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""No fun, silliness, or ribbing, can be had here due to the mod removing posts."

re: this thread -- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825455

Any number of posts have been removed from this thread (I've honestly lost count of how many times I've received an email notification of a new post, only to find nothing new whatsoever,) The title of this thread comes from such an email, which says, in full,

(name withheld -- and not me) replied:

"No fun, silliness, or ribbing, can be had here due to the mod removing posts. I'm not speaking of mean posts or offensive language. My first..."


One of my own posts was removed (albeit temporarily!) because I used the OP's first name. I received an email from the Moderators that said -- in part -- that a) the OP objected to my use of their first name, and b) the Mods had no idea how I knew the person's first name. Uh . . . because the first name was on their profile page?!?!?!?

I would actually like to THANK the Mods for only removing it temporarily, and asking *my* permission to repost it without the (apparently) offensive use of someone's first name. That's the first time one of my posts was only temporarily removed.

But the fact remains that Chowhound is indeed the most humorless chat site I've ever participated in (on?). I absolutely agree with the policy that mean, offensive posts be deleted; that posts which attack another individual should be deleted. There *is* a need for Moderators on *any* discussion group/board site such as this. But darn it! (oooops! -- I mean, dang it!), I've never seen a group of Mods so quick to hit the delete button when people are just being silly and having fun!

(Maybe I should print this page before it gets deleted.


Jason (ooops -- I used my first name!)

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  1. We try not to moderate all the humor away from the site, but at the same time, we try to keep it very focused on the topic at hand. It's a balancing act, but the priority is keeping the site informative. Jokes included in otherwise on-topic, useful postings aren't really in any danger of being removed.

    Posts that are merely jokes, without any on-topic information, are fine when there's one or two of them, but when they become a riff that people are piling onto they get in the way of the actual conversation. Hounds who are subscribed to the thread get email notices, people who've posted to it constantly see it as updated on their profiles, and when they revisit the thread to see what's new, there's no actual information, just one-liners that have nothing to do with food.

    11 Replies
    1. re: The Chowhound Team

      Yes, well -- I'm sure the corporate "suits" in charge of "Standards and Practices" at CBS feel that way. And I'm equally sure that it's a policy that looks good on paper ("Our site is dedicated to blah-blah-blah"), but in the real world, people joke, people veer off on tangents, people are INDIVIDUALS.

      And while I (for example) have never met face-to-face some of the people I regularly interact with on this site, I hope to someday and, given the ubiquitous (some might say "pervasiveness") of the internet in our lives, it is not uncommon to say that "so-and-so is my friend," EVEN THOUGH we've never actually met.

      Your policy as described -- such as it is -- might indeed make sense on paper, or in a "Policies and Procedures" handbook somewhere, but in Reality????

      Sigh . . . .

      1. re: zin1953

        If you want a social networking site where you can joke around to your hearts content then they are abundantly available. If, as most of us who come here want, you are looking for actual content that makes eating a better, more enjoyable and delicious pursuit then having moderation to focus that pursuit is a must. This site is fairly narrow in it's mission. Not all sites are suitable for all people. Not all people are suitable for all sites. When you say "...but in Reality????" regarding the policy of Chowhound I can only say "It's worked fine for the 10 going on 11 years I've been here." But if it doesn't work well for you just keep in mind that participation here is strictly voluntary.

        1. re: Servorg

          You're so right. Humor has no place in food talk...

          1. re: FoodChic

            If humorous chit chat takes over for the food talk then this site will truly be irrelevant...

            1. re: Servorg

              I think humor is to this site as salt is to a dish. You notice when it needs a little, and you notice when there's too much. Think Goldilocks.

              1. re: Veggo

                Right... and there's a lot of humor remaining on this site. To use your analogy, if a thread is a dish, how much of the dish is supposed to be composed of just salt?

          2. re: Servorg

            CLEARLY you have missed my point .

