What is the power structure of this site?

Is there a running list somewhere who the mods are of the different individual boards, and, if there is a hierarchy of mods, who the super mods are, the super-duper ones, and so forth? I ask because we had a curious incident on the Boston board when somebody I’ve never heard of, and who seems never to have posted anything useful there, suddenly descended from the skies to do “house keeping” on a discussion:

Who is this person, and what is his or her authority? Without a transparent moderation structure and a clear accounting of who runs what, this site could easily go down the same tubes that chowhound did. That’s not the kind of site I want to continue to patronize.

Did you see the “shield” symbol next to the screen name. That symbol indicates the poster is a Mod at HO.

I am unaware of any list.

Yes on the shield next to names. The mod you mention has been involved in the site since I’ve been around which was darn close to the start.

I also post on the Boston board but never paid attention to who “our” Mod is. We dont have a lot of problems typically. All the mods are volunteers (to my knowledge) so I’m sure they come and go and fill in for one another.

You’ll have to decide how you feel about the moderation and if you want to participate - that’s completely up to you. Im not sure what your concern was with the scrubbing (I was following the thread and my post was scrubbed) so not sure how to give my opinion in a meaningful way.

That said - I’ve been happy with the Mods 99% of the time. It’s a thankless job.


Regarding the house keeping. Im not sure how much you saw of the thread before the housekeeping. That is always a hiccup in the house cleaning. If you didn’t see what was scrubbed you will always be skeptical.

I will say that there are a few mercurial posters that post things that should be scrubbed - and they were. The problem I have is that in scrubbing them the general population never sees the full extent of some poster’s behavior. But I’m happier with the scrubbing.


I blinked and missed the drama on that harmless little unassuming Cape Cod thread. I saw reference to it over on CH today about a crying Onion… I seriously doubt that. Without knowing what was actually said I would think the Mod here handled it properly, But curiosity still wants me to see what was actually said…I mean how bad could it have possibly been?

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There are no mods on the Boston board. The mod who posted the note that you referenced to was not the mod who removed the post. The mod who removed your post removed 4 or 5 of the latest posts of the discussion at the time, and your post got caught because its sandwiched amongst the other posts. That’s all there is. Not sure if that was communicated at the time, though in many occasions we don’t have the ability to communicate to every participant why their posts are removed. And sometimes if removing all the latest posts will calm the discussion down because they are all intertwined, we may do that. Although participants may disagree, of course.

If there are Boston participants who are happy to volunteer to be moderators, we are happy to have him/her because they will know their participants better. Right now, every time we have an issue on the Boston board, which admittedly is not often, we don’t have a good ‘local’ resource to really understand the context. For context, a couple of people we recruited for the Boston board in the past explicitly asked not to have moderation duties, which is the reason we never had a mod for the Boston board. And I pointed out in our moderation discussion also that in my very occasional read of Boston posts that you have always been great.

Participants may sometimes disagree with our moderation decisions. We understand. But the one thing I’d point out- It is not fair to compare Hungry Onion to Chowhound of today. We are a site run by unpaid volunteers who are offering their time and effort to keep the site running for the love of food and community. Chowhound is a discussion forum with millions of dollars of ad venue and a full time staff at a physical office in San Francisco.


I’m not a mod. I don’t participate in any of the local sections - only Cooking and Culture. I have been a moderator on many fora and several times an administrator. To my knowledge none of my posts on HO has been moderated. As one of the hoi polloi it is my opinion that moderation here is generally well done and with a very light touch. Looking at the list of mods I was rather surprised that about half the mods are known to me. They are active contributors to the HO community at large in addition to their moderation duties. For me, that falls in the category of “best practice.”

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The mod who initially deleted a post on that thread is a mod from another board - I think they made that point. They were stepping in in to delete what had been determined to be an abusive post directed at another contributor. That was my post and, yes, it was abusive and had been intended to be abusive. No apologies there. I accept that the mods can do this and I am usually content with their decisions. I did not accept it this time as the post I had responded to was still on view and, I had considered, fully merited my remarks. And I posted to that effect. The mod and I had an amicable exchange of PMs. Subsequently, another mod took a look at the thread and deleted further posts of mine and the posts of the person I had taken issue with. I had not noted that Thimes’s post had been deleted but can understand, in the context of the other exchanges being deleted, that it was no longer relevent to anything or anything to be concerned about (although in a PM, I had drawn the original mod’s attention to the wording).

It is now a tidy thread which, hopefully, assists the OP in planning their holiday on Cape Cod.


In RL, we’d shake hands and go for a beer. I still have so much to learn about online. forums.

If I have never said thanks to the volunteers at HO, I am now.


