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Oct 6, 2012 10:26 PM

A Question About Being Banned or Suspended on Chowhound.......

Let's say you no longer see posts from other familiar you suspect or surmise they have been banned or suspended? Assuming life has not claimed them and you see new posters with similarities to the ones you no longer it permissible for them to create new user names and continue posting....or is this against the rules? If it is a violation, should you report the suspected abuse? In the past I have observed others who have noted such occurrences by the writing style and syntax of new posters.....

What are your thoughts...

thanks in advance.

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  1. what if they're on vacation? traveling for work? ill? Caught up in actual life (kids, job, aging parents, social activities)? Tired of CH for one reason or another? Maybe forgot the log-in info?

    There are dozens of reasons why someone might stop posting -- and most of them don't include any sort of discipline at all.

    I prefer to leave such issues to the moderators. I have a hunch that they keep an eye on banned accounts.

    1. I dunno, a few have passed away (notably Sam F. and moh) and some get sick for long periods, but I suspect some just get bored or get their answers (see the snarky comments about single issue posters that never report back on what suggestions they tried) and move on or stay lurking when convenient.

      I think all one needs to create a new user ID is just a different base (fre)e-mail. (sorry I'm not an IT person, so that was the best way I could word it)

      I would suppose a fully funded IT crew could trace back the ISP ID# and block it there no matter the registered ID, but I doubt they have the budget or the real need to go to that effort.

      5 Replies
      1. re: hill food

        I'm sorry if my wording was confusing....but when I met life claiming them, my intent was to mean they got busy in life, as opposed to death claiming them.

        Usually, when there is a notable death, it is reported by other members. I'm specifically asking about a previous user creating a new account and have not announced the fact they are using a new identity or name. Others who have chosen to change their names have said at some point they had chosen to do so for certain reasons, e.g., they no longer wanted to be associated with that name....or simply would say they were formerly so and so. I'm asking about when you believe, or suspect, there is some extent of deception in play to continue posting.

        As for forgetting log-in's quite easy to recover passwords. Also, I'm talking about a period after a few weeks or up to a few months as the absence........not a year or longer. I'm talking about when it quite evident to you, e.g., the suspicion is is really obvious.and reminds you immediately when you see it.

        1. re: fourunder

          it is difficult in this day and age to separate individual syntax from what's out there in the mass media. one finds oneself thinking themself clever only to find out it was a tagline in a movie (not seen) 6 months ago.

          Chomsky, we need Noam Chomsky in on this.

          I have considered changing my user name (current seems sorta pretentious in hindsight). ehh people wander, and since grammar does have rules it's not too surprising there may be perceived similarities. the human brain is hard-wired to identify patterns after all.

          1. re: hill food

            My limited computer knowledge is savvy enough to do a search through Google by typing in a few words, the old user name, the new username and chowhound to make the comparison and confirm my suspicions. If you look at either username's history, they also reflect the same similarities as well.

            1. re: fourunder

              Never mind I see your explanations below

        2. re: hill food

          hill food

          I know a man that was banned from a website.
          I don't know what he said or did, he just told me he got so annoyed with the site that he popped off and was banned. What I did know about him was he was having family issues same time this happened and think that had a lot to do with his behavior. But, he missed posting there and re-invented himself-new screen name and started posting again. The MODS private messaged him saying they knew it was him, but since he'd been so helpful and usually a wonderful poster, they'd allow him back in. They also reinstated his original user name. He's been posting there successfully ever since.

        3. One person I strongly suspect of being banned did not simply stop posting - his avatar switched back to the default and his name was removed from the lists of people he was following. His basic profile is still up with no added info and people following him still have their names listed on his profile.

          I don't know for certain if this is CH policy - I haven't talked with him away from chowhound and it's possible he just got angry and asked that his profile be deleted. But I know he was often in trouble with the mods.

          Nothing really to add about banned posters creating new SNs and posting under em. But I'm sure it can be done - it's not rocket science.

          7 Replies
          1. re: cowboyardee

            I am no stranger to wood shed moments.....I also know of one banned user whose profile is still listed in my *people reading me* list. She was the one I referenced that others recognized her syntax and writing style. Her new identity was removed when this was realized by the moderators.

            1. re: fourunder

              Fair enough. Wasn't sure.

              I know another forum where people get banned and create new accounts so often that it's become a running joke on the forum.

              1. re: fourunder

                Just out of curiosity - do you know for certain that said user on your 'reading me' list was banned?

