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Nov 5, 2011 01:47 PM

Should CH members who are mods disclose themselves?


I ask because it seems as if certain hounds who appear to be moderators are allowed to post certain things with more liberty than those hounds who are not moderators or friends of mods.

Recently on the LA boards, the mods allowed a certain hound to call me "cheesy". I shrugged this off and chalked it up to a poor attempt at a pun. This was allowed to remain on the boards however, my request that a very trusted hound chime in on a particular thread that in the past has been shown to be his/her expertise was deleted? What gives?

Very odd behavior and I suspect allowed because the hound that made the comment was a moderator or a friend of one and thus allowed more liberties than other members.

For the sake of fairness and accountability of posting, should CH members who are mods disclose themselves so they are as accountable as anyone else?

I say yes.

  1. I thought they already did?

    And, really, Porthos, you're being too sensitive. It's merely a message board. Don't take anything on here too seriously or personally.

    Life's too short, and there's too much food to be eaten to worry about such banalities.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Mods? Sure, I think it'd be cool to see who else loves the WHO and has a fancy scooter with LOTS of mirrors!

      1. re: jbyoga

        and headlights, don't forget all the headlights

        1. re: hill food

          And skinny pants w/ Ettro shirts.

    2. I say no. Mods more than all others will not be inflammatory, and you are guessing incorrectly.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        But if the mods themselves are inappropriate in their judgement, who is to monitor them? Especially when deleting posts or responses that they don't agree with but are not necessarily inappropriate or out of line with the board posting etiquette.

        I've been posting on these boards for a decade now and try to watch what I post. I'm completely confused as to why my posts are being deleted. My request for Das Ubergeek to respond and give us his opinions on the listed restaurants is consistently deleted. I'm not putting down the original post, just asking for a second opinion from a hound I trust. That is the spirit on which these boards is founded and for the life of me, I can't figure out why it is being deleted.

        1. re: Porthos

          Why would anyone need to moderate the mods? It's their board. They can do as they please. We are simply their guests.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Really? I thought this was a community board and mods were volunteers here to moderate.

            If your response is free from sarcasm and actually accurate, I guess that explains things.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                So are mods volunteers or owners of this board?

      2. They should. The next logical question is why wouldn't they?

        8 Replies
        1. re: Axlsgoddess

          It would alter their status as a regular contributor, and would generate incoming e-mails beyond what they bargained for as a volunteer.

          1. re: Veggo

            It's also a conflict of interest if they don't. They can steer or influence the tone of the thread by deleting those they *feel* are inappropriate when it may be in line but just a dissenting opinion. At the same time, they would more likely allow an inappropriate or borderline inappropriate response if they agreed with it. Human nature.

            1. re: Porthos

              Have you devised a better form of governance? If so, please share it. Until you rule the world, you may have to comport with rules devised by others.

              1. re: Veggo

                Veggo, you seem unnecessarily defensive. I believe the title of the thread is "Should CH members who are mods disclose themselves?" That is the better form of governance I am proposing and "sharing". And the reasons for it are listed above.

                1. re: Porthos

                  And I "listed" two reasons why it is not in their interest, and their personal lives trump your public pleasure. And no, I'm not one; they barely tolerate me, having suffered me for 5 years.

              2. re: Porthos

                For my sins, I get deleted all the time (so does Veggo),, but I really don't think it's for the reasons you suggest.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  I acknowledge fault when I'm dinged for my sins, as it should be. But I'm annoyed when I'm dinged when I'm saintly. And my elderly, incapacitated mother agrees.

          2. I participate in a forum where volunteer Mods are anonymous but they don't post at all as members and I participate in a forum where moderation is not anonymous and Mods participate in the discussion and actually create the OP to get the conversation going. So, there are different ways of doing things but nothing is perfect or makes everyone happy and the best way to ask any specific to your experience question seems to always be: ask the Mod; not fellow members. Porthos, if you want to know why your specific posts are deleted, email the Mods directly. The rules around CH or any site with a community board is not a one size fits all and the "owners" have their reasons (I'm sure) for the guidelines enforced.

            3 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              I have. No response. And the rules say, they do not need to inform you. Which I get but deleting a post asking for input from another hound seems very odd. All I can think of is they don't want me specifically requesting a certain hound to comment. But I think we've all seen many posts asking for comments from specific hounds before. Totally confused.

              1. re: Porthos

                Yes, that would be confusing and unfortunate to hear that you have tried to reach out using the email addy for Mods and did not hear back. That's disappointing.

                eta: Porthos, it also occurs to me that the CH Report button is avail to everyone and may or may not result in comments being deleted.

