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Mods need to work a little harder

JMF Feb 12, 2014 06:34 PM

I've noticed that the mods seem to be both more relaxed, and focusing on certain individuals, and just aren't doing their jobs as well as years ago. I also see favoritism in many cases. I also see folks in general getting nastier, and I am even getting so, when I see bullshit unaddressed. Or else it is mods not doing their job and letting nasty posts, and personal attacks happen. So I have been making angry posts more like I did a decade ago, in anger over idiocy. So, Mods, get your stuff together.

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  1. SaraAshley RE: JMF Feb 12, 2014 06:39 PM

    I think they work hard enough. In fact, I think they should take a well deserved week long vacation. Oh, the hilarity that would ensue! ;)

    8 Replies
    1. re: SaraAshley
      westsidegal RE: SaraAshley Feb 12, 2014 06:45 PM

      make that a month long vacation.

      1. re: SaraAshley
        cookie monster RE: SaraAshley Feb 12, 2014 06:48 PM

        yes, a paid vacation. Oh wait - they don't get paid when they're working, never mind when they're on vacation.

        1. re: cookie monster
          SaraAshley RE: cookie monster Feb 12, 2014 06:53 PM

          I was actually thinking about that and how it's kind of ironic to ask them to "work harder" for something they don't get paid for and don't have to do at all.

          1. re: SaraAshley
            carolinadawg RE: SaraAshley Feb 12, 2014 07:00 PM

            I don't think the OP meant "work harder" in the sense of doing more work, but in the sense of working differently.

            1. re: SaraAshley
              Veggo RE: SaraAshley Feb 12, 2014 07:05 PM

              "something they don't get paid for and don't have to do at all."
              This is how my married friends describe their wives...:)

              1. re: Veggo
                SaraAshley RE: Veggo Feb 12, 2014 07:10 PM


          2. re: SaraAshley
            hill food RE: SaraAshley Feb 17, 2014 06:32 PM

            Sara - oh c'mon Jacquilynne took a vacation maybe a year or 2 ago and although everyone promised we'd behave, things got a little messy (not utter chaotic bloodsport, just messy)

            1. re: hill food
              SaraAshley RE: hill food Feb 17, 2014 06:54 PM

              Ehh, I say a little bit of mess never hurt anyone!

          3. enbell RE: JMF Feb 12, 2014 07:07 PM

            JMF, you said yourself, "... folks in general getting nastier, and I am even getting so..." and, " I have been making angry posts more like I did a decade ago, in anger over idiocy."
            If the mods had even a little less to worry about from you, perhaps they could spend their attention on more pressing matters.
            Suggesting they modify their approach is one thing, but calling them out for not working hard is asinine.

            1. Jacquilynne RE: JMF Feb 12, 2014 08:15 PM

              We do our best to strike a balance when we moderate between removing too much and leaving up things that are going to upset people. It's not a perfect process and many members would prefer we draw those lines in somewhat different places -- some would prefer we took more down, others that we left more up.

              It's particularly a challenge when there are answers that are dismissive or unpleasant without necessarily rising to the level of a personal attack, and where the unpleasantness is entwined in a long conversation. Sometimes taking every bit of it down would mean removing a lot of long posts and we're reluctant to do that. Sometimes we prefer to prune the worst bits and then leave a note asking people to let the subject go rather than remove a large swath of posts.

              Responding in anger when someone else is being a bit of a jerk is understandable but escalating the hostilities doesn't help. We encourage people to Flag problematic things for us to take a look at, and at the point where you're Flagging things, it's usually time to bow out of the thread. Even if we don't agree that it needs to be removed, if you're feeling that negatively about it, it's a good place to stop participating.

              19 Replies
              1. re: Jacquilynne
                JMF RE: Jacquilynne Feb 12, 2014 08:53 PM

                Jacquilynne, that's a decent answer. Interesting how my question got a few very angry and out of proportion responses. Makes my point. I understand what moderation takes, I do so for a trade industry board myself.

