Friday, December 09, 2005

Chowhound Banning Draws More Curiousity, Ire

This latest in a series of pieces on Eater continues to shine light on the mysterious banning policy of food website, Chowhound.

Eater made reference to an older post of mine in which I decried Jim Leff and crew for banning yours truly. A number of you have asked what exactly I did to warrant a summary excommunication. A commenter implores,
so . . . give us the gorey [sic] details of your Vandalism. How indeed did you "urge others to defy CH policy"? You are now going to get a bit of traffic via Eater/Curbed so SPILL!

Ok, Anonymous, you got it. What follows is a complete transcript of the email I received from someone named "Harrison" over at Chowhound. It starts with my original offending post and concludes with the actual text that bans me.

Peep it,

From: Harrison []
Sent: Sunday, October 17, 2004 7:39 PM
To: Muk
Subject: Your posting on Chowhound

Posted by: Toon
Message Subject: Re(1): When is this "place that can't be named" crap gonna end?

I say just keep on posting, but make things snappy. One of the beneficial things about Chowhound's lack of resources and primitive technology is that it will take them a while to catch on.

I'm sure they even agree that the rules on banning are pretty crude, but if you've been around long enough you'll see that they are not really interested in discussing it.

Anyhoo, thanks for the post. Very helpful!



Our message board rules ( state:

"Users may not post under multiple 'handles' or nametags. Those doing so will be banned from our discussion."

It's especially out of bounds when someone dons an alias to urge other participants to defy Chowhound policy and make our work more difficult and aggravating than it already is -- as we struggle as volunteers on behalf of food lovers exactly like you to foster a reliable, honest resource.

You do have a choice of food forums, and 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

For Those Who Live To Eat

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I was a dick in the original Chowhound post. I certainly violated the "think before you post" credo. But still, did my transgression really warrant such a rebuke, especially given that I contributed to their book?

Another anonymous commenter has this to say,

I am a moderator myself -- not on CH, but elsewhere. I never ban someone until they've first received a warning, and defied it. Moreover, I nearly always provide a way for them to eventually return.

Hmm, I suspect that the Chowhound crew is just too busy for that kind of due process.

Alas. The exile continues.


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