trillin's food trolls of Brooklyn and Queens. and I get really jealous that I don't live there.

                                                2. re: hill food

                                                  Sometimes you "pff" on screen and it brings a smile to my face every time. : ) Actual "pff "'s not rudeness.

                                                3. re: Lizard

                                                  One sees a lot of generalisations about the quality of restaurants in cities or countries, often as a result of severe under sampling (e.g. eating at 100s of places in areas with 1000s of restaurants, or only trying a subset of cuisines). Unfortunately they have to be ignored, as they are just factually and mathematically inaccurate.

                                                4. The OP raises a relevant issue. I used to think it was only on the news and politics boards. Then it turns out it's also the case on the deal boards. And now the food ones, too.

                                                  Essentially, it turns out that regardless of issue, there's a type of poster that is mostly inspired to post when the opportunity is there to disagree. I'm not saying that disagreement should be discouraged, but it should be healthy to the topic.

                                                  As example, in the past week I've responded to two requests for recommendations. And both times, someone took issue with my description or comparisons to similar restaurants.

                                                  The original posts were for recommendations not pedantic classification. And these argumentsgo on as long as you keep responding. One can understand that this might actually discourage sharing any thoughts on recommendations for fear of reprisal.

                                                  This type of poster clearly uses these boards to exercise some need to be an expert in something.
                                                  That said, I can't wait!

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: gbrl

                                                    gbrl, welcome to the world of online communication, right?!
                                                    the good, the experienced, the well informed, the helpful truly outweigh the pedantic classifcation.

                                                    1. re: gbrl

                                                      I agree with you, especially about keeping the dialog going. I found that I just stop answering, because if not, the battle will go on. Someone has to be mature enough to know when to stop the dialog.

                                                      1. re: gbrl

                                                        "As example, in the past week I've responded to two requests for recommendations. And both times, someone took issue with my description or comparisons to similar restaurants. "

                                                        But I think that can be a slippery slope. If I post recommending a place and someone else(s) have had less-than-favorable meals there, then they should speak up. Food likes are subjective and just because I like a place doesn't mean that others do. And if they HATE the place, then post that also. Over time I've gotten a sense of other CHs as far as restaurants or recipes. I want that info. But if someone disagrees with you, so what? Just another voice.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          My original point, was that it is okay to disagree, but do it in a respectable manner. Secondly, it doesn't have to go on forever with the same players.

                                                          1. re: paprkutr

                                                            If it's happening in a non-respectful manner, then report it. Same way with it going on and on. I just this evening reported a subthread to a really thread that's doing that very thing. If the mods choose not to follow my suggestion, then so be it. And perhaps sometimes we're too sensitive.

                                                      2. There's a discussion about steakhouses on the New Jersey board and somebody mentioned Steakhouse 85 and I see that there were three mentions of this restaurant in discussion topics but nobody has bothered to enter a recommendation on Chow. Maybe they can't recommend it, but it seems odd that people will discuss a restaurant and the site seems really geared towards automatically picking up these restaurant names and plotting the location on a map and including the address in your post without asking, but nowhere are we encouraged to write a review. Why wouldn't Chow want the database filled out and updated?

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                          For the most part the value of a site like Chowhound is in the immediacy of the current information that is available on a given restaurant (or group of restaurants in certain area). The idea of static reviews over time being of interest to those who come to this site, and who will find that information (outside of the location and maybe a general idea of the menu) useful is problematic at best.

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            It would make more sense, and I think it has this capability, of grabbing our comments out of CH and attaching them to the restaurant reviews. Of course, an entry would have to be made in the database for the restaurant to kick things off, but once Chow finds a match, it could repost our comments. This, without our knowledge. It is one thing to make a comment about a restaurant in a thread, and it is another thing to have that comment turned into a review.

                                                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                              If people use the function that marks their post as a review of a specific restaurant, the text of that post will appear on the review page.

                                                              If the site autolinks a restaurant name, or someone manually adds a link to a restaurant name without using the 'this is a review of a specific restaurant' function, a link to the thread appears on the restaurant page.

                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                J: is that related to your respect for our "content ownership" of our posts, that we have to choose to create that link as a sort of implicit permission to repeat our comments?

                                                                it also makes sense to not load up to much info as restaurants open and close and move etc. the data can go sour pretty fast. I used to work with databases and I was constantly educating management that a DB is a living organism not a static artifact.

                                                        2. And I also don't see any reason whatsoever to begin a response to a post/question with, "yawn..." If you're not interested, don't respond! I just find this to be a horribly passive-aggressive way to imply the person replying is oh-so-much more intelligent/interesting/compelling than the OP. Not an encouraging or particularly helpful way to start a post.