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  I did not know the user personally....but i recall she was active on a particular thread and all of a sudden she was not. Then out of nowhere a new poster surfaces, within 24 hours on the thread, and a couple of posters called out the poster with the new name and newly opened account. The new poster was removed and all the posts she made were deleted. All of her previous posts under the old user name remained. When I queried how others knew it was the same poster.....the chowhounds who have noted they have editorial or professional writing degrees in their histories, pointed out to me it was clear the two writng styles and syntax were similar or the same.

                  Think of the quick reaction to calling out a shill poster on any thread.

                2. re: fourunder

                  'I am no stranger to wood shed moments' that!

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    I cannot tell a lie......I stole the syntax (?) from Veggo.....but if I recall, he actually phrased it as.....* I've had my share of wood shed moments *

                    1. re: fourunder

                      I've got my initials carved all over that to Veggo's!
                      ; )

              2. What exactly does it take to get banned, posting a recipe for a peanut butter-filled omelet garnished with ketchup and olives?

                21 Replies
                1. re: emu48

                  Users are occasionally banned for a long-term inability to follow one or more of our site rules ( ). Though we're quick to deactivate spammers and shills, anyone with a history of good faith participation on the site goes through a series of warnings and suspensions before being banned, so they're aware of what the issue is.

                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                    "anyone with a history of good faith participation on the site goes through a series of warnings and suspensions before being banned, so they're aware of what the issue is."

                    that's good to know.
                    I thought if we did wrong or bad, we'd simply not be able to post... > period.

                    1. re: The Chowhound Team

                      When do you get the warnings, and how? I'll admit it, i occasionally get a bit snarky and have had posts and whole threads removed. There was no warning. Just gone, into the ether.

                        1. re: carolinadawg

                          via e-mail if either you've REALLY crossed a line, or they're feeling nice. I've received 2 in the last week or so. (first in a few years) one was a cheerful explanation that my post might have been interpreted as libelous, the other a bit more serious (oops). and in retrospect they were right.

                          usually it all just disappears. and then you can figure you were just being stupid or off-topic. don't sweat it. and learn.

                          1. re: hill food

                            usually it all just disappears.
                            I believe the mods keep a record of deletions and any communications they may have sent you.

                            1. re: fourunder

                              I believe you, how else would they track the patterns of the troublemakers? I meant often one's post may disappear from the general view with no explanation.

                              1. re: fourunder

                                I bet they would fourunder because if too many stack up.................. ?

                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  I've actually been warned......about being warned before......with a gap of a few years between.

                            2. re: carolinadawg

                              I got an e-mail warning right after i started a few years ago, but nothing since.

                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                I'll start forwarding some of mine to you, if you'd like. :-)

                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                  I added "" to my spam filter ...

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    HA! I marked it as "not spam" and added as a contact

                        2. re: emu48

                          suspension/banning, what does it take: yeah really, I've had so many posts deleted (and even a few threads - ehh, they were stupid ideas) and at first a few warnings, but good lord, I find it hard to imagine, well ok I CAN imagine, but hard to understand the motivation behind what that might take.

                          1. re: emu48

                            Acting/writing like a total Sh**heel; being disrespectful, being argumentative, or launching a personal attack is just about surefire, emu48. A bad recipe is in bad taste, but it won't get ya booted.

                            1. re: mamachef

                              "oh mamachef you are SO full of it. I can't help but retch whenever I see your user name. you make me puke." (posted for illustration purposes)

                              ya s'pose that'd do the job? I'd hope less than that would work.

                              1. re: hill food

                                OMG, hill food! I almost went into shock when I started reading this!! Glad I continued on!
                                Boy, I can only hope that less than that would work. But then, there's the matter of reporting stuff like that, to bring it to attention....not enough people do that, IMO.
                                Thanks for REALLY waking me up today!!

                                1. re: mamachef

                                  aww mamac - you know I'd never talk to you like that. (or anybody really) I'm glad you 'got' it and didn't fall out. (smirk)

                                  1. re: hill food

                                    And, even if you did, a single instance wouldn't get you banned from the site as far as I know. It's all about "pattern and practice" with an outright refusal/inability to change behavior, despite repeated counseling, that leads to the version of the CH "deaf penalty" (channeling my inner "Emily Litella").

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      so I'm not trying hard enough?

                                      and I always welcome a good Gilda Radner reference.

                              2. re: mamachef

                                "A bad recipe is in bad taste..." Another classic Chowhound pun (on such a serious thread, too!) to make my day.

                            2. Some users change usernames deliberately and voluntarily in order to start fresh. Others are banned, and would not be welcome under a new username.

