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When crazed people hijack a thread


So there's a discussion with a specific topic, posted on an appropriate board.

And then.....whooosh....someone comes in and riffs on the topic, kinda, rarely having actual knowledge of the place or topic being discussed. Often with one loooooong paragraph punctuated with occasional words in all caps.

How do you (not: "how does one") deal with this?

  1. I ignore it. Or I respond appropriately to it. I don't think it would ever ruin a thread for me. I might laugh, too.

    7 Replies
    1. re: SaraAshley

      It depends. Sometimes I report it. Sometimes (more and more these days), when it's the "in-crowd," I have no choice but to ignore it.

      If it's someone who seems to mean well, again I ignore it.

      If it's someone pushing an agenda, I admit there have been times when I help hijack the thread by going toe to toe with them. I've been trying not to do that, but when somebody just HAS to be right by citing a 20 year old "study" from The Wackado Center for Misinformation, then yeah - guilty.

      Edited to add - if the person is just plain angry I leave the thread alone. They probably have other problems, and Chowhound ain't gonna fix that.

      1. re: MplsM ary

        My course of action is the same as yours. I really have no problem ignoring threads if I want to. Honestly, if find so many posts on a particular thread annoying for whatever reason, I just move on. I don't cry because the "thread" was ruined. I use this site as entertainment. I'm not owed entertainment from it, though. And when I say entertainment, I mean that I am entertained by reading and responding to the topics that interest me.

        1. re: SaraAshley

          Maybe that's a difference. I use the site to learn. When some posters use it to "entertain" and then other "entertainers" pile on, it's damn annoying.

          1. re: c oliver

            Obviously I find value in the content to be entertained by it. Learning is entertaining to me. If food did not interest me, I would find this site boring, and thus, not very entertaining.

        2. re: MplsM ary

          (Totally Off-Topic Reply)

          I love the term "Wackadoo Center for Misinformation", and will be using it as much as possible along with my standard "Captain Cuckoo Bananas". Hijack over.

        3. re: SaraAshley

          How do you ignore it? I wish there was a button, something like an ignore feature but less aggressive, maybe a "hide" button! Yeah we should discuss that possibility!

          1. re: jrvedivici

            Haha...sounds good! You should start a thread...errrr wait.....never mind.

        4. there are some odd people on here for sure.

          I had a post deleted because we were talking about farmed salmon in a wild salmon thread. but now its trusting obama in a why won't this kid eat a snack thread...

          I just skip over. If people want to go off topic the format of this site allows it to be non obtrusive and people can still respond to op or other posts.

          1. Not to answer a question with a question, but why do you feel the need to "deal" with it? There is already a system in place where you can flag it to call it to the mods attention then it's in their hands. Move on......what more is there to deal with?

            Just ignore it and move on. Seems pretty simple to me, and I'm not trying to come across as argumentative, just curious.

            7 Replies
            1. re: jrvedivici

              I flag a lot of stuff (ask the mods!), but that doesn't stop some people from seriously damaging a decent discussion.

              Just thought I'd open up a discussion here of what others do. It's still often quite frustrating.

              You're right, it's often simple. But sometimes people come through like a destructive hurricane, and I wondered what "you" do (as I wrote in the opener, not "what does one do").

              1. re: Elisa515

                I report those pretty regularly if I'm a part of the discussion. I continue to hope that the mods will tighten up on this.

                1. re: Elisa515

                  This is interesting ... I don't flag any of the chit chat, though it does bother me. I guess I thought it wasn't "flag worthy." I wonder if I started whether it would make a difference -- whether it would result in the posts getting removed or at least making the powers that be aware there is one more user who does not enjoy the mindless banter, or whether the mods would just get annoyed and tell me to stop flagging stuff that isn't per se violative.

                  I guess I could give it a try and find out. I do think it is sadly ironic that there are several posts in this thread alone that fall into this category...

                  1. re: charmedgirl

                    The mods are on record as having officially loosened the rules on chit chat, so I doubt flagging it will result in it being removed, but it's worth a try.