                                                          1. It's interesting, I started this post over a month ago because of stuff that was being posted. I, again was getting attacked very rudely and not neccesary. I went to see what the person posted to my last response, and as I said in my post would be my last response to this person. As it turns out, chowhound removed it because they thought it was inappropriate and very attacking. I have to agree that if you are going to attack someone why post at all?
                                                            Is it me, or are we seeing more of this?

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: paprkutr

                                                              I'm not sure if there's more of it lately- but there's definitely a lot. I guess I'm most disappointed that it continues. Look, we're all adults (for the most part), why are the parameters of posting constantly ignored? It's annoying to see, time after time, a thread just go directly downhill because people keep sniping at each other. It's so frustrating, because, of course (is this a surprise?!?) the thread then gets locked and no one can participate. And I do feel like I can see a trend with some of the same posters being involved over and over again in these threads that inevitably get locked. Either there's a perverse sense of pride in causing a thread to be locked, or they're too obtuse to identify their own behavior as inappropriate.

                                                              So yes, I completely agree that there's some constant inappropriate behavior, and it just baffles me.

                                                                1. re: mjhals

                                                                  It really does frustrate me that it seems the same people over and over again allow themselves to be pulled into a flame war- and I feel like I can see this coming a mile a way and wonder why they can't? To me it's either a sign of selfishness that they can't control themselves out of respect for other member's ability to continue the discussion civilly, or just a complete lack of self-awareness.

                                                                  It's frustrating because I certainly don't want to join in and get the thread locked even sooner, but reporting then leads to the thread being locked anyway. I guess I wish people could police themselves a little better.

                                                                  1. re: mjhals

                                                                    mj: it's hard, I sometimes find myself struggling to resist that "oh yeah?" impulse. it's the medium, too easy to snark back with little reprisal.

                                                                    Salon's Table Talk used to get REALLY snarky to the point the mods would ban people for up to a year or more at a time. they'd eventually come back and even though I'd not seen the original exchange, and they had toned down their talk, I sort of understood why they were 86'd in the first place.

                                                                  2. re: mjhals

                                                                    I totally agree with you and it is a shame. Almost all people on here are friendly, helpful, kind, however you do see the odd insulting, berating, rude, I'm too inteligent for you commet on the posts. When I do see that I just try to remind myself that the world is very diverse and that includes people with mental health issues (including anger issues), learning disabilities, intellectual disablities and so much more. People may no always be able to say or express what they are thinking.
                                                                    However if you do not fall under any of the above categories, and are not nice in your posts, then I just don't understand.

                                                                  3. re: paprkutr

                                                                    Y'know I see a lot less attack and snark here than many places (oddly a comment I made similar to this was deleted recently - it was in response to a long OT rant volley, so it was justifiably axed)

                                                                    CH has its bad eggs and cranks, but I think by and large most posters are thoughtful, flippant sometimes, defensive yeah, but generally thoughtful. but then I don't see the mods cutting room floor.

                                                                    hey that could be an interesting thread for the site, deleted comments taken out of context and all poster ID removed.

                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      The behavior of individuals posting to this website is discussed as much as the food is. Frankly, too much time (imho) is spent dissecting poster behavior by CH's when the Mods do enough to keep the 'rules' of this community in tow. How much time do we need to spend critical over each other? On to the food!

                                                                  4. I just follow the golden rule for the Internet - Communicate as if you are face to face with the person(s).

                                                                    Overall, I would put Chowhound near the top in terms of civility and quality of discourse. In many sites, most topics of debate end up being personal attacks with dashes of profanity and heaps of (overused/cliched) sarcasm. The discussions here can get heated, but they stay on topic and I've yet to see attacks targeting an individual.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ediblover

                                                                      "The discussions here can get heated, but they stay on topic and I've yet to see attacks targeting an individual."

                                                                      And for that apparent civility we can thank (and pay tribute to) the behind the scenes moderation, which is proactive (along with the liberal use of the "Report" button by Chowhounds like you and me)...

                                                                      1. re: ediblover

                                                                        Definitely. There is a difference between the internet and in person because we can't see the person we're talking to and we can't tell the intent. Plus, the response from the other person isn't immediate so it's harder to settle something more quickly. I've seen it happen many times when people think a disagreement is an attack when it's not. I haven't seen too many vicious attacks but maybe that's a tribute to the moderators.

                                                                      2. I'm really glad that you posted this, it needs to be said. I've been considering a similar post myself. While it's certainly not exclusive to this site it seems that lately the tone on the boards has gotten a little more harsh and arguments are more common. To me this cheapens the discourse and makes people less likely to post for fear of being attacked.
                                                                        It amazes me how simple posts can turn into an argument. I'm also really sick of people being judged and attacked as unsophisticated when they post about something they like. There are a lot of knowledgable people here to be sure, many with professional experience, but no one's opinion is more valid than another and everyone has a right to express themselves without fear of being attacked. Anyhow thanks for bringing this up and lets all try and be kind and civil, even when we might disagree.
                                                                        Cheers and happy chowing!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. There was a thread somewhat similar to this a year or ten ago (I'm getting old).
                                                                          I mentioned a request for marqarita recipes that I replied to. My recipe was responded to with something like, Yuck, happy headaches.
                                                                          Pissed me off. I decided to try said posters recipe so I could respond in kind.
                                                                          I drink much better margs now.
                                                                          Sometimes I have to get mad to get changed.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Bobfrmia

                                                                            Good for you! It takes maturity to admit you were wrong and learn from your mistakes.

