Angry Males in Eater's Comments Sections

Why are there so many grouchy, angry men posting in the comments section of Eater LA articles? It’s not this bad even on the Eater NY site. I don’t see these types of comments posted on other food websites. Is it an admin problem?


Eater is more lax about comments than many sites. I complained to an editor once, they said it wasn’t going to change, so I’ve never looked at their comments again. I presume somebody figures it increases ad revenues, and maybe it does.

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Ugh. Sometimes I want to say something, but am taken aback by the the virulence and attacks on the authors’ articles and on other commentators.


Curbed ain’t much better.

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And it’s the same people over and over again. It’s the reason I don’t bother posting comments.


words to live by on the internet.


I simply don’t read comments sections on sites that don’t moderate them adequately.

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Opinions strictly my own and not those of the publication(s) I work for:

That’s probably the key. If a person is the same way all the time do you really fault them for it or take umbrage to it? It’s their schtick. It’s our decision whether or not to care, I think @robert’s got the right idea.

On the other hand it’s always nice to have people weigh in and say what they thought was missing, which is adding to the discussion in the most literal way. I’m particularly grateful when folks are polite about it, too, but know that food is an emotional topic for people so understand if they’re not. If more folks added to the discussion with actually helpful and thoughtful comments, it would be easier to marginalize the angry ones. It’s just that outrage and self-indulgent/supercilious pedantry lowers the barriers to commenting better than genuine appreciation or curiosity does, which is a bummer.

That said, you can always be the change you want to see! And if I see comments that add to the discussion, I promise to try to reply in a thoughtful way to encourage productive discussion.

That is a lot of words, but it boils down to: - Ignore the trolls! We do!

Pretty much, except

  • not “we” since I only speak for myself and not the publication
  • add “maybe y’all should write helpful/thoughtful comments to drown out the trolls”

Yeah, that works so great in gaming.

You’re basically saying it’s our fault that Eater allows these comments and we are responsible for fixing it. Why? It’s not my website.


Whoa whoa let’s calm down

  1. No one is saying anything being anyone’s fault.
  2. No one is telling you to do anything; don’t comment, troll the comments,
    do whatever you want.
  3. Hope I’ve made this clear: I don’t speak on behalf of Eater/LA and I’m
    not going to speak on their moderation policies or what ought to be done.

I’m just pointing out a potential solution for self-moderation and how I
would help if more people posted helpful/thoughtful comments and decided to
build a community. I’m guessing you don’t find my suggestion helpful, in
which case, thanks for letting me know. But I’m not “basically saying”
anything you stated. Hope this clears things up.


If trolls or near-trolls have free rein to set a nasty tone, I don’t think there’s any hope for positive comments changing that.


So, instead of moderating the site, EaterLA would rather let the trolls run amuck, even if that means having limited participants? With all due respect, would you want to post on a site where negative posts prevail? I’ve seen people post “great article” only to be jumped on by the same rude posters. That’s very discouraging for the person who attempted to post something positive.

A perfect example is this story chain. The last comment is from July, and it’s a negative one at that. Only the first comment was a positive one. I don’t think it’s coincidence that no one posted after all the negative comments. I know I wouldn’t.

If EaterLA is ok with having limited participants, then they should keep doing what they are doing. But you can’t expect more people to participate when you have a hostile environment for new posters and lurkers.


These are the exact comments that sparked this thread! What is wrong with people? Keep scrolling if you are not interested. Start you ur own food blog/website/fanzine.


Nope, I don’t speak on behalf of Eater LA or what they would rather do, just speak for myself and the positive things I’ve experienced as a contributor to the site.

Yes, I use Facebook and Twitter and follow pages/personalities with a high volume of negative/vitriolic comments, and I don’t have a problem posting. I should also include that I’ve been writing for publication for a while, now, so I’m used to all sorts of crazy negative comments, very specific death threats (I used to write a sports column for my alma mater — our alumni really didn’t like Lane Kiffin), insults (mostly funny), etc. for what I’ve written, so I might be a pretty special case.

This is important for the folks at Eater LA to know @matthewkang and @FarleyElliott
I agree there’s a handful of fellas who like to ahem stir fry with the sauce, but for the most part I’ve experienced mostly pleasant commenters on my stories, with the worst being slightly passive-aggressive jabs at my taste if anything negative at all.

To prove this is not some sort of unicorn phenomenon, here are some examples of mostly productive/helpful comments (note, some of these articles will be outdated or have more recent updates):

This one actually got a new version TODAY so… RIP:

My favorite one where it gets a bit harmlessly racist/personal and myself and King Farlemagne get into it:

And actually, @Bookwich if this is you, this was the nicest comment I’ve ever received for anything in my entire life, so thank you for that:


So there is a lot of good going around, I think the trolls just come in waves and target the usual low-hanging fruit. I would really like to engender more positive conversation in ELA’s comment section so all of this feedback is great, by the way.

Hey everyone! Our moderation is handled offsite on the East Coast. It’s a robust team but one that handles all of our city sites and much more, so not everything negative gets the boot. Trust me, I probably get more public and private hate than anyone involved.

That said, Euno is right. Want more positive comments? I do! So go ahead and post nice things, and we will take them to heart. We all have the ability to help change cultural tone. It’s also important to note that while many of the comments that you’re seeing are negative in tone, they aren’t breaking our comment rules so they stay. People can flag comments they feel are particularly egregious, and the mods on the East Coast will see that, too.

At any rate: Comment nice things! I want nothing more than people thinking I’m doing a good job with my coverage, and saying so. Not blowing smoke, but general positivity is fine. And as ever: if you’ve got a problem or a comment you find particularly out of line, email me at

I’ve actually stopped reading the comments, too.
It’s nice to see that the writers do pay attention to constructive/relevant comments…I’m never certain they even look after all the nutjobs start throwing down.

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It’s kind of a long legacy of Eater, the rowdy comments section. It was crazy in the aughts with the anonymous commenters aka “gray boxes.” There are a few more aggressive voices that we’ve tried to curtail and manage over the years, but ultimately they’re the ones that have something to say. I do wish some more people in the FTC community could contribute more, shall we say, even-keeled thoughts. So please pitch in!

i’ve noticed that comments are often disabled when a list is redone reusing the same URL. is this just laziness on the part of the webmaster?