                1. re: Jacquilynne
                  givemecarbs RE: Jacquilynne Feb 12, 2014 11:34 PM

                  Came hear to make sure the spam on the philly boards got removed pronto and saw this thread. I also flagged the guy and wouldn't blame the mods for removing my comment on this board because it might amount to free advertising for the guy doing it.
                  I do find the dismissive comments to be some of the most hurtful of all but it is hard I imagine to strike that balance and I have only flagged an abusive comment once so far. All I can say is that I am impressed that this thread is still up. That speaks volumes in itself.
                  I used to play world of warcraft and the boards there had a lot of comments complaining about game mechanics just disappear.

                  1. re: givemecarbs
                    c oliver RE: givemecarbs Feb 13, 2014 09:15 AM

                    Regarding "dismissive," I was just talking to a CH the other day and it drives us crazy when on a regional board someone will dismiss someone else's restaurant rec with something like "That's a terrible place." Uh, hello, that adds nothing to the conversation, does it? I've also seen people really trash a particular food when it's probably just something they don't care for.

                    1. re: c oliver
                      Jerseygirl111 RE: c oliver Feb 13, 2014 10:28 AM

                      Don't you want to hear multiple, differing opinions on restaurants? While I agree that just posting "That's a terrible place" doesn't contribute much to the conversation, if they would explain more why they think it's terrible, that could be beneficial.

                      1. re: Jerseygirl111
                        c oliver RE: Jerseygirl111 Feb 13, 2014 10:44 AM

                        I thought I was quite specific about it just being a "that's a terrible place" without adding anything. I use CH a lot when we travel and a comment like that means nothing to me. We're in NYC currently and I've asked for specific advice and gotten it, with explanations of said advice.

                        1. re: Jerseygirl111
                          Melanie Wong RE: Jerseygirl111 Feb 13, 2014 12:52 PM

                          At least that kind of comment offers an opinion. If someone needs more details, just ask and maybe more will be forthcoming. That's what I do.

                          And I much prefer a statement of opinion vs the chit-chatty back and forth that doesn't even concern food in too many threads. The minimalist poster might have actually eaten at the restaurant instead of just injecting nonsense without any real world experience into a conversation.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            c oliver RE: Melanie Wong Feb 13, 2014 01:08 PM

                            I SO agree with you also!

                            1. re: c oliver
                              Melanie Wong RE: c oliver Feb 13, 2014 02:47 PM

                              Some folks don't have the vocabulary to explain why they like or don't like something.

                              Kettle, meet Black.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                c oliver RE: Melanie Wong Feb 13, 2014 02:50 PM

                                Damn, woman. Right again. :)

                        2. re: c oliver
                          givemecarbs RE: c oliver Feb 13, 2014 11:23 AM

                          Sometimes hounds dogpile on the original poster and I just cringe. I don't want my fellow hounds to regret posting because they just wanted to ask something. I usually try to say something positive even if it's a stretch because I don't want hounds to slink away with their tails between their legs never to return.

                          1. re: givemecarbs
                            MplsM ary RE: givemecarbs Feb 14, 2014 04:36 PM

                            I especially hate when the dogpile happens to a first time or even a relatively new person. One person cheerfully advised someone looking for Italian on the Minneapolis/St. Paul board to try Olive Garden. Did not go well. I think it was their first and last post.

                            1. re: MplsM ary
                              Jacquilynne RE: MplsM ary Feb 14, 2014 06:02 PM

                              We'll remove that sort of thing if you Flag it. There are instances where Olive Garden (or another chain) might be a viable suggestion, but it's usually pretty easy to tell the difference between people who are genuinely (and usually reluctantly) recommending a chain and people who are just being jerks.

                      2. re: Jacquilynne
                        c oliver RE: Jacquilynne Feb 13, 2014 09:12 AM

                        I like it when the "team" posts asking people to get back on topic, stop being so nasty, etc. before actually locking a thread. And that seems to be the case more nowadays. Give people a chance.

