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On regional mindset, moderation, and what it means to be "off topic"

davis_sq_pro | Oct 4, 201311:14 AM

For the past couple of days on the Boston board we'd been having an interesting discussion on the nature of the forum. Whether it's biased in favor of expensive restaurants or famous chefs, and so on. The discussion took an interesting turn when someone mentioned differences between the Boston board and the New York board, and the France board.

... and then a moderator appeared, and now the entire discussion has been removed, replaced with this:

I immediately replied and said that I felt this was a mistake. My followup was removed, and I received an e-mail from a moderator telling me that they're "really trying to get this thread back onto the topic of food."

Here's the reply I e-mailed back. I'm curious if others here agree or disagree with me.

But why does the thread have to be on the topic of food? Isn't food, in a given region, about more than just the food?

Consider all of the following non-food topics that I don't believe you would moderate:

Regional styles

I want to add a new one to the list: Regional ideals and mindset

The average customer in the deep south, going to dinner, does not have the same expectations as does, e.g., the average customer in midtown Manhattan. Different perspectives change the way people interact with, and write about food. And this means that different regional boards on Chowhound naturally have different views on various topics. Discussion of these views should, in my opinion, definitely NOT be moderated. On the contrary, they should be encouraged. They build a sense of region, help more sharply define the focus of the board, and help foster a feeling of community.

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