                              If you suspect someone is a banned person returning under a new ID, please do use 'report' or an email to to let us know. If we can confirm that that is the situation, we'll take the appropriate action.

                              17 Replies
                              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                Gotta say, the mods are pretty much on stuff like this. Last year I knew of a few people that tried it. Not to be mean; not to dodge a ban; not to deceive; but to have a little fun under a different name.
                                Immediate bust.

                                1. re: mamachef

                                  Having more than one active ID isn't permitted, so that sort of thing is inherently a no-go for us.

                                  Plus, the reality is, most regular users who start new names do it have the kind of fun that involves mocking or abusing other posters. Not all, but a lot. We might take a sunnier view of sockpuppet accounts if they weren't so often used for things people know are inappropriate.

                                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                    So, as I understand it, even if the old ID is not banned or suspended......then if my suspicion is accurate, then the new ID is a violation......correct.

                                    1. re: fourunder

                                      There's no way for you to tell if an ID has been banned and is not welcome agan under any username or suspended, or simply just wants a fresh start. If you have suspicions, please report them to us and we'll take the appropriate action.

                                      While we're fine with discussing this issue in the abstract, we're not going to allow discussion here or anywhere else of specific instances of possible banned posters using new nametags, and have removed some posts along those lines.

                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                        I'd say that's fair. play nice under any name and it's cool. get weird and then 'uhh the exit is this way'

                                        1. re: hill food

                                          Anyone making it their personal mission to track a fellow CH seems worthy of some Mod action as well. The whole idea creeps me out.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            Totally agree. This site is nearly moderated to death as it is. The last thing it needs is a gang of vigilantes roaming the site trying to determine who's eligible to post and who isn't.

                                            1. re: carolinadawg

                                              It's not really about tracking anyone.. It's about recognizing someone on the boards I participate on already being critical and attacking yours, (and others), posts in the past for THEIR own reasons, then making contradictory and critical posts in their present...and ultimately, future posts.

                                              The same thing is happening again. I really do not care for myself, as my identity is anonymous.....but I have stated in the past, it's about the harm it does to the resources and people in business who these false accusations are made against and what it can do to their reputation personally or professionally.

                                              I would also add that the risk of violating this site, you cannot respond and be critical of any attack against your comments......the site recommends you report it and not respond on your own in public.

                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                four, if you're referring to owners not being able to speak up on CH then I understand the frustration. But them be the rules around here and it's up to the rule enforcers to deal with what comes from that type of community. I don't think it's helpful to trigger hot comments live when this occurs. Email a Mod privately sure. But any outing is just asking for tornados.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I've already received a message from the mods...

                                                  I won't be ratting them out publicly, but they have indicated they would like me to reveal the two usernames so they could look into it further and take appropriate action if needed.

                                                  As someone who has owned...and or worked in restaurants and Country Clubs my entire adult perspective is always from the house's point of view and it must be protected.....otherwise it will become another casualty and negative statistic.

                                                  1. re: fourunder

                                                    I can fully understand that and if you had stated this two comments earlier my remarks would have reflected it. But offline concerns whether personal or professionally driven are better anyhow. I know the Mod team appreciates the input. I guess taking concerns to the people empowered to actually do something about it is my perspective 99% of the time.

                                            2. re: HillJ

                                              I spotted a poster using two names a few years ago. Just casually reading threads I noticed that two posters had the exact same voice and posted on the same topics with the same opinion. I was suspicious but what the heck. Several weeks after I began to feel the posters were one, the individual got sloppy and replied to a response made to voice "A" while using the voice "B" account. I reported it and the mods contacted the person. After that only one "voice" was used.

                                              It didn't become my mission. It was more an awareness of nuance, preference, habits and personality that you pick up on after reading someone for a while. Long term/frequent readers of these boards have probably all began reading a post and thought "this must be poster xyz" long before they can see the sign off name - and have recognized the poster correctly!

                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                Just reading that scenario gave me a headache, meatn3. ;0)

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  Sorry...two aspirin and a good meal should take care of it!

                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                    LOL, meatn3. I would hope the advice would work for you given your unfortunate path regarding posers. Without an actual "voice" I wouldn't have the foggest notion that a CH was playing duel roles here. I'm just not that occupied on who is saying it as much as what is being said.

                                              2. re: HillJ

                                                "Anyone making it their personal mission to track a fellow CH seems worthy of some Mod action as well. The whole idea creeps me out."

                                                HillJ, yep! That's like creepy..........and better not be allowed in any forum...if I wanted anything known of personal value, I'd post it on my profile page..........isn't the case.