                        I think it's also a good suggestion to leave a thread if you've reached a point where the main topic is getting flagged. Not when you flag something because it's offtopic, inappropriate, etc.

                        1. re: Jacquilynne
                          latindancer RE: Jacquilynne Feb 14, 2014 08:16 AM

                          You're doing a great job, imho.

                          You've sent me at least two emails, that I can recall, explaining why you've deleted my post(s) and asked me to please stop participating if I can't respond with some responsibility. I've found that some threads just keep going like a lit fire and sometimes it's hard to stop.
                          I appreciate it as it gives this old woman some pause for thought in how I deal with others when the posts get to me.

                          1. re: latindancer
                            gaffk RE: latindancer Feb 14, 2014 01:41 PM

                            I got an email from Jacq today. I already knew I shouldn't have posted what I did, but she's very nice about explaining CH policy.

                            1. re: gaffk
                              jrvedivici RE: gaffk Feb 14, 2014 02:19 PM

                              I got a valentine from Jacq! She has my email on speed dial!

                              1. re: jrvedivici
                                gaffk RE: jrvedivici Feb 14, 2014 02:22 PM

                                I guess those of us snowed in and drinking copious amounts of alcohol have not overwhelmed the mod system yet ;)

                                1. re: gaffk
                                  jrvedivici RE: gaffk Feb 14, 2014 03:08 PM

                                  But it's not for a lack of trying!


                              2. re: gaffk
                                latindancer RE: gaffk Feb 20, 2014 09:19 AM

                                Yes, she has a great style to her very constructive feedback.

                          2. jrvedivici RE: JMF Feb 13, 2014 07:37 AM

                            JMF you started this thread / topic so my response is directed towards you, but not in any personal manner, if that makes sense.

                            The logic used in the OP is just an example of where our society as a whole has some problems, which eventually just trickle down to people's experience here on Chow.

                            Lets say there is more negativity on here than there was years ago. (I'm not saying there is, but I'm going with the theme of the topic) According to JMF that results in more negativity from him, which logically might create more negativity from someone else, and so on and so on............

                            So the request is for the Moderators to take a more active role in removing the negativity, thus out of sight is out of mind and the cycle is broken.

                            Why as a people are we always looking for someone else to protect us from the things we don't like? If I see something negative, I try to ignore it. If I can't try to ignore it, I try to find humor in it and turn the negativity around, but I resist the urge to be negative in return. Why allow someone else to bring you down? If someone posts something negative or mean, they are having a bad day, or week, or life, but that doesn't mean it has to ruin my day. It certainly doesn't mean I have to respond in the same negative manner, I'll take responsibility for my own actions and those won't include being made angry or miserable just because someone else is.

                            The mods should certainly do their best to keep things civil, but to complain to them about preventing something you admit to contributing to seems kind of silly to me. Do your part first, stop participating in negativity and perhaps you can help break the chain you are contributing to and complaining about.

                            Just my $.02 and again nothing personal to you JMF.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: jrvedivici
                              Veggo RE: jrvedivici Feb 13, 2014 08:58 AM

                              I try assiduously not to be negative about people, places, or food here, after years of participation. There are still a few who relish pouncing on me because I'm me, regardless of what I have to say. I'm learning not to feed the trolls. Do they dare jump me for this one? Let's watch...:)

                              1. re: Veggo
                                jrvedivici RE: Veggo Feb 13, 2014 09:49 AM

                                Life's too short to allow other people or their drama to occupy time in your life.

                                I would pounce on you but that's how Internet rumors get started.

                                1. re: Veggo
                                  JMF RE: Veggo Feb 13, 2014 09:53 AM

                                  What bothers me is when the same certain folks keep coming back again and again, making mean and nasty remarks. Twisting words around, making assumptions, based on their own "stuff." Not actually responding to what was actually said, but what they think or assume is being said.

                                  Also, I have to make sure I don't read CH late night when sleepy, or like the past few days, when on painkillers for an injury and severe arthritis. I tend to get a bit snippy.