                                                                          2. If I have time, I look into an attacker's other posts. If I see a trend towards personal attack, I report the person. In my experience, people like that aren't worth addressing. If I don't see a trend in a poster's tone on several threads, I might chose to address the person in the attack thread. I try to do this in a lighthearted way. Maybe this person was having a bad day, but is usually polite. Maybe we just don't jibe. Maybe we'll have to agree to disagree. But, I think it's a good thing in general that we can't ignore or block posters here. I can think of several people who I'd be tempted to never interact with again, if so!

                                                                            Some people see an opportunity to get personal and can't resist being mean or rude. That's their problem. I'm here to discuss delicious food. I try to remember that even when people are behaving rudely, it tells you more about them than it is a reflection on one's self. After all, how well do other CHs actually know you? Their opinions are just that, opinions.

                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                            1. re: amyzan

                                                                              Ooh, I like your reply. Sometimes I wish there was a "like" button for Chowhound, like there is on Facebook!

                                                                              1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                                I have said the same, although I wish FB had a "Don't Like" button as well.

                                                                                  1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                                    But wouldn't a 'dislike' button foster the trend to personal attack and help cultivate bad feelings? This is why fb won't add it (at least not yet): Because features like that allow the software itself to encourage negative behaviour.

                                                                                    1. re: Lizard

                                                                                      Good point - I guess I didn't think of it that way, but you're right. I might wish there was a "dislike" button when I see rudeness or snark, but sometimes it's better to ignore that kind of behaviour anyway.

                                                                                      1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                                        my desire for a "don't like" button stems from a few death notices getting posted. but I suppose a response shouldn't be that easy and thoughtless. so yeah I suppose it should stay as is.

                                                                                        and either would be sort of needless on CH.

                                                                                        1. re: ursy_ten

                                                                                          When you see things that are really rude, please consider the 'report' link to be your 'dislike' button. We'd appreciate the heads up, as we don't read everything that gets posted, and we rely on users to draw our attention to things.

                                                                              2. I think Chowhound itself could help the situation immensely by BANNING certain subjects for discussion. The topics that immediately come to my mind are etiquette (esp. the guest who brings nothing and the guest who brings too much), controlling family members, tipping, children, etc. Oh, and food safety issues. I've never seen a soul on either side of the question change their mind and each of us believes we are RIGHT and the other is WRONG. Only food safety posts allowed would be about a recent recall or a new scare and it would be highly moderated and locked quickly.

                                                                                The above issues seems to be the ones where alot of us (myself most definitely included) take rigid positions and differences of opinion are seldom tolerated. Also when an OP asks for advice and then argues with anyone who doesn't agree with her/him.

                                                                                (Singing like Julie Andrews) --- "these are a few of my favorite things" :)

                                                                                27 Replies
                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Actually, food safety posts are among the few categories that are outright banned. From the site rules:

                                                                                  "Reports of health violations, including food poisoning, bugs and foreign objects found in food are not permitted, as our breezy forum is not an appropriate venue for handling such urgent and serious issues. Please report them to the appropriate health authorities."

                                                                                  Keep it breezy!

                                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                                    As long as one isn't naming a "specific" restaurant the general topics are okay on the Not Food Board (usually) - although they do tend to get contentious a lot of the time and either end up locked or go "poof!" and disappear...

                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                      Yeah. I was referring to the type "I left X out on the counter all night; is it safe to eat it?"

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        I hate it when I leave my X on the counter (and only realize it when I get to the Rave)... ;-D>

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          Ah, right - I usually just toss this link out there for that: http://www.stilltasty.com

                                                                                          Not that it stops the discussion, but at least there's a central reference for this stuff.

                                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                                            How did I not know about that website?! Thanks Bob.

                                                                                          2. re: c oliver

                                                                                            No it is not....oops knee jerk reaction. :-))

                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                              My child. I wondered if you'd show up here. But I'm bettin' you don't disagree with the big(ger) picture.

                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                        I think a better question is why can't you (and I'm using that as a general "you", not you-you) refrain from participating in those threads if you can't do it within the bounds of civility? Frankly, I don't like the idea that no one should be able to participate in those discussions just because a few people can't control themselves from being asses when they disagree on a given subject.