            1. re: zin1953

              Not missed, just disagree with the premise that humor, rather than topic hijacking, is what's being prohibited, and think that too many tangents make boards unreadable in the same way that excessive salting makes dishes inedible.

              1. re: zin1953

                Clearly, if we want a site that actually informs, and isn't just a mash-up of jokes and friendly banter, interspersed with bits of the information that most of us came here in the first place for, then we need some moderation.

                You have had a very "moderate" answer from the "Powers That Be" about how and why they apply the editing standards that you are unhappy with. Your dismissive use of "Our site is dedicated to blah-blah-blah" in reply to that answer tells me that you aren't in agreement with what this site is about. Do I at least have that right?

                How we (all of us users/hounds who congregate here) get to have a site that balances individuals creative outbursts with the greater good of actual meaningful content without losing the "signal to noise" war is something that takes pruning. By definition the mods will never win that battle with individual posters. But for the majority of posters here I believe they do win that battle most of the time, and finally the overall war of keeping the site friendly, useful and entertaining. YMMV

                1. re: zin1953

                  Of *course*. Humor and joy having their places with food? C'mon, we all just want information, the duller and drier the better. Come to think of it, wine probably has to go, too--'way too enjoyable with food.

              2. re: zin1953

                Read the TOS. If they don't suit you, find a site with different ones. I'm so glad the site is moderated so each individual's desire for tangents doesn't clog it and make it like so many sites, where you click on an subject you're interested in and there's nothing in the thread about it.

            2. I have no opinion about the posts which were removed, not having seen them, but it's clear that the owner of a website has an absolute right to publish or not publish any post for any reason whatsoever.

              19 Replies
              1. re: GH1618

                I don't disagree, but at least THREE posts in THIS thread -- include two of my replies to "The Chowhound Team" -- have been deleted . . . not to mention at least SIX, and perhaps as many as TEN, in the original thread on the New Orleans board . . .

                Strictly speaking, moderators are not owners of the site, but they have been charged with moderating the site. I have been on this site for years, now, and I have *always*found it extremely difficult to know what is allowed, and what is not.

                Obscenities? Sure. Personal attacks? Absolutely! But humorous comments? Jokes? A little banter back-and forth? Perhaps a post that questions something to do with the site? (Enter head-scratching icon here.) IF only there was a predictable rhyme-&-reason to it . . . .

                1. re: zin1953

                  The mods are not the owners, but they are the agents of the owners, which amounts to the same thing in this context. Other moderated sites have similar complaints about seemingly arbitrary or unevenly applied standards, so it isn't unusual. On balance, I find strictly moderated forums more pleasant to participate in than free-wheeling forums. Is an occasional disagreement over whether a particular post is appropriate really worth worrying about? I don't think so.

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Hey, Jason:

                    Sort of good teaching examples of the concepts of "arbitrary and capricious" and "void for vagueness".


                    1. re: zin1953

                      Obscenities have never been an issue on this site. Thankfully.

                            1. re: BobB

                              I think the fact that this post has lasted two weeks implies that the OP's premise is weak. ;-)

                              1. re: BobB

                                "...the fact that this post has lasted two weeks implies that the OP's premise is weak."

                                Other premises kick sand in its face on a daily basis...

                                1. re: BobB

                                  Au contraire, mon ami . . . the fact that at least three posts that I know of have been deleted from this thread PROVES my point!

                                  So, too, does the fact that so many people have taken this thread so gosh-darned SERIOUSLY . . . .


                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      After reading the latest post from FoodChic, I'd say "apparently not" . . .

                                      1. re: zin1953

                                        Moderation will always be too much for some and not enough for others. It all depends on whose ox is being gored...

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Certainly! Although in this specific case, I'd say "actually neither one . . . "

                                          No one is more amazed that I that this thread has a) lasted as long as it has, and b) received the number of posts that it has. Well, perhaps "amused" is a better choice of words than "amazed." Clearly FAR TOO MANY people have taken this FAR MORE SERIOUSLY than I, but at the same time, it's also struck a chord with some people . . .