                    1. re: charmedgirl

                      We don't remove a few posts of chat by default, but if it's getting unfriendly or if it's really getting out of hand, you're welcome to Flag it. We may or may not actually take action on it, but we're happy to at least take a look.

                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                        I'm betting most of us are occasionally offtopic and/or chatty but, for me, it becomes annoying when a thread with, say 25 replies, has a third of them be some offtopic, chatty riff frequently by a certain set of posters.

                2. A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, a galaxy known as USENET, we had a saying: DNFTT. Do not feed the trolls. Just ignore them.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dbrodbeck

                    brodbeck - and on Salon it was "don't feed the energy creature"

                    same idea, no response and they go away.

                  2. Related question: how do you deal with someone who posts a rude and utterly gratuitous reply to an appropriate and really rather innocuous comment? (As you might have guessed, this happened to me -- I ignored it but still can't help wondering, WTF?)

                    1 Reply
                    1. Aee these offending posts mostly on the regional boards? I have not seen to many posts as described in the OP, but I don't poat too much on my local board and it does not seem to be all that active anyway.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: John E.

                        Try visiting NAF, although the Austin board recently had a doozy, and the Paula Dean threads on Food Media can get quite heated.

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            speaking of Paula Deen, don't you hate it when she...

                        1. re: John E.

                          I would imagine these sorts of things happen on boards other than/in addition to ones I frequent, which is why I asked people what they do.

                          Requests to moderators don't always achieve action. I wouldn't expect action all the time, but I do wonder if this means that responding directly to such behavior is then more acceptable.

                          1. re: Elisa515

                            Whenever threads such as this one come up, I wonder if I am an occasional culprit. I don't use all caps, but I do sometimes introduce a storyline that may not follow the thread exactly. I have been told by some they like my anecdotes and one Chowhound basically told me to shut up. Of course I have not seen the Chowhound in question in quite some time.

                            1. re: John E.

                              Yes, John E. it's you.

                              I'm off to the WFD thread......

                              Just kidding ;)

                              1. re: John E.

                                We all sometimes contribute to thread drift. Hijacking is different.

                          2. I try to ignore it, but sometimes I get sucked in...thinking that they actually want a discussion. It takes a few posts to figure out they really don't. Then I vacate.

                            If they look truly nuts... I flag it and go to the WFD thread :)

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: sedimental

                              So, meanwhile, the original discussion is finished, I guess.

                              Start a new thread?

                              1. re: Elisa515

                                I don't understand what you're saying.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  I'm saying that when a thread gets hijacked so that no one who actually wants to participate the original discussion will write, since that's feeding the trolls, the thread is effectively finished.

                                  Does this mean the discussion can no longer happen? Or is there a good reason to restart the discussion with a new thread?

                                  1. re: Elisa515

                                    nah you can still participate in the original topic just don't directly engage the lunatic.

                                    f'rinstance here on this one, go respond to sedimental or coliver and completely ignore me. (and yes you are being tested)

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      Except you are reasonable.

                                      I wish there was a way to show an example without violating CH rules.

                                2. re: Elisa515

                                  Sometimes I don't know what happens to the original discussion. I "un star" it and move on. Usually if there are a lot of posters flagging each other and going round and round...the thread gets locked.

                                  There will always be a new thread :)

                              2. First, we would prefer if you stop referring to us as crazed. Most of us are simply drunk or, possibly, really stoned, or, more possibly, both (and a few may possibly be tripping). It can be really hard to type anything in such a condition, especially after reading so much droll commentary (though, to a person, and unlike the masses, we actually read all of the previously posted comments, as well as any materials therein linked to, thereby making us infinitely better suited to determine in which direction a post should head - even if we no longer have any sense of direction at our disposal).

                                As to any remaining questions concerning, "[h]ow do you . . . deal with this?" Think of the Site like a TV. If you don't like what's being shown on a channel, you can change it or look away when the pretty girl gets undressed.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: MGZ

                                  Speaking of drunk....

                                  I think I need an apron (or a fridge magnet?) that reads:


                                  Pick Two.

                                  I am sooo not a multi-tasker.

                                2. At least you can stay seated in your comfy chair and keep surfing. It's not like a real hijacking when you might land in Mogadishu instead of Cancun.

