When you register for a free membership on CHOW, you get to do everything the site has to offer: comment on articles, review recipes and sign-up for newsletters. You can also ask questions, start discussions and share photos and links in our Chowhound community. Here are a few guidelines to make sure everybody has a great experience:
Keep It Fun
Talking about food should be fun! Chowhound is all about the friendly sharing of information, so if you disagree with someone, make sure you are still being respectful. Comments made online can read a bit harsher than if they were said in person, so give others the benefit of the doubt if they seem less than friendly.
The information you share about a restaurant or business is only helpful if it paints an honest picture of what to expect. Please be accurate and detailed about the food, service, and general experience you had at a restaurant. If you’re connected to a restaurant or its owners or staff, or if you get special treatment in a restaurant, please be sure to disclose that when you post about it.
Focus on Food
There are lots of food-related subjects to talk about and lots of angles to approach them from, so there shouldn’t be any shortage of things to discuss. Of course, discussions drift, and sometimes issues that are only tangentially about food come up. Try to stay focused on food and if the conversation gets off track, please try to bring it back to the topic.
If you get a great tip from Chowhound, the best way of saying thanks is to report back on where and what you ate, and how it turned out. More opinions are always helpful!
If you're asking for recommendations, include as many details as possible: where you'll be, your budget, how far you can travel, what you like and dislike, your dietary restrictions, etc. And if you're answering a question or posting a review, include details about what you tried and why you liked it (or not!) so others can get the most out of your info.
Tell Us Your Concerns
If you see other members you think aren't following these guidelines, you can Flag the posts to bring them to our attention. Though we may not be able to contact you about the result, our moderation team will check out each Flag.
The discussion of food covers a wide range of topics, but certain posts are against CHOW’s site rules. For more information about these rules and to see others, visit our FAQ.
Personal attacks and offensive language are not permitted. We welcome friendly disagreement about food and restaurants (even encourage it!), but it’s never OK to call people names or tell them what to post.
Reports of Food Poisoning, Insects, and Other Health Code Violations
Posts alleging food poisoning and other restaurant health-code violations (like finding bugs or other foreign objects in your food) are not permitted. An online discussion forum is not the place to report urgent and serious public health concerns. If you notice something, please tell the authorities.
Spamming and Shilling
Please don’t spam our community with information about your restaurant, product or blog. It’s okay to talk about them here, but please participate in the conversation, don’t just come here to post a bunch of self-promotional items. Shilling -- posting fake recommendations and reviews -- is also forbidden; if you’re connected to a business or website, you must disclose that each time you post about it.
Don’t post copyrighted materials from other sources. It’s OK to summarize a review or article, or quote a few lines and link to the original source if it’s accessible on the Web. And for recipes, feel free to copy ingredient lists verbatim, but please paraphrase the instructions and make a note of that in your post.
Our staff and volunteer moderators are here to help people enjoy the site, to keep the discussion on track, and to maintain friendly, honest conversations. Although we hope to preserve everyone’s contributions, we do reserve the right to move or remove any posting without notice or explanation, at our sole discretion.
You can find more information about our guidelines, as well as how-tos for using the site, in the FAQ. If you have a question about a specific post or discussion, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. General questions or reports of technical problems can be posted on the Site Talk board.