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Oct 20, 2012 06:36 AM

Do you avoid certain threads?

I know I do! Some people complain about threads that never die and that appear eternally on their profile. I don't really mind that so much -- I just ignore them, but for me it's more a matter of what I will call "the usual suspects." That means that there are posters who refuse to allow you your opinion, and will argue endlessly even when you say, "That's just my opinion, and that's how I feel." Then, there are the posters who absolutely have to have the last word, and will return, again and again to the same argument just to have last licks. Another type links endlessly to googled threads or other internet links to prove how your opinion is wrong, and theirs is right. I've stopped clicking on any of the links because it's a bit like being cornered by a boring boor at a cocktail party. These types of posters seem to most actively inhabit certain threads, so once I've seen that they've posted, I avoid them. In general, I am of the opinion that the mods do a fantastic job, but I would love to see them take a more active role with this type of annoyance.

How about you? Are you prone to avoidance in certain places on Chowhound?

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  1. Seems l avoid the posters of whom you speak more than the threads. They seem to not really care about the topic but tend to nitpick your opinions with excessive verbiage that adds little to topic but makes you feel foolish. l rarely post on either Manhattan or Wine anymore due to some constant posters on those boards. l am a very non-confrontational type of guy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Odd, I never would have figured you to be thin skinned Stefan! ;)

      I hear you regarding wine. Check out Wineberserkers. Great discussions there and though the number of "experts" there is overwhelming, everyone is generally very cordial and helpful.

    2. hi roxlet. I like that Chowhounds have strong viewpoints. What can be learned in a comment box takes patience though. Jumping to conclusions, assuming the worst of a fellow hound is easy; sticking with a thread even if you don't agree takes finesse. I wouldn't want to see moderation turn into a police state or become a babysitting service. I agree with you that the Mods do a great job. What works for me is taking responsiblity for my own comments and admitting when I'm wrong. I'm not interested in telling other people how they should behave unless comments are aimed directly at MY forehead..then, I tend to speak up for myself.

      But I don't approach any part of this community with a stance of avoidance. I love this community.

      28 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        i don't avoid topics or posters. chowhound is a discussion board, after all.
        i have never understood how using the phrase, "that's just my opinion" makes anything you say sacrosanct.
        doing this reminds me of the child called "never" on an episode of the t.v. show, 'louie,' who said something along the lines of, "my mom says that any choice i make is o.k. because i love myself."

        1. re: HillJ

          HillJ, I have no objection to strong viewpoints, but what I do object to is flogging a dead horse. After a while, RIP. I have been a member of CH for many years, and I do understand finesse, and when I feel that I am wrong, I'll cop to it, but at the end of the day, sometimes it's best to avoid and walk away. However, I don't ascribe the same happy motives to all the denizens of this site. Some just like to fight, and as far as I am concerned, they can do it with someone else.

          1. re: roxlet

            And I don't blame you one bit for feeling that way. I just believe the change the channel approach begins with making that decision for yourself and not for others. Don't fight, don't give the denizens your time...walk away and enjoy the views you like.

              1. re: Servorg

                Different, I think, but yes, I have seen it...

                1. re: roxlet

                  They seem related, but the other one is more generalized for sure. I just have to ask you, since you say that you don't click on links provided by those who disagree with you any longer; Do you want to know if you believe something (and post about it) that turns out to "factually" wrong (rather than one opinion vs another)?

                  1. re: Servorg

                    No, I didn't say that I don't click on links with those that disagree with me, I said that some posters list endless links to all kinds of sites to prove their point. When confronted with a list of 4-6 links, my reaction is to click on none of them. And most of the arguments are not based on "facts." Usually, they're based on opinions that are held, for which many "facts" are provided. To use an analogy, say I'm for Obama and you're for Romney. I can provide many links to facts that prove my opinion that he's a horse's ass, and you can likely do the same to support your opinion. Everyone is entitled to his opinion, and linking me to facts about what a swell, stand-up guy Romney is won't change my opinion.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Okay. So, does that mean if you are posting something that is "factual" and it happens to not be true, that you would want to hear about it then?

                      I also realize that there are ways of presenting things to others that can be done in a very aggressive and demeaning manner, and ways of telling someone the same thing without coming across as an aggressive a-hole.

                      Personally I want to know if I am getting something "wrong" so I can correct for future posts or discussions.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        What I am referring to is more in the manner of thinking that a sentence means one thing, and someone else trying to convince you the meaning is different. Or saying you like a person or a dish, and the other person insisting that you are wrong to do so. I'm fine with disputing facts, but finding facts to support your opinion and saying that someone else's opinion is wrong is a very slippery slope.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          I am sure I am a constant irritant on the LA board for reminding those that seem to believe that their "superior taste" in food is somehow a proven fact, that this is all subjective opinion as far as what is good and what is not...

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Yes, some people don't want to accept that their opinions are just that -- opinions!

                            1. re: Servorg

                              One useful tool for reading Chowhound is to assume that every post starts with "In my opinion". A lot of people state things forcefully around here, but it's still just their opinion. We occasionally get people who are flat out declaring themselves right and others wrong, but we also see a great many people reading "I'm right and you're wrong" into posts that don't actually say that or even necessarily imply it.

                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                Good point, Jacquilynne, and I will definitely make a point to state that something is my opinion. That doesn't stop some people, though...

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that people need to be explicit that something is their opinion. It can help, true, but mostly I'm asking people who are reading to assume an implied 'in my opinion', since everything here is an opinion. The site ends up being a lot friendlier if everyone acts in good faith and also assumes that others are acting in good faith. Somewhat counterintuitively, the latter helps, even when the assumption is false.

