Chowhound – Bye bye

Well, here’s my second draft. The first draft was a pretty well crafted rant about Chowhound. But I think it’s all been said before and recently by Sam and Fatemeh and a few others here in the SF Bay Area.
Suffice it to say, “Good bye Chowhound. It was fun for a while, but your lack of thoughtfulness to your posters has caused me to remove you from my bookmarks. And the grief you’ve caused to chefs and restaurant owners is unforgivable.”
ps – It’s easy to criticize and I thought maybe I should offer up a suggestion or two. If an entry needs to be removed or edited, the poster should receive and email letting them know what’s going on and why it should be removed or edited. Offer some support, some ideas, assist your posters in becoming better at what they do. There needs to be some way the restaurant owners, cooks and chefs and/or staff can have a venue too. Why does there have to be such a gap between us and them? It doesn’t seem right. There needs to be an open communication so service and food can improve. Instead, it’s a bitter chew for the owner who can’t stand up for their establishment. Why is this important? Diners can be nitwits too and expect too much or have the concept completely wrong.
There, that sets it right for me.

13 thoughts on “Chowhound – Bye bye

  1. My patience with Chowhound is also wearing thin. The invisible “Chowhoud Team” censors content arbitrarily and inconsistently. It is incredibly frustrating to craft thoughtful posts only to see them deleted without warning or appeal. Despite the appearance of openess on the surface level, when one really gets to know Chowhound, it seems to be merely a cult run by the founder and his acolytes.

  2. Welcome to the club!
    I’ll be making up some anti-Chowhound t-shirts and stickers before long and making a killing off of them.

  3. I am beyond frustrated with Chowhound- I find it almost ironic that under their “site feedback” I posted several complaints about their arbitrarily deleting my posts- and they did not post my complaint. Instead of bashing them however, I propose that someone in internet land creates a more open forum for chowhounders who are sick and tired of chowhound.

  4. Chowhound has become a big joke in my opion. The moderators are so a-retentive that I’ve given up. Apart from deleting posts at their whim (and without explanation), the banning of restaurants they find suspect and the over-kill posts on others without deletion, is pathetic.
    Just have a look at the Toronto board. The same old “experts” keep posting day in and out. It’s become more of a pseudo-chat cult, rather than an open forum. With all the great spots to eat in Toronto, why must the topics of burgers, wings and pizza keep getting the largest amount of posts? Give me a break! Chow to Chowhound from this disgruntled one!

  5. Hey Digsy,
    In their defense, moderating that board must be an insane job. It must be easier to just remove a thread or post and move on to another.
    However, food and restaurants tend to be such a deep love for everyone that when you ‘mess’ with it, you’re going to get a nasty backlash.
    The complete lack of allowed interraction from restaurant owners and staff is beyond reproach. A post on CH could and does hurt their bottom line, if it isn’t positive or at least on an even line. What the HELL if someone’s mother died and a few staff had to run away that night? A Chowhounder arrives and badmouths the service? They’re screwed for being sympathetic to their employees.
    Here’s the bottom line. If a restaurant is that bad or bad enough, and serving nasty food with nasty service, they’re going to fail in any case.
    Someone needs to jack in a site with some competition and give them a run for their money.
    WHERE ARE YOU !?!?!?!??

  6. “The tap water at Jack & Dyl’s is great!”
    I made the above post at and it was censored. Admittedly, it was a sarcastic comment. Nonetheless, it was petty of the chowhound censors to remove it.

  7. Hey Craig,
    Yeah, see. There’s probably millions of posts that have been removed. What remains may or may not be the whole story. You just don’t know.
    Such a shame.

  8. I do understand that Chowhound’s moderators are trying to keep their boards hype-free. However, I’m in agreement with Digsy on the Toronto board.
    One example was the deletion of a number of posts about a particular eatery that I’ve been frequenting for years. It was great to see both the pro and con comments people were posting, with the majority favouring the pro. However, one poster who seemed to do nothing but hype a nearby restaurant (which was getting mixed reviews), had the audacity to insinuate that there were shills at work. The irony being that they had made only one other post that talked about another eatery!
    All of the posts pertaining to my favourite place were removed, as were the accusors.
    So where’s the logic with the moderators?

  9. Hey Babbler,
    That’s just it, the logic isn’t moral. It serves their own needs and their direction. It misleads the general public and completely excludes the servers, greeters & the people in the back. They have NO say.
    Everyone, and I mean everyone, understands the need to moderate. You won’t want a train wreck or superfluous information. You can’t have someone talking about the tennis courts next door, it needs to be about the restaurant and its product.
    The problem many of us have, is that it isn’t about that. It’s a dictatorship that lies to the huddled masses, not like that honest dictatorship.
    In any case, nyah.

  10. I recently had several posts removed for expressing concern about buying food ingredients produced in China. I received no explanation as to why it was removed. When I complained in “site talk” that was also removed.

  11. Well well… glad to see I’m not the only person targeted as I thought.
    I’ve opened discussions in the past only to get them deleted on me. I’ve seen other people open very similar discussions but they’re let them continue on.
    Chow forums being long and difficult to navigate as is I’ve tried to post a link to a recipe from my blog and it gets deleted with a long email from chowmods going on about self promotion and what not, steering people away from their site … or as they put it “We need to stave off the considerable desire to use our loud microphone for promotion”
    Why so threatened? Chow has been a valuable tool, it has it’s place and if it treats it’s members nicely then it should be just fine.
    A lot of us in the home cooking board like to discuss and talk about recipes, why would a tiny blog with a few recipes threaten them? I’ve seen links to blogs like smitten kitchen, so what! What about foodgawker?! Isn’t that too threatening?!! Fabulous pictures, great recipes. Blogs have become a great tool with pictures and clear detailed instruction on food prep and recipes. I really don’t get the reason for all the deletes.
    What I don’t get in the inconsistency, if they say no blogs then no blogs should be posted AT ALL! Tired of seeing others post their blogs but my posts constantly get deleted.
    I’m about to walk away.