In real life, few would feel able to be as unpleasant face-to-face as they sometimes can online. Me included - although on all forums I use, I post under my real name (or, as here, have my real name in my profile), so that does mean most of the time I exercise caution over my language,as I am reasonably easy to find. A few minutes Googling and access to a couple of pay to view sites and you could be knocking on my front door within the hour (although not from the western side of the Atlantic of course :smiley: )


I’ve met some pretty unkind even angry people in RL. :wink:

What surprises me is the trap easily ignited by disagreeing on a food forum. It’s obvious opinions differ. It’s easy to read tone. There are bigger battles worth caring about when moderation can be alerted, sweep comments or close topics in minutes.

Take the solution that everyone is going to type their views, share their experience and enjoy the colorful exchange is why I like the forum in the first place.

My only exit strategy is letting my eyeballs rest when i need a break…and fwiw I do the same thing in RL.



So now I hope it’s been established that “this person”, myself, am an actual moderator on this site though not the Boston page. Although you tagged me in this thread, I wanted to wait for others to respond so you wouldn’t have to “take my word” for who I was or under what authority I was under.

Now that the formalities are out of the way let me introduce myself to you, I am NotJr / Bob and I am a co-moderator of the NJ board with my esteemed colleague @seal.

As @sck explained (FYI he is the boss here, we moderators volunteer and are all equal, there are no super mod’s as you ask - at least that I’m not aware of but if some of you mod’s get to wear capes and super hero / mod costumes I’m going to be very upset I’m not included) there is no Moderator for the Boston board so I was initially stepping in to try to keep things on track. There was a flagged post, that I agreed should have been removed. That is exactly what I did, and I reported my actions on our “back-channel” moderators page. From there another mod more familiar with the board and players involved moved in and did some further clean up, this is where your message was removed.

For my actions I made my “presence” known by my post which you linked above. I reported my actions and that was the extent of my involvement in that thread. My apologies for your thoughts of something more nefarious going on, but as I hope you can see I acted as transparently as possible.

Being an active member here I hope your experiences thus far have been to your satisfaction and I certainly hope this “unique” situation hasn’t soured your opinions of continuing to be valued member of the site. In the future I welcome you to come to me directly if you have any questions, etc. Although I am the NJ Co-Mod I’m still here to assist anyone, anywhere, anyway that I can.

With that said I hope we have clarified this for you and I do wish you continued enjoyment and participation on Hungry Onion!! Nice to formally meet you, sorry for the circumstances surrounding it !

NotJr / Bob


I’d like to jump in here. Based on my experience on other boards a back channel is common and really good practice. It contributes to consistent moderation and the same standards across the board (ha!). It helps to keep personalities from affecting moderation.


Absolutely. Consistency is key to a well moderated board.

I remember some years back on a military history forum, I was the subject of a mods debate about whether I should be suspended. Yes, I have a history of occasional abusive posts. The mod group debated it for a couple of days, concluding that I should be suspended but no immediate decision taken as to how long. One mod, who I sort of knew personally was tasked with phoning me to suggest that an apology would merit only a short suspension. I took the much longer suspension - guy had deserved receiving every word in my post.

Good to know. History buff by any chance? :wink:

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Yes. And a researcher and author which makes me a tiny amount of money. You would not believe the intensity with which aspects of World War 1 can be debated and from some very fixed positions. Although I suspect there are websites where the War Between the States is similarly debated.

With regards to housekeeping - I’d like the mods to consider a slightly altered approach.

In situations which seem to follow the following structure, consider scrubbing the entire post sequence including the original post.

Poster A - post a review/opinion
Poster B - posts an alternate opinion
Poster A - takes offense and begins a tirade.

By leaving the original post of Poster A, you are essentially rewarding the behavior of tirades because you effectively eliminate the contrary opinion of Poster B, which seems to have been what was the desired outcome.

The desired behavior, I would think, is that if Poster b’s post was outside the lines of OH. Poster A should flag the post and let the mods handle it.

To achieve the desired behavior - it seems the most equitable and least biased solution would be to eliminate all associated posts, including the original, thereby not rewarding anyone.

Something to think about.


How about no ice cream after dinner?


This is not an unreasonable suggestion.

Although, personally, I am not in favour of any posts being deleted unless they are illegal. I understand that deletions tidy up a thread but I would rather a person’s words stand so that others can see them and form their own view of the contributor. My memory is not what it used to be, but I cannot recall ever reporting the wording of apost to the mods and I have no intention of ever doing so. I will, however, always respond directly to another contributor who offends me.

That said, as the person in this particular matter who has had their original post remain in place, I do not consider this to be a “reward”. And am disappointed that anyone might consider it in that light. I shall restrain myself from yet another tirade which was my initial reaction when I read your post - which follows your deleted post on the original thread. Let us not pretend that you are an unbiased commentator on this matter.


So if Poster A “takes offense,” then Poster A’s original post - which there was nothing wrong with - gets deleted? That makes no sense at all. It’s not the review/opinion that’s a problem, or the alternate opinion. It’s the tirade, and that’s the only thing that should get scrubbed. Except that I don’t think taking offense OR a tirade is necessarily a reason to delete a post. I believe people should be allowed to have and defend strong opinions, as long as they don’t resort to abusive language.