                                          Oh, well, what the hell . . .

                                        2. re: zin1953

                                          One post that was deleted mentioned something about the Mods wearing Ed Hardy, thereby, proving the Mods have no sense of humor at all.
                                          (This post will be deleted, too)

                                      2. re: zin1953

                                        I've had two of my posts deleted from this thread!

                              2. re: zin1953

                                You're correct. And they're not at all objective about what they remove. I've noticed some can get away with murder in their posts, while others are deleted for simple ribbing.

                                A recent topic on another board had multiple facets to the OP. Some of those topics explored were elminated by the mods, while others remained. There was never obscenities or nasty exchange, it was all light hearted and it was all deleted. It's ridiculous!

                            2. Yeah, there's no B.S. on this site. I've found you got to b creative.Tell ya, I've had posts magically dissappear, I know how hard that sucks. There's no f*ck'n around...the'll get ya, man. I say, lets make friends w/ th mods, it's 2012 !!! :) why not Rockers??

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: hetook

                                I like your enthusiasm hetook. And my thick skull was very slow to appreciate the Mods chair...but now I just go with whatever ebb & flow the Mods deem necessary. I can't imagine the task given the well over the million member mark.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  It's best to take things lightly...or you'll give yourself a stroke.( i already had one) seriously!

                                  1. re: hetook

                                    I've been following along here and scratching my head along with..but I still come back to this: if the Mods/powers that be didn't have a sense of humor than how do you explain the comments and CH OP's referring to CHOW's Supertaster, Manners and the past RuBo column or the CH NAF Board or the dozens of giggles found among the food media threads and chains comments? So much gets taken for granted around here that IS allowed when we focus on what isn't (and getting deleted can suck, I grant you)...but generally speaking an awful lot is left in for giggles, silliness and ribbing. And like our personal taste buds what we deem fun is based on personal taste too.

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        some of the funniest people posting on CH !

                                2. We all have our own views on what should and shouldn't be acceptable. There are CH who have complained about humor and how it ruins the site. What it comes down to, for the most part, is 1) posters are offended when their posts are removed and 2) they're bothered when other posts aren't removed that they find offensive.

                                  10 Replies
                                      1. re: chowser

                                        Absolutely right, chowser!

                                        Interestingly, the only post(s) I've had removed lately are the posts I made in THIS thread that were *about* the posts removed in the Galatoire's thread on the NOLA board.

                                        Who knows? ;^)

                                        1. re: zin1953

                                          Some of your posts on that Galatoire's thread were deleted, too.

                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                              Yes. God forbid we have a long, convoluted, and ultimately entertaining discussion on Chowhound . . . QUICK! Shut it down before someone chuckles!!!

                                              1. re: zin1953

                                                no... shut it down before someone learns that wearing an ed hardy t-shirt isn't "dressing for dinner" and won't get you past the door at galatoire's... or an in-depth discussion of traditional new orleans/creole cuisine, involving cans of le seur peas, spontaneously develops. because that might actually enhance people's travel/dining, knowledge of regional american cuisines, and life experience. and we can't. possibly. have. that.

                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                    I wonder if Galatoire's will let you bring in your own cake...
                                                    and eat it, too?

                                        2. Let's look at it this way Zin. A few years back I posted on something that was not important to me and I was not very knowledgeable about but it was near and dear to your heart. Looking back, it was pointless drivel and I shouldn't have even bothered. But you kind of slammed me on it and turned me off of CH for a while. When I finally got back on, I reread it and found it kind of funny. You can come across as extremely arrogant but I've come to believe it's pure sarcasm and it's your sense of humor. At least I hope so. I've been posting for years and have never (to me knowledge) ever had a post removed. Maybe I'm just really boring.