                                  1. re: JMF
                                    HillJ RE: JMF Feb 13, 2014 09:59 AM

                                    You do reflect and include yourself in this need to work better at xyz. I can appreciate that.

                                    We all get snippy. Darn humans!

                                    1. re: JMF
                                      jrvedivici RE: JMF Feb 17, 2014 06:14 PM

                                      JMF 02/13/14 4:53AM

                                      "What bothers me is when the same certain folks keep coming back again and again, making mean and nasty remarks. Twisting words around, making assumptions, based on their own "stuff." Not actually responding to what was actually said, but what they think or assume is being said."

                                      It's amazing what a difference a couple days make. I initially thought perhaps you were being a little too sensitive about people's posting. Over the past few days it seems a cloud has been lifted and suddenly I'm seeing clearly how it seems "cliques" of people seem to thrive on antagonism and confrontation.

                                      I will take all the blame in the world for either hijacking threads or commenting off topic like a blind man playing twister, but never with ill or malicious intent.

                                      It seems there are people who are just more concerned with attacking others for their views than adding anything of value to a conversation. Hey, I might not always bring value but I do try to draw a smile, if that's against the rules ban me now.

                                      1. re: jrvedivici
                                        c oliver RE: jrvedivici Feb 17, 2014 06:19 PM

                                        jr, I thank you for this. Although you get more off-topic than some, you are really always kind.

                                        1. re: c oliver
                                          hill food RE: c oliver Feb 18, 2014 11:47 AM

                                          I don't write the rules, but it's all I expect here or anywhere, virtual or real.

                                2. h
                                  HillJ RE: JMF Feb 13, 2014 09:56 AM

                                  Sometimes you can't win for losing. We all have different patience levels, I know it's been said a gazillion times to give each other the benefit of the doubt, patience goes a long way, sarcasm and playful replies aren't always read as such or appreciated when someone else is trying to be serious and rate the chow not the chowhound.

                                  And yet, we all get miffed anyway.

                                  What's the answer? We can all try a little harder.

                                  1. linguafood RE: JMF Feb 13, 2014 11:15 AM

                                    What's amusing is that the worst offenders on CH generally see themselves as victims, not as the bullies / asshats they actually are.

                                    But I really can't be bothered trying to work out someone else's personal hang-ups..... on a FOOD site, ferchrissakes.

                                    They can't find a decent hairdresser or therapist they can rant/vent to? Not my problem.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: linguafood
                                      jrvedivici RE: linguafood Feb 13, 2014 02:21 PM

                                      I'm a cyber-bully and if the asshat fits I'll wear it!

                                      1. re: jrvedivici
                                        linguafood RE: jrvedivici Feb 13, 2014 02:24 PM

                                        I haven't ever heard you complain about other people jumping down your throat for everything poor, poor you says, so....no need to put that ass hat on just yet '-)

                                        1. re: linguafood
                                          jrvedivici RE: linguafood Feb 13, 2014 04:18 PM

                                          I just cry in my pillow at night.

                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                            Servorg RE: jrvedivici Feb 13, 2014 04:28 PM


                                            1. re: jrvedivici
                                              Veggo RE: jrvedivici Feb 13, 2014 04:30 PM

                                              Really? I sleep on a cold pile of bricks and laugh until sunrise and the birds chirp.

                                      2. grampart RE: JMF Feb 13, 2014 12:06 PM

                                        I'd prefer to see less posts critical of the mods.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: grampart
                                          jrvedivici RE: grampart Feb 13, 2014 02:21 PM

                                          Me too!

                                        2. r
                                          Raffles RE: JMF Feb 13, 2014 05:00 PM

                                          Thank u . u are doing great....

                                          1. Robert Lauriston RE: JMF May 19, 2014 02:19 PM

                                            At least on the SF Bay Area board, moderation seems to be much more lax as regards off-topic threads and rudeness. The tone has gone downhill thanks to an increasing number of people who contribute few if any personal opinions about food and mostly criticize or correct other posters.