                                                                                        1. re: mjhals

                                                                                          My point was that these same issues (with different names) just go round and round and round, regardless of who's participating or not. The only thing that seems to happen is that everyone gets tired and then they get cranky. I mean, really, of the subjects I mentioned, have you learned a single new thing? I rarely do. But it's like the accident that one can't turn away from. NAF is the black hole that draws too many of us into its grip. Don't we all honestly know that one should bring a hostess gift, that one shouldn't bring other than that, that there's more tipping advice here than one could ever need, that children should be expected to behave in restaurants and if they don't the parent should remove them, that (like tipping) there could not possibly be any food safety info that isn't already covered here, that if one has an issue with one's spouse, child, mother, father, restaurant owner, manager, server, sommelier, etc. regarding food then one should speak up.

                                                                                          I usually only spend time on regional boards if I'm planning a visit. The CA board (mine) is just too big to work for me. So perhaps people get into fights about restaurants. Except for Babbo I haven't seen that esp. Home Cooking has a few weeks spots. What does or doesn't constitute carbonara is a popular one :)

                                                                                          So to answer your question, why should there be a discussion of any issue that's been asked and answered ad nauseum? But here's where IMO, it gets down to a numbers game. Chowhound NEEDS all those posts, annoying or otherwise. Numbers sell advertising and advertising is what it's all about. Period. Just like any TV, radio, newspaper, etc.

                                                                                          Off my soapbox :)

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                            "What does or doesn't constitute carbonara is a popular one :) "

                                                                                            You think carbonara purists are bad, try talking chili! Or barbeque! Or my personal pet recipe peeve, THAT'S not Beef Stroganoff!!! ;-)

                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                              Or putting knives in the dishwasher!

                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                              Long time posters tend to forget that a whole new crop of hounds, who haven't been through these endless deja vu discussions over and over again are jumping in to the threads you speak of. It behooves those of us who have been through them to refrain from getting caught up in the hoopla all over again. Maybe that way they will peter out sooner? One can only hope.

                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                Or that the OP be given some links to other threads and then the new one is locked.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  c oliver, when the site went from the JL days to the CNET days and formal boards were designed, I wondered why a NAF Board was even added. NAF was never part of the CH pre CNET days and we all survived just fine. Today, discussions on how to behave or react to behavior out in the "real world" and how CH's behave in this virual world are everywhere and on both sides of the design.

                                                                                                  I agree that NAF discussions are unnecessarily helpful and do create flames, bully pulpits and dismissive attitude. Which is why I refer to NAF as WTF. Whatever the reason it remains, it is easy enough to ignore.

                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                    "NAF was never part of the CH pre CNET days and we all survived just fine."

                                                                                                    It wasn't? I must be having a senior moment of major dimension (major dementia?).

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                      Not about Food was a part of the site in pre-CNET days (http://web.archive.org/web/2006031704...), but I don't recall it being as mean and hurtful as it often is these days.

                                                                                                      http://web.archive.org/web/2002060123... shows some of the topics, and at a quick glance, I don't see ANY of these types of etiquette questions. I wonder why there's so many more of them now...?

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                        Not only was there a NAF board, we were able to discuss topics outside of food on Chowhound. As CH got larger, they started limiting our NAF discussions to things that are tangentially related to food.

                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                          I like YOUR title. One of the few things I like about the most recent version is that NAF isn't there staring me in the face. Generally I only see it if one of the people I read has replied (not always). I've gotten much better (really). But barring their giving it the old heave-ho (maybe they could take a vote), I wish they would strictly limit the topics.

                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                            Ha! c - ol, u have my vote.

                                                                                                            Fellow CH's with a reminder for me. What I recall is a BB with a list of topics in date intro'd order, no flash, no ads, nothing but discussion on food where to find it, who's serving it and what you ate. What circa shall we call it?

                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                              Here is an example of the NAF board from 2002: http://web.archive.org/web/2002060123... Wasn't the CNET sale sometime in early 2006 or so? I call it Circa "Jim-Bob"

                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                Excellent...and I never ventured to WTF even then. So nice to see some familiar sign ons tho. When topics were completely free form, open ended and weaved throughout any thread at any time by a much smaller group of people. Big difference, and just staring at that screen makes me miss the old days.

                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                  OMG, I'm never going to complain again about new versions. That looks just AWFUL. I hate that kind of format and won't use it. Okay, I'm grateful for what I joined three plus years ago.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    HA! How the worm turns (smirk)!
                                                                                                                    Quality over quantity any day. It might look plain jane but the value was tremendous.
                                                                                                                    Ads pay the bills but that doesn't mean value.

                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                      Unless you own Chowhound and then I DO believe it's quantity over quality. I mean that's THEIR goal. We have LOADS of quality. LOADS. It's separating the wheat from the chaff that seems difficult (and contentious) at times.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        Couldn't agree more. But I'm a consumer not the owner...