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Dec 12, 2011 06:43 PM

Policy on posting about food someone hasn't eaten


I know the rules are not set in stone. .

However, I'm starting to get annoyed by people who haven't tried something and then trash it.

Whien I invest the time, money and calories to try something, it seems rude when people who haven't tried it post about how horrible the food is.

I don't care if someone disagrees with my taste ... I even welcome that ... if they try it, but if not, IMO, they h ave nothing to say.

This is particularily true of chain food. Look at the Chow article about Wendy's new burger. A good percentage of the replies are by people who haven't tried it but seem compelled to express their disdain.

Then there are the people who haven't tried the food for decades and for some reason must report their hate.

There is a chian offering free fries and a poster wrote "I fell for their "new and improved" fries once... not sure if I want to risk it again"

Seriously? The last time the chain chainged their fries was in 1998. They are FREE for heavne's sake. WHAT risk? That if you don't like them you will throw them out and create landfill?>

I don't plan on reporting every post. I could care less about responses to Chow articles. However, can these types of posts be reported and deleted?

I started a new thread about the free fries because the exixting thread had almost a dozen responses about the change to the recipe ... and not one of those replies was from someone who actually tried the fries but needed to vent about anticipated trash.

Trashing food not eaten just isn't helpful, IMO.

The fries, btw, are as good as In-N-Out though a little more provcessed. I purposely did NOT mention the chain or link to that thread since this is not the board for that. I hope people won't dredge it up here and go to the chain board to offer comments ... if they TRIED them.

  1. I believe there are many who comment on chains in the negative, like to do so to appear superior compared to the rest of us. The thing I I find amusing is they say they never go to chains because the food sucks, but how would they know unless they have eaten it before, thus they have been to chains.....this especially applies to recent menu introductions.

    1. This would be a bad idea, and even worse policy.

      Trying to legislate truth or honesty is about as fruitful as running on a treadmill as a means of getting from Point A to Point B.

      Just be glad that those who do post about food they've never eaten actually disclose the fact that they've never tried the food at issue.

      A good portion of those on Chowhound post their opinions about food without ever disclosing that they had even tried it.

      10 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I'm NOT talking about determining truth. I'm talking about what you said. People who disclose they haven't eaten the item or at a restaurant and then go on to trash it.


        1. re: rworange

          Then just simply take that as one data point.

          And, to be fair, there *is* some value in a statement "I have never eaten X, but I hate X".

          For example, someone might say, "I have never eaten Durian because the smell just makes me nauseous."

          That's valuable insight for someone considering whether or not to try Durian. That person may not know that Durian has a very peculiar (some would say "awful") odor.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            No. I am not talking about that.

            I am saying that when someone takes the time to GO to a restaurant, try it and report back and then someone saying "I haven't been there but it seems like it sucks".

            That sets off the million people who have done a drive by and chime in with "Yeah, I always thought it looked liked it sucked too"

            That is unfair to the restaurant, person who ate there and people who might have otherwise onsidered eating there because they might be put off by the negativity.

            1. re: rworange


              Let the opinion stand for itself, and allow the Chowhound readers and community to give it as much credence as it deserves based on the content of the post.

              There is no legislation more useless than legislation defining common sense.

              1. re: rworange

                Don't lose any sleep over BK going broke any time soon just b/c a majority (?) of hounds think their fries suck.

                And why, oh why do you care anyway? Not everyone shares your passionate puppy love for FF products, and not everyone feels they have to try the NSDD (= new shit, different day) approach those companies throw out there to lure in more unsuspecting palates....

                FWIW - I don't *have* to try heroin or dog poop either to think I *may* not like it.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            Agreed. You really can't ban anything that anyone might consider rude and still have room left for honest discourse.

            People must be allowed to post their honest thoughts and opinions about food, even if those opinions are under-informed.

            1. re: cowboyardee


              I'd rather have someone tell me that they have never tried a food and trash as well, then to just not tell me but still trash the food.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                There is nothing honest about trashing something you have never tried. On a public forum which has a policy of a restaurant not being able to respond, it amounts to slander. It is a mean, malicious, conscious attempt to try to ruin someone's business.

                1. re: rworange

                  It's honest when people disclose that they've never tried it.

                  "It is a mean, malicious, conscious attempt to try to ruin someone's business."
                  No, I don't think that's the motivation at all in 99% of cases. You're framing it in the worst possible light. It's really just people with preconceived notions clinging onto those preconceived notions. It's human nature.

                  I agree that it can be rude, depending on how it's done. But it also just comes with the territory when you're reviewing something, especially when you're giving a good review to something that is commonly looked down upon.

