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Banned on Chowhound: Chowhound Explains! (Sort Of)

While the Banned on Chowhound murmurs continue to arrive in our inbox with staccato regularity, a Chowhounder posts on the SiteTalk message board inquiring about the banning policies.

Explains our tipster, "Jim Leff himself didn't respond, but his 'team' did, posting links to past comments on the moderation policy without adding anything new. So apparently the deal is that, once they conclude that the restaurant—or anyone affiliated with the restaurant—has been 'shilling', then no further posts concerning that restaurant are permitted, even if they come from long-time Chowhounders who are clearly not shills. To put it another way, they can't tell who's a shill, so they assume everyone is."

Makes a crazy kind of sense, no? Meanwhile, bonus Banned on Chowhound coverage after the jump: an email to a Chowhounder explaining why his posts about Amma were Banned on Chowhound way back in 2004. (N.B. the genius "opens the door for more shenanigans" policy.)

Subject: Re: upscale indian thread
From: [redacted]
Date: Sat, 01 May 2004 19:01:35 -0400
To: [redacted]

Hi [redacted], sorry about this, but we'd like to explain why your posting was deleted. We are not currently accepting postings about Amma Restaurant, because we've seen a slew of suspicious postings about it. Your posting wasn't suspicious at ALL, since you were merely responding, but the problem is this: it could open the door for more shenanigans by those who'd reply. We're not sure who's responsible, but for the time being, we think it prudent to take this one place "off our table" so to speak.

We hate to restrict true/blue hounds like you (hey, we work hard to empower everyone to offer their opinions loud/clear!), but the integrity of Chowhound is paramount. By watching out for suspicious postings, we ensure that Chowhound remains an honest and reliable resource (amazingly so, when you think about the temptations for guerilla marketing)!

Again, we'd like to emphasize that you did nothing wrong and we're not at all suspicious of you. You just accidentally wandered into this, and we ask you to please accept our apologies.

[name redacted]

· Jim... Can You Comment? [Chowhound SiteTalk]
· Banned on Chowhound: Brooklyn, Borough of Deceit [~E~]
· Banned on Chowhound: Banned in Park Slope [~E~]
· Banned on Chowhound: Ici... Et Vous? [~E~]