                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                    The problem comes from what I term the "disdainful sniff and sneer" reply to anything that doesn't either peg the "authentic meter" as close to 100% as this crowd thinks necessary, or if someone with less "knowledge" than they offers an opinion that runs counter to their dogma. This is nothing the Site or moderation can do anything about and needs to be countered or called out in a "rules" acceptable way by other posters.

                                    I can guarantee you one thing. The issue stifles posters and other points of view on all the local and regional food boards, especially in the major metropolitan areas, with no doubt.

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      see wording like "this crowd" would make me pause and wonder. Aren't you a part of "this crowd" Servorg? You are one of the most helpful Site Talk CH's going. You've taught me a great deal about navigating the site. Helpful as all get out. Yet, separating yourself from "this crowd" seems odd wording.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        +1. There are a couple of regional boards that are really, really bad about it.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          I read a few different regional boards and think I have recognized the idea you are referring to. Fundamentally, it's a weird type of bullying and I feel like the best way to deal with it is simply to be honest: "I know MGZ that you are proud of how many people read your posts and follow your advice, but, as far as I'm concerned, the Fried Rice at Number One China Takeout is actually quite good - even if they don't use the oyster sauce you prefer."

                                      2. re: Jacquilynne

                                        When everyone retorts to something I post with "in YOUR opinion" I always respond, "well, yeah, who else's opinion would it be?" Pretty basic inference to be made there!

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          "Pretty basic inference to be made"

                                          In all "conversation" this is true. (Franktly, that's why seeing "IMO" or "IMHO" in a post annoys me.)

                                          1. re: MGZ

                                            It doesn't always annoy me, and I will even use it on occasion as a prek-emptive measure, to avoid distraction. But it shouldn't be necessary to feel the need.

                                        2. re: Jacquilynne

                                          obviously, the problem is many posters here feel if you have an opinion opposite to theirs, you are automatically NOT acting in good faith, and question your motivations, etc.
                                          stating opinions should START conversations, not END them.

                                          seems to me if you don't want your opinion discussed, maybe you shouldn't express it in the first place.

                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                            "The site ends up being a lot friendlier if everyone acts in good faith and also assumes that others are acting in good faith."

                                            In a very significant way, that's what I've meant every time I suggested that it is important to read in the poster's "voice" as opposed to carrying personal baggage or lack of comprehension into the conversation. It also helps to step back and reread comments if they seem harsh - it's possible they were simply attempts at humor. There are some dry wits around here.

                                            1. re: MGZ

                                              I keep hoping for dry but I keep coming up with nit's... ;-D>

                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                "I keep hoping for dry but I keep coming up with nit's."

                                                Isn't that the type of thing we're talking about? If someone doesn't agree with us then they must be a nit?

                                                Anyways, I think it's also important to note that sometimes a strong and spirited defense of one's favorite restaurant shouldn't be viewed as an attack on the OP. I often come to the defense of a place I enjoy and that I feel puts out a good product and if it seems harsh at times, it is never intended as an attack on the OP. I would however hate for the restaurant to lose business because of some incorrect perception of the "correctness" of the food. Not that the OP didn't like it (because that is opinion) but that somehow the restaurant served an inferior or incorrect product when in fact it was just not to the OP's liking.

                                                As you know, sometimes Neapolitan pizza in LA is called raw, and al dente pasta is called hard, and traditional sushi is called dry because it's not over sauced like the fusion places and since the restaurants and chef's can't speak up, then some of us have to chime in and say that is actually traditional, intended, and properly crafted by the restaurant. But the intention is never to attack the poster or belittle anyone.

                                    2. re: roxlet

                                      "[B]ut finding facts to support your opinion and saying that someone else's opinion is wrong is a very slippery slope."

                                      Besides providing facts to support an assertion, how does one go about suggesting the veracity thereof? I've written a great deal of arguments and know of no other way to do it. Moreover, it seems to me that by not reading the linked to material you are simply suggesting that you don't want to consider the notion that your opinion may be wrong.

                                      As noted by others, it's the dialectic that makes these boards fun and rewarding. There are significant differences in the abilities, educations, intellect, etc. of the various personalities here. It is good to remember, at bottom, to read other's words in their voice, not your own - and, if in doubt, assume they meant no malice.

                                      Oh, and to the original question, I tend to avoid purely "chatty" threads and those that begin to read like the transcript from an episode of The View.

                                      1. re: MGZ

                                        If another poster makes a strong or interesting argument against one of my posts without getting into personal attacks, it usually makes me like that other poster more. I can think of a few posters I enjoy following who I first encountered by arguing with them. I'm not sure what this says about me, but it does go to show how different posters take different things away from internet disagreements.

                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                          I endorse this message. I feel the same way about it. And I'm pretty sure you and I have had some disagreements. It's all about info, for me, and if I'm wrong and someone gives me better information, I've learned something useful on a topic I'm interested in.

                                          (Just waiting to be wrong, just ONCE. ;-D ) See my card: "often wrong, never in doubt."

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                          1. I avoid reading posters more than threads. I have my own version of The Mikado's "little list" - I think of them as the Chowholes. I may appear on THEIR fecal rosters as well, turnabout being fair play. I find particularly annoying the OPs who respond to darn near every addition to their thread, usually just to thank responders. Their hearts are in the right place but for everyone else who clicks on to check on new posts, it's a time-waster. Better to include a "thanks in advance" (no, my name is not TIA) at the end of the original post. It also drives me up the wall when someone with a question asks posters to "tell us how/what/where/when...." Assuming the OP is not Queen Elizabeth, it assumes other Chowhounds are as enthusiastic, or ignorant, about the topic as the OP is. If a post title is full of typos, misspellings, and/or textspeak, or too nonspecific (e.g., "Help", or "Recommendation"), I probably won't read it.