How I Got Banned from Chowhound
I have been a big found of Chowhound since reading about it in a New Yorker article by Calvin Trillin a few years ago. I love everything about Chowhound, from the clunky site itself to the broader ethos of "Chowhounding".
Well, almost everything.
One of the site's rules forbids mentioning establishments in their "ban list", a list composed of eateries that engaged, or were perceived to have engaged in some type of shilling on the Chowhound site - i.e., restaurant insiders and/or affiliates posting biased reviews in an attempt to get some free marketing.
One of the restaurants in this list is Franny's, a terrific brick oven pizzeria right near my home. Apparently, someone from the restaurant fucked up when the place first opened and now they are part of the shit list. This sucks for both Franny's and anyone that wants to discuss Franny's on Chowhound. Now, people still do discuss Franny's (and other verboten restaurants), but as soon the thread is discovered, the volunteer Chowhound cops take it down.
I was pretty surprised one day last year to find this in my inbox,
"It's especially out of bounds ... to urge other participants to defy Chowhound policy and make our work more difficult and aggravating than it already is ... we urge you to find (or start) one run more to your liking by a team less deserving of your snide disrespect and vandalism. You're no longer welcome at Chowhound.com."
I'm not sure what's better - the disingenuous recommendation that I start my own food site, or being accused of vandalism.
It's just a message board people. Lighten the fuck up.