Question regarding a Chow board policy.....comments/opinions please.....
- jrvedivici Jan 14, 2013 01:44 PM
There was a topic about an Italian deli on my local board which there were several posts on. The OP was asking some questions about the place and I posted my honest experience with the place which consisted of my getting a pre-packaged to go salad from there and upon opening it in my office finding a dead fly in it. My post was pulled and I'm copy pasting the reason chow gave me below:
"We don't allow reports of bugs, cooties, foreign objects found in food, etc., on Chowhound. Here's why: food, service, and ambiance are things anyone can opine on, and in time a consensus emerges. But while different chowhounds can balance each other's opinions - pro and con - for a restaurant's pasta or chocolate cake, once someone reports a bug, cootie, or foreign object, that warps the gravity of the discussion. It can never be balanced. And while we trust your sincerity, many people who report such things do so out of a motivation to smear a place."
While I can completely understand if I went on a tangent about the place being filthy blah blah blah and completely tearing it a part....OR.....if under my profile this was my only post/review about a place there is reason to be suspect of the post. But I for one DO want to know if people are finding, bug, fly's, ant's or dare I say roaches. In my opinion insect infestation or something of the like is very common in the industry and should be shared within the community here. (I understand a dead fly in a salad is NOT a sign of infestation.
My question in short is why would Chow have such a policy against allowing posts like this? It seems to be a valid point. If not being exaggerated or posted by a newbie in an obvious attempt to smear a place.
I think the explanation given makes sense, when applied to isolated incidents. However, they once seem to have applied the policy to the case of food business which was in the mainstream press for having been closed due to rodent infestation. My opinion is that if it's in the newspapers, it should be postable in the "food media and news" forum, but it's their call — they can moderate the forums anyway they please.
By the way, cockroaches are not particularly dirty. They are not a vector for human disease, just creepy.
Yes, they are vectors for disease and allergy:
"Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses have been found in cockroach bodies. Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, etc.) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by these cockroaches. These disease-causing organisms are carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches, and are deposited on food and utensils as cockroaches forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain a number of allergens, to which many people exhibit allergic responses such as skin rashes, watery eyes, congestion of nasal passages, asthma, and sneezing."
"My question in short is why would Chow have such a policy against allowing posts like this?"
Because once you open the door to one exception you have a downhill slide to the bottom of the abyss (in other words you have Yelp)...And do the moderators really want to take up more of their time instead of looking out for shilling and other in your face crapola trying to "split hairs" over which bug report is allowable and which isn't? I don't think so.
As the rest of the email we sent to you said:
We don't want to leave anyone with the perception that they'll get an accurate gauge of possible safety issues by reading Chowhound. When it comes to food safety issues, it's absolutely imperative that information be accurate, complete and up-to-date, and the the hit-and-miss reporting on Chowhound is none of those things. So if someone has reason to suspect a restaurant is unsafe, it's best that they report it to proper authorities, who can do something about it, not to Chowhound.com. Health authorities have power to investigate, authenticate and solve problems. Our site is not an appropriate venue for dealing with such urgent and serious issues.
re: The Chowhound Team
Yes you are correct I wasn't trying to be selective in my copy pasting my primary question is regarding insects/cooties (I love the fact you actually used that word) that's all.
As I said....it just surprised me because incidents of roach sightings etc. is of great interest to me when reading a review. To me it's just an overall cleanliness issue.
But again I by no means were trying to taint my post by not including your entire email. As well as I'm not trying to be critical of the moderators/ing of the site.
I think, as the mods have often stated in my time reading here, that this issue is not a comment on your individual attitudes or behavior when posting about it.
It's about what they think is appropriate information for posting here; the policy against making sanitation claims and comments has been the most consistently applied of all, IME.