                                          1. Wow. Incredibly ironic. I've never had a post removed! I wrote that you had kind of hurt my feelings a few years ago but I immediately got over it. I have learned so much about wine from you but you were a little snarky to me a few years ago. Funny.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: southernitalian

                                              Whatever I said -- I have no recollection of it -- wasn't meant to offend, and I certainly do apologize for any hurt feelings. Never my intention. Honest.



                                            2. Haven't you heard? The internet is serious business.

                                              1. FWIW, I appreciate how focused these boards are. I come here for info, not chat.

                                                1. I generally appreciate the moderation but sometimes I wish we could be allowed to self-police a bit better. There are certain posters on my home board who will keep posting the same tired opinions and political rants (about local food prices) to the most tangentially related threads. People have taken to letting them know they are getting boring but the
                                                  mods delete those responses. Let them stay up, just a while!

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: julesrules

                                                    When "self policing" comments stay "up" longer that simply causes the party being self policed to retaliate and then the flaming fest starts in earnest. All that ends up doing is causing a big clean up in aisle 3 for the mods to take care of. Pull the band aid off fast.

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      Sure I understand this POV but some flame wars need to happen ;)

                                                      1. re: julesrules

                                                        Only you can prevent forest fires!

                                                    2. re: julesrules

                                                      The report button is used to allow self policing without starting pissing matches. It works really well, too.

                                                    3. If Anthony Bordaine says it, it stays. When I paraphrase it, my post is removed and I don't have access for a couple of weeks.

                                                      The corporate suits will always rule once an enterprise is bought from the t shirts.

                                                      Still my favorite site for culinary info and chit chat there of.

                                                      1. Everyone on Chowhound calls me by my first name. Some even use my first name and last initial.

                                                        I don't mind, though.

                                                        1. Wow. Is there a member of th CH team secretly posting here? :D (how does everyone know how moderation works?)

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: hetook

                                                            If we post on moderation-related threads, we do so using this username so you know who we are.

                                                              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                Yes, but do we know where you live? (Oh. Sorry. An attempt at humor. Must be deleted!)

                                                            1. This is one of the most humorless, tightly-moderated sites I've ever used.
                                                              Most of the time I wonder if it's worth taking the time to post because you never know whether a post will survive.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: hal2010

                                                                It is curious that many who complain about the lack of humor here contribute so little of it. It's like going to a pot luck empty handed and then bitching later about the lack of food.

                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                  Fun loving folks usually aren't into spending time complaining.

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    but sometimes it's fun to complain,if there is validity in it .Too bad it doesn't always work. I never bitch at a pot lucks,though. :D

                                                                  2. re: Veggo

                                                                    I don't come here looking for humor, certainly, but I find the moderation to be severe, inconsistent and sometimes baffling. And how would you know whether I've contributed any humor? Any asides or jokes in the local threads are quickly deleted.

                                                                    1. re: hal2010

                                                                      "I don't come here looking for humor, certainly, but I find the moderation to be severe, inconsistent and sometimes baffling."

                                                                      Almost as if it's being done by human beings...

                                                                      1. re: hal2010

                                                                        Wow, I find the moderation to be thorough, respectful and mostly very consistent. I've never had to ask why a post of mine was deleted, I always knew. My humorous comments have never been the ones to come down unless they were part of an extra long OT tangent.

                                                                  3. i think this whole site is funny.

                                                                    1. Veggo hit the nail on the head

                                                                      "I think humor is to this site as salt is to a dish."

                                                                      We have all had out panties in a twist at some point due to a deleted post but in the end what does it matter? Will it matter a week from now? Will you even remember?

                                                                      This site is for discussing food and food related topics - when people go off on tangents, regardless of the material being duscussed (politics, sports, humor etc.), it doesnt add anything to the matter at hand and makes the thread unnecessarily long and boring to read.

                                                                      As far as uneven moderation goes, they are not robots. They make judgement calls all the time and many of them are lose-lose. Give them a break! Its like baseball umpires calling balls and strikes - there are alot of close calls that can go either way. At the end of the game if both teams are equally mad at the ump then he probably did his job correctly!