                                  1. I think all of us have been guilty of going 'off the rails' sometime during our years of posting but
                                    what's funny is the people who think they are the 'reasonable' ones, are the meanest, bitter, Debbie downers of the bunch.

                                    They see no other point but their own and they lambaste other opinions as rubbish.

                                    Listen, I've seen some of these people, which they have graciously posted their pics and trust me, the insides are just as ugly as the outside...even if they are attractive, their ugliness comes through, bigtime!

                                    Puts a lot of perspective on why they are so mean and angry, IMO and spend copious amounts of time on this board.

                                    Sad. .

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                      COPIOUS and MEAN are the essence of your message. Sure, I have diverted a few threads, but I try to take them somewhere fun. The meanies are more comfortable wallowing in a landfill they are creating that repels most others.
                                      Viva 9-16!

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        That is exactly right mi poppi Veggo!

                                        You can read happy people in how one writes and you come through as one incredibly happy soul. .

                                        Viva 916!

                                      2. re: Beach Chick

                                        I'm kinda hurt, BC. If you've seen my outside, you'd know that there is no way the inside could look any worse!

                                        1. re: MGZ

                                          You could be IGOR and it wouldn't matter, because your soul is like no other, bruddah and that wife of yours is one lucky chick!

                                          I only judge from one's inside and that is what brings out the beauty to the outside.

                                          You are DA man and beloved too!

                                        2. re: Beach Chick

                                          So physically attractive people are happy and fun, and physically unattractive people are mean and angry? Ooookay.

                                          Let's see your pic...

                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                            "their ugliness comes through" are you immune from this assertion?

                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                              That's not what she means. I am ugly like toad, but I am happy like bird and strong like lion.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Sorry, but in her third para, she makes a definite link between physical appearance and a poster's content. Natsy, IMO. You can look like a toad, but if you have a valid opinion on tacos in Florida. your physique shouldn't count. BC seems to think it shouldn't.

                                          2. I have a protocol. I choose one of four options designed to leave the impression (to those who bother reading my posts, anyway) that I am not a single poster, but perhaps an entire dysfunctional family all posting from the same account. Or - failing that - a sentient housecat trying its damnedest to impersonate a human (one that loves cooking and Japanese knives apparently) over the internet, but not quite succeeding.

                                            The options, in order from the most frequently taken path to the least:

                                            -- Find a new thread

                                            2 - Willpower the thread back on topic with a long and 'interesting' post about the topic at hand, bringing to light new facts and perspectives which, sadly, were already posted above in comments I didn't read.

                                            C) Don't fight the inevitable. Say something funny. Or bizarre. Better yet - respond to another person's genuinely funny comment with one that is bizarre. Or say something funny and then follow it up with comments that are also kind of funny, but increasingly bizarre until no one understands what the fuck I'm talking about anymore. If you can't beat em, confuse em.

                                            IV... Argue the living bejeezus out of anyone who posts anything I disagree with in the slightest.

                                            In the words of the Dos Equis guy - I don't always feed the trolls, but when I do I prefer to feed them prime, dry-aged steak.

                                            1. I'm bemused by these site threads where posters complain about idle chitchat and off topic posts that are wasting their valuable time. They'd rather spend that time learning serious things about area restaurants and food. But apparently meta discussions about other posters is not a waste of time. :)

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: paulj

                                                Hmmm, I don't see a single post on this thread that mentions a waste of time (other than yours) nor do I recall reading that on any threads on this topic.

                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                    Sorry, who has said anything about a waste of time?

                                                1. ******Announcement from Air-Marshal JR**********

                                                  Alright everyone I'm the air-marshal on this thread I'm going to request everyone take their assigned seat, place your seat trays up and your seat backs in their up-right position.

                                                  It seems this thread is starting to go a little off topic/course so I'm enacting my power as the thread Air Marshal to insure No Crazed People Hijack This Thread!!

                                                  {{quickly looks around the cabin of this thread}}

                                                  Ok........MGZ the no smoke rule includes weed, please put your stash in the over head bin.

