Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Banned from Chowhound?

Have you been even banned from Chowhound or had your post mysteriously disappear? There seems to be a lot of this going on at this online message board/ forum about food. Slashfood had an interesting post about people being banned and posts being removed when they are unfavorable to the establishment they are talking about. I subscribe the feed for the Baltimore/DC area on Bloglines and I see this happen rather frequently. For example, yesterday someone posted a negative experience involving a Whole Foods store. It showed up on Bloglines as a new post but when I clicked on it to read and respond, it had been removed. From what I saw, it did not have particularly inflammatory speech or any foul language. I also noticed a post about the legality of bringing home an open bottle of wine from a restaurant in MD*. Why, then were they removed**? Is it some sort of fear of lawsuit on the part of Chow (who merged with Chowhound after their magazine folded and became online only) and Chowhound? You would think there would be some sort of warning (like there is on the commentary tracks of movies) that the views expressed are that of the person who posted and not Chowhound's, etc.

It is a shame because I like to hear about negative experiences as much as I do the positive and I would like the only regional forum (that I can find, and even so, we have to share it with DC and NOVA) to be more than just a "where can I find..." repository. Although I would like to know: where can I find affordable matcha powder in my area?

*Now legal, you just have to put it in the trunk.
**a response to removals from Chowhound can be found here but I don't think it makes much sense in these cases.