Welcome to LTH Forum. We look forward to your contributions, and hope to meet you and break bread one of these days.
NOTE: The vast majority of you know perfectly well how to keep a forum like this running, useful and pleasant, so please don’t take the creation of these guidelines as a sign that anybody plans to breathe down anybody’s neck. But this is a moderated forum, and we think it fair that you have some idea of how we will moderate. So here it is.
If we were to reduce the entire LTH Forum posting policy to four words, it would be these: Be civil. Be relevant.
Here are the guidelines behind those guidelines:
- Topicality is important. The closer we all stick to food and Chicago, the more useful and enjoyable the board will be. Please keep this in mind even when conversations inevitably digress.
- Posts and posters of all kinds, from highly expert to casually interested, are welcome here. But some kinds of posts can detract from the value of the site. Flamethrowing, trolling, baiting, and other sorts of Internet-speak for causing trouble do nothing for the community but unite it against you. If nothing else, please remember before you respond to someone that there’s a good chance you’ll actually MEET in person eventually. Play nice.
- Sometimes food conversations have political or religious implications. We don’t want to stifle talk that brings in that larger world, but there comes a point where a discussion leaves the road of culinary chat and takes off for a completely different destination—at which point it belongs on a completely different board. So here’s a pocket guide:
- Talking about a mayor who cooks killer waffles is good.
- Talking about a mayor who kills waffle cookers is starting to drift.
- Talking about a mayor who waffles on killings in Cook County is off-topic.
- Some types of posts have legal implications for you and the site. Please refrain from accusations of criminal activity, health code violations, or other wrongdoing. If your complaint is serious and provable, please take it to the proper authorities. Further, we find reports of restaurant and purveyor violations or closures, regardless of the circumstances, to be an area ripe for competitor abuse. We will remove these posts unless substantiated with a published source, e.g. a link to a quality published account.
- Please do not post material that does not belong to you, including material that is copyrighted to anyone other than yourself. In the case of articles posted elsewhere, short passages may be quoted in our forums.
- Please do not post or link to obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit material. And let’s keep lewd and violent discussion under control.
- Don’t shill! Don’t use more than one handle! Your overall credibility, based on one name and a track record of honest posts, is part of the value of every post you make. So don’t dilute it, and recognize that we reserve the right to enforce this rule more strictly when we are forced to.
- Disclose any special relationship (be it owner, employee, friend, relative or frequent customer) you have with an establishment you’re discussing. Make sure you provide enough information so that readers know where you’re coming from, including if any portion of your meal has been comped.
- If you’re in the food and restaurant biz, we’re quite happy to have you join the community. Please be upfront about your professional status whenever it relates to what you’re posting about. You can include this info in your profile, in your signature, and most importantly, in your conversations as relevant. We welcome your insights and contributions.
- Please read the Reference Forum, as it will give you all sorts of useful information on how to post and use the Forum.
- Please, do not post contentless links back to your blog or website. We are a discussion site and want to remain true to this mission, so please use our forums to discuss, not post self-promotional links. If you solicit information from lthforum.com, we expect that you will post any resulting content here in our forums, in addition to at your own site (and that in such instances, you will properly cite lthforum.com when posting elsewhere).
- Please use the ‘EDIT’ feature judiciously. This feature is meant to make meaningful, useful, and minor edits to your existing posts. When editing, please keep continuity in mind and do not remove large portions of content. Also, keep in mind that when you edit, other readers are not notified of the update. Please err on the side of adding to a thread, rather than editing a post. Any posts that are altered or removed using the ‘EDIT’ feature can and may be restored at the moderators’ discretion.
- To avoid all appearances of impropriety, please do not use the name “LTH” or “LTH Forum” when making reservations at an establishment. We do not want operators to feel they are being pressured, strong-armed or influenced to provide comps or special treatment. It is absolutely unacceptable to use the LTH name in such a manner, so please refrain from doing so.
Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in suspension from LTHForum — or deactivation of a member’s account — at the discretion of the moderators.
Finally, we don’t intend to have a purely virtual community. We like to eat and we like to gather and we especially like to do both together. And we hope you do too! Please scan the events board to see where and when LTHers are gathering, and (pretty) please join us. Don’t be intimidated because some folks already know each other–there are new faces at each and every gathering.