                                                  SaraAshley..........I'm sorry I don't believe the body scan was conclusive I might have to pat you down.

                                                  Veggo........I think we are going to have to re-scan your shoe's please remove them and hand them over. Oh for Ch*st sake, someone have a pair of socks for Veggo? Yes Veggo I know what "going comando" means.

                                                  C' Oliver.....just look out your window please, there is nothing for you to learn here, we will return to the educational portion of this thread shortly.

                                                  MplsM ary.........please return the 73 maps of downtown Vegas you took from the "Wackadoo Center for Misinformation"

                                                  Nonnimuss.......actually yes our Capt on this flight is Captain Cukoo Banana's how did you know?

                                                  {{sniffing and looking around........what is that foul smell? Then I look down into my hand holding Veggo's shoes.....oh nevermind}}

                                                  CDawg......do me a favor my friend and hold these (hands over Veggo's shoes) Also help yourself to the mini bar cart my friend it's going to be a long flight.

                                                  John E.........I look over at him and I think to myself, he does look like an occasional culprit, note to self; watch John E.

                                                  Charmedgirl..........hello lil lady, don't let this post annoy you and cause this to be the first post you flag.

                                                  dbrodbeck.......I take a few packages of peanuts and toss them over to him, "here ya go brother.......these are for your consumption, don't feed any trolls"

                                                  Chowteam; Keep it down up there in first class, and I've got news for you, if I gotta drop a deuce mid air, I'm using your bathroom.

                                                  medrite......related answer; you did the right thing now just let it go

                                                  lingua.......I'm going to have to see your passport please it seems your on a watch list, yeah a fucking watch list. Don't think I'm going to allow you to mooch off our generosity.

                                                  sedimental.......if you don't want to get sucked in then please DO NOT flush while sitting on the toilet during flight.

                                                  beach chick........yes...yes, I hear you just give me a few minutes and I'll see what I can do to move your seat closer to MGZ's

                                                  daislander......you had a question as to why the kid next to you won't eat his snack? It's simple it's Obama's fault, everything is Obama's fault.

                                                  cowboyardee.........dam right don't feed the trolls a prime dry aged steak save that for your friendly air marshal!!

                                                  pauj......let me bemuse you; I think this thread is completely ridiculous and a prime example of how people try to hijack threads, thank goodness there is a Air Thread Marshal like me to forbid this!

                                                  I walk back up to the front of the plane.....thinking I have addressed everyone (if not my sincerest apologizes)

                                                  OK everyone....thank you for your time and patience during this thread topic re-adjustment. I think we are all back on track, all crazed people are being detained, there is a low thread of hijack at this time.

                                                  Please continue and thank you for flying Chow Air.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                        A few lucky guesses, jr. Yes, I wear sockless Teva's 360 days a year. But my feet are nicely pedicured. And Teva in Hebrew means nature, who would put a bomb in a such a shoe? Oy vey iz mir.
                                                        Better still, find a better use for my Boulder CO Crocs, after I step in doggie doo and I have a real Croc of shit!

                                                      2. Thanks all. I can now stop following this thread.
                                                        Edited to add - this topic has been a perfect illustration of the cool kids crapping all over a thread.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                                          No offense to anyone (certainly including the OP, because - honestly - I understand the impulse), but thinly veiled rants about other posters posing as actual productive threads kinda scream for a good derailing.

                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                            Yeah, things like "mean," "bitter," "Debbie Downers," "wallowing in a landfill," can certainly derail an honest discussion, can't they?

                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                              Certainly you aren't suggesting I was ranting here?

                                                              I wasn't talking about thread drift, and I know how to flag. I also know how to walk away from threads.

                                                              Thanks to the several people who have had a nice sense of comradeship and humor. In fact, I think pulling out a message like the announcement from the air marshall is a perfect way to respond to the sort of hijacking I was referring to. That's the best new idea as an answer to "what do you do" that I've seen.

                                                            2. You can flag it and advise the moderators that it is off topic.

                                                              1. We try to leave Site Talk open so people can talk about issues on the site, but at the point at which you're naming names of people you don't like, it's really not appropriate. We've removed a bunch of posts here and we're locking this thread.