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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
""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.
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.
"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.
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?
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.
"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.
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".
@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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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?