I miss the old manifesto.
Just reread the old Chowhound.com "ethics statement" from back in the day.
Ethics Statement (from Alpha Hound Jim Leff)
I guard my anonymity and my opinion cannot be bought. I always pay my own tab, and this site will never contain food advertising. May I eat nothing but Wendy's for the rest of my life if I ever offer less than purely objective chow advice.
And now we have a board dedicated to chains, and- oh- one or two food advertisements :)
I wasn't around back in those days but I understand that the site wasn't financially supporting itself. I don't know how one would get that without accepting advertising. I do, however, feel that it's more about the number of 'hits' than about the substance of some boards/threads/replies. And we have a board about "Not About Food." Huh? And off-topic subthreads that hijack the OP. Et cetera.
Fascinating. Love the idea, but wonder how the board was paid for before the advertising?
I'm guessing such a thing could still exist, but the users would have to be charged a monthly or per-use fee in order to keep the site viable. Curious to know if there are enough users willing to pay to make that an option.
So what's different? Most, if not all posters on Chowhound are anonymous. Participants and moderators are vigilant against spammers. I don't pay attention to the food ads, and you don't have to either. That fact that I and others are frequent contributors to threads about Trader Joes (the busiest ones on Chains) does not compromise our Hound status. I also don't doubt the credentials of Hounds who mourned the passing Supertaster.