                                            "It's particularly a challenge when there are answers that are dismissive or unpleasant without necessarily rising to the level of a personal attack, and where the unpleasantness is entwined in a long conversation."

                                            When 90% of what somebody posts in a topic (or overall) is denigrating other people's qualifications to post, that's a troll and you should tell them to knock it off.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                              Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston May 29, 2014 10:41 AM

                                              When someone consistently has a hectoring tone, criticizes the qualifiations of other posters, and always has to have the last word, a good moderator will intervene. Here's something Jim Leff sent me years ago:

                                              "There are online food communities where the regulars rule the roost and vet all comers....setting the bar, as it were. But Chowhound is not that way. We're a non-hierarchical network. No one needs to validate themselves to you, me, or anyone else. We don't impose conditions, and neither should you. It's totally ok to post a quick and thoroughly non-backed-up opinion on anything at anytime. If it's not backed up and is submitted by an unknown poster, it will carry little weight, so no problem. The system self-regulates, and we enjoy the richness of many opinions (some more/less persuasive than others).

                                              "Now, if you sincerely want to draw out someone's opinion, that's fine. But if so, please do so politely and engagingly, especially when you disagree, rather than by throwing down a gauntlet. Otherwise, post and let post, please. Nobody has to jump through anyone else's hoop or post in any particular way (so long as they're respectful, on topic, and honest).

                                              "Also, bear in mind that we have thousands reading along who never chime in. Why not? They fear being slammed. And every time the lurkers see a poster challenged frostily (or worse), they clam up more...and we all lose zillions of potentially great chow tips. A friendly atmosphere where lurkers don't fear being made to feel like ignorant slobs for venturing an opinion draws out more tips. And even if the particular person you'd like to skewer IS an ignorant slob, please don't forget that 20,000 recalcitrant potential participants are watching in horror, afraid they'd meet the same fate (even if they're smart, as most are).

                                              "Especially when you disagree, please, for the good of the resource (and to encourage the silent lurkers), bend over backwards to be cordial, respectful, and friendly, and refrain from setting the pole posters must jump over in order to join in."

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                Midlife RE: Robert Lauriston May 29, 2014 12:00 PM

                                                I really agree with Jim's sentiment on this, but the other side of it (which he alludes to, but I think asks us to ignore) is the impact on posters as well as lurkers. I was recently deleted for an oblique (IMHO) reference to a specific poster who caused me to refuse to participate in a topic because I didn't want to 'play that game'.

                                                Other posters 'played' in a way I don't think I could have. My suggestion was to ignore that poster.... just act as if the posts didn't exist. I was reminded that 'calling out' a specific poster, even if not by name, is not allowed. My problem was that it didn't seem to me that the mods were intervening, though that did seem to happen over the next day or so. I'm hoping I can hold back the next time something like that occurs, as I know it will. We really do become invested here in the conversation and in those we've come to respect. That's what is most concerning about some recent suggestions that this sure may be in jeopardy. I know I'd really miss it.

                                                1. re: Midlife
                                                  Robert Lauriston RE: Midlife May 29, 2014 02:46 PM

                                                  What the mods seem to have stopped doing is emailing people who consistently bully and deprecate other posters.

                                                  They remove some individual posts, but one moderator wrote back to me, "We've seen your flags and understand why you'd like to see these posts go, but they aren't in violation of our policies, whereas posts that focus on another poster in this way are."

                                                  She seems to think that pontificating in general and belittling others' qualifications to post is OK so long as there's no use of second person or naming names. So we end up with topics dominated by one pontificating blowhard.

                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                    Midlife RE: Robert Lauriston May 29, 2014 03:13 PM

                                                    I'm not so sure that they don't mitigate directly as I have no way of knowing, but something seemed to work in the one case I was referring to.

                                            2. h
                                              Harters RE: JMF May 20, 2014 02:21 PM

                                              I play on another (non food) board where overt criticism of the mods is a suspension issue. I tell you, the times I've had to bite my metaphorical tongue!

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