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: joe777cool

                                                                        I have never once been bugged or had knotted underwear due to a CH post deletion, and I've had a fair number. Their house, their rules, it's just NOT that important and it's certainly not my only outlet in life for communication that's to my liking. :-)

                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                          I get my knickers in twist all the the time .Luckily with the brainstem stroke, my memory retention is almost null.

                                                                      2. Twisted knickers are a digestive aid.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: beevod

                                                                          Careful that might get deleted! ;^)

                                                                        2. I see a lot of posts that remain, on my home board and others, that are only jokes, comments, etc and add nothing to the discussion. Moderators don't read all posts so I think the posts that are being deleted have more to do with posters on the boards reporting those posts. So, if you have joke posts that disappear, you probably have a more humorless board that doesn't go for that. I think that goes for all posts, not just the ones w/ jokes. I'd also bet that some posters report w/ a vendetta.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                            "I'd also bet that some posters report w/ a vendetta."

                                                                            As both Jacquilynne and the CH Team have posted more than once here on Site, reporting only means that the Powers that Be take a look at the post. Nothing is pulled down unless it rises to the level of clearly being verboten with regard to the CH policies. Yes, some of that is a judgement call. But human interaction means that this will never be like using a computer controlled mill to drill and tap a steal bar. I still think that the Mod Team posting up thread pretty much sets the bar when it comes to why some threads get pruned and why other don't. When the "jokes" and "chit chat" spin out of control and take over the thread then it is ripe for pruning. If the flowering plants are going to produce sweet fruit (posts/threads that have actual factual/valuable content) then they can't be choked off by weeds (jokes and chit chat)...

                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                              I'm not saying that posters have the power to delete but they do have the power to report, think of the nosy neighbor who reports all questionnable actions to the police. I have no problems w/ what the moderators do, delete away or don't. I'm just saying that if someone is reporting all questionnable actions from another, that person will be deleted more often. If no one reports, it doesn't get deleted. I see plenty of off topic discussions that don't get deleted.

                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                "If no one reports, it doesn't get deleted. I see plenty of off topic discussions that don't get deleted."

                                                                                I would say that you are assuming facts not in evidence. Since these types of deletions are obviously judgement calls in which one size doesn't fit all it could be that those "off topic discussions" had been reported, but didn't rise to the level of obstructing the thread such that they warranted deletion. They may not have actually been seen as off topic in the back room. They may not have been seen. Impossible to say which of these conditions were actually the cause of the "non" deletions. I say, if you see something that looks problematic, report it.

                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                  I have no problems with humor or off topic discussions so no need to report it. Again, if no one reports it, it won't get deleted, unless it's an off chance the moderators have seen it themselves. I'm not saying every post that is reported is deleted and realize that reported posts can also pass moderator approval and remain. However, if someone reported every post you made that might possibly break the TOS, there's a greater likelihood that your posts would be deleted.

                                                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                                                    I routinely report (for instance) when posts need to be sent to the correct board. Most often it's recipes that get posted on my local board and I report them so that they can be moved to Home Cooking. That way many more folks can benefit from them. Or a sub thread gets going that is clogging up the LA board with non LA restaurant information that can continue over on Not Food or General Topics.

                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                      I report for different reasons but never because a post has humor or is off topic. Well, off topic for the board, if it should be spun off to another topic or another board, but never because it gets chatty. I also don't stalk other posters to report them and get them deleted.

                                                                          2. hey Jason......if you want to post more jokes..puns..etc....Reddit has a good sized food/cooking section.........

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: srsone

                                                                              You're right! Humor sucks. We may as well end everyone's little anecdotes, too. Lord knows those have nothing to do with food/cooking. And while we're at it let's remove any personal commentary, as the OPs don't relate to you...just respond to the questions asked. If you can't have humor, anecdotes, and no commentary on how you relate to the post, then we have the perfect Chowhound site.


                                                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                What a humorless response. :-)