                1. re: Porthos

                  Porthos, could you ask that specific CH for a direct line (their own email addy) to them? Maybe it would be easier for you to approach the CH. Do you list your email in your preference listings? Invite the CH to email you directly. Otherwise, the guidelines pretty much stand as written-one community, all free to contribute.

              2. in the past, I have seen notes from the Chowhound Team that posts requesting a reply from a particular Hound are inappropriate: on the theory that if you ask a particular person to reply you are or may discourage others from posting about their experience. This is a theory I subscribe to: I am very un-inclined to reply to a post where a specific person's opinion (other than my own) is requested, and moreover, I find it to be a bit of a turn-off, even if the requested opinion is from someone I also trust. So, I suspect that is why your post asking for a specific request has been deleted.

                When I see posts that clearly should have been deleted but haven't been, I always assume that it is because the mods haven't seen it, *not* because of some ill will or conflict of interest. So I report it. (I am not, nor have I ever been, a moderator on any board, including this one).

                In some cases, the post may already have been up for quite some period of time, but disappears after I report it, which just tells me that the mods cannot be everywhere at once.

                8 Replies
                1. re: susancinsf

                  This is a theory I subscribe to: I am very un-inclined to reply to a post where a specific person's opinion (other than my own) is requested, and moreover, I find it to be a bit of a turn-off, even if the requested opinion is from someone I also trust.
                  Be that as it may, plenty of threads exist where the opinions of a specific hound is requested and has since CH inception. It may be a turnoff to you, but there are certain hounds that have very extensive experience on certain topics and it would be valuable to a particular thread for the present and for the archives for that very experienced hound to chime in on that topic. It would enrich that thread immensely. The request of that particular hound's opinion doesn't mean no one else can chime in. It's a bit harsh to ban the request for a particular hound's expertise. Especially if that hound's opinion is so valuable and contributes to the spirit of these boards.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I contribute mostly to the Mexico board, and I have been asked dozens of times to expand a response, and the rest of the world was equally invited to chime in. I am not aware of a question to me that was deleted, additionally I am glad to respond to off- topic queries on my profile address, including thus far 4 wedding plans. (No, I am not a wedding planner, nor do I profit from my presence here.) - and I went to 3 of the weddings!

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Exactly my point. And people request you because they know you live there and your response is valuable. Try asking for Das Ubergeek to respond to the thread I've referenced and see what happens. A bit whimsical and arbitrary don't you think?

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Some of the old guard have been given leaves of absence, and they can read but not write. Been there. No, it wasn't arbitrary, I earned my way out the door two years ago.

                        I am grateful to have been invited back.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          but just the very fact that mods are anonymous, is it possible that any absence is just a ploy.... who's word can we trust? can we trust your word that you aren't? I personally believe you're not but you see my point?

                    2. re: Porthos

                      don't you think that if the hound in question wanted to and could respond on a particular thread where their 'extensive experience' 'would be very valuable...and enrich that thread immensely' that they would? I am quite sure that if DU could and wanted to respond on a topic that interested him, he would, whether or not you asked him to do so. If he read it and had an opinion and wanted to post, he would, whether you asked him to or not. As the Team points out below, you may believe his response would enrich the thread, but perhaps you are putting him on the spot for reasons you don't know. Or perhaps he just doesn't feel like answering for whatever reason. Or perhaps he just isn't as outgoing as Veggo. Or perhaps he can't answer. Or for that matter, for all you know DU himself is a moderator and doesn't want to do something that, per their post below, the moderators discourage. (I have no idea if he is or isn't, but it seems fairly presumptuous to assume that one LA hound is and another hound is not, based only on your perception of how they do or should reply to your post). By insisting that you should be able to call him out you are limiting the field, IMO, because it does definitely discourage others. Limiting the field by its very nature and definition does just the opposite of enriching the boards. Less is not more when it comes to posts on Chowhound.

                      Just my opinion, of course. And for all I know, not having read your posts that were deleted, they were deleted for some entirely different reason.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        I know of prolific and widely respected regulars who make a point of ignoring specific requests for their comments. Why? Because they think that kind of interaction on the boards runs counter to the open, all-comers-welcome discussion on which Chowhound thrives.

                        Do you fear that those hounds refrain from contributing until they're called out by name? That's not my sense. For the most part they're not shrinking violets, and thank goodness. They don't hesitate to post when they have something germane to add.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          Have you considered that DU may have asked for the posts to be removed?

                          In the spirit of what susancinsf and squid kun have posted, I feel it's detrimental to the community nature of the site to call out specific people to comment.