                  On a similar note. I have on several occasions questioned the logic of commonly held cooking 'rules,' arguing that some well-loved or trendy technique is counter productive, or that another under-used technique might be better. And when I do, some people invariably respond by stating the cliched reason for the or trendy technique. I guess I could get mad at people for repeating what they've heard without performing a series of experiments, but I don't. It comes with the territory, and if I can't argue around the popular logic, maybe I'm wrong (sometimes, I have been -

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    I agree with ipsedixit and you. While, one may argue that a person who has not tried a dish does not have the same level of authority or experience as another person who tried the dish, it is worse to literally ban or forbidden someone from voicing his/her opinion. Every one of us has our own reasons. Some people may say "That McDonald hamburger just looks nasty" or "The idea of a fish taco makes me want to vomit"... etc. Yes, those are opinions without tasting the foods, but they are opinions nonetheless. I don't know if it makes sense to silent another person. When in doubt, it is better to err on the side of free expression. Moreover, how would one even enforce/police something like this?

            2. Those people must by your fans. Why else would they be paying attention to a thread in Chains? :)

              1. This is slippery slope. So you can't comment if you have not been to a place and tried the dish in question. How many times must you go and dishes must you try before you can comment about a restaurant? I understand your issue and have a similar feeling about people who carry on positive or negative about a restaurant where they've been once and had one dish and then proceed to extrapolate that one experience to the whole place for good or bad. I recall reading one posting from an individual that trashed a restaurant where s/he had apps and a cocktail. The post ran on for quite a while and had nothing but heaps of vitriole based on a very limited experience. Ran across later threads where it came across that this person was a college student who was trying to experience high end cuisine. It was clear to me that this person's experience in dining out in general was very limited but that did not prevent voicing opinions very loudly. Can't keep them out but you just learn to disregard those opinions. In fact they can be contra indicators. If X doesn't like this place, I probably will.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Bkeats

                  "This is slippery slope. So you can't comment if you have not been to a place and tried the dish in question. How many times must you go and dishes must you try before you can comment about a restaurant?"

                  Once, and at least one. End of slope.

                  Seriously, what is the point of reading the opinion of someone who has never eaten the food they're giving their opinion of, especially since CH has no killfile/ignore capability ? It's sort of the flip-side of a restaurant posting a "review" of themselves which is actually a disguised ad. That type of post would get deleted, and so should the "I've never eaten their food, but it sucks" posts.

                  1. re: dump123456789

                    So, I ate there once, 5 years ago. I didn't have the dishes written up in the new post about it. The ownership and chef have both changed since I was there. I hated the place then, and every time it's name has been mentioned here on CH since I jump in to excoriate it. That's okay?

                    1. re: Servorg

                      You know, I really wasn't asking for the opinion on Chowhounds if they like the idea or not, only the official policy. And I wasn't asking about a wide range of issues, just one narrow issue.

                      If someone openly says that they haven't tried something and they hate it, can that be reported to delete. At this point I am guessing the moderoators don't want to be involved in this issue and the best I can do is report those type of posts in that narrow framework and hope they go away.

                      Even yelp has a policy on this. Mainly it has to do with trying to get the coveted 'first to post' flag. Yelp will delete those, good or bad, if you report them. It is more difficult to get general I haven't been there but I hate it stuff removed, but from personal experience I know if you give a compelling enough reason and report those type of reviews, they will be removed ... and that is yelp, for heaven's sake.

                      Just sort of commenting in general, servorg, and not on your comment.

                      I do believe it is less than helpful for people who haven't been in a long time or never to give their opinions. I've cut back on posting about joints I haven't been to in years ... or at least issue a disclaimer about how old and unreliable that may be.

                      Usually it is if no one else made a comment. Someone wanted breakfast on Thanksgiving Day and the hotels are always open. I just wanted to suggest skipping the Oak Room where I've never had a decent meal for decades despite all the changes over the years. It has been consistantly bad. But I did say it was old info. I'd still bet $10,000 the breakfast there still sucks.

                      1. re: rworange

                        "You know, I really wasn't asking for the opinion on Chowhounds if they like the idea or not, only the official policy. And I wasn't asking about a wide range of issues, just one narrow issue. "

                        Another long standing "site" policy is that we all open ourselves up for all the unsolicited advice and "mission creep" that one could ever wish to have heaped upon them as soon as our post goes live. One can always report the replies for being "off topic" but I find that particular definition to be broader than ever in this day and age.

                      2. re: Servorg

                        It's okay, but probably not very useful, except possibly as historical data. However, the opinion of someone who has never eaten the food is definitely useless.

                        If a post involves a discussion about the changes at a place, and it is clear that the scope of the change might invalidate old experiences, then effectively, your experience level has dropped back down to zero. So, you should refrain from the discussion until you've tried it again, unless it is to ask for new feedback.

                  2. I kinda agree. I do not like chains in every single possible way, from how they make people fat, to their business practice, to their greasiness, to their impact on the environment. It's been almost a decade since I set foot into one of those. And I'm here to tell you, the food sucks.

                    However, I respect the people who love them. I know I have nothing good to say about these restaurants and the food, I do not plan to visit anyone of them anytime soon, so I never visit the Chains board.

                    What about those who say what is wrong with people who spend $400 on a freaking dinner at French Laundry? Or, how about "I never eat X at a restaurant because I know my version is so much better." "Stainless steel pan sucks because they stick horribly, others say." "Apple sucks because they're made for hippies."

                    It's impractical moderate them all, but you can filter what goes into your mind.