Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Policies Policies

What is Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide’s policy on publishing comments made by other people?

Short summary:

  • It’s ok to be critical, but don’t be rude or nasty
  • Don’t criticise individuals
  • Use your real email address
  • If you’re connected with a venue (e.g. you work there, you work in a rival venue, or you know somebody who does), you must say so
  • If you need to report something to Environmental Health, do so directly, not via us
  • We might delete or edit your comment anyway, even if it complies with all these. Comments are reviewed after they have been posted.

Long version:

Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide includes the facility for third parties to make a comment. Users making a comment are not required to provide any personal information other than a genuine email address – this will never be published and only used to identify you or communicate privately with you about your comment. Checks maybe made to ensure the address used is real. The comments published represent the views of the commenter, and not necessarily Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide or its editors. Comments are not moderated or reviewed immediately, but from time to time editors will check comments and edit them if appropriate.

The commenting system is intended primarily to allow users to add their own views on a restaurant or eating place; it is not a discussion forum or announcements service and such comments will be discouraged. In particular commenters are encouraged to leave their own views and thoughts, not to be distracted by criticising other commenters – comments in this vein may be edited or deleted. It’s natural to disagree and Matt and Cat want to publish the whole range of views.

Comments are published entirely at Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide’s discretion and Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide may edit or delete any comment without notice or reason. Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide will normally edit or delete a comment that is spam, illegal,offensive, irrelevant, repetitive, making a personal attack or malicious; or uses a false email address. We discourage direct criticism of identifiable individuals. We do not normally publish discussion about any matter where Environmental Health are (or should be) involved, because a statutory regime already exists to address hygiene issues. As with a criminal matter where a prosecution is pending, there can be legal reasons not to publish that kind of information anyway. Spelling, style, grammar and stupidity will generally be left alone.

If you are a venue owner or have some association with it (for example you work there) you’re welcome to leave a comment yourself, as are your staff and customers. In fact we hope you will. Advertising announcements we discourage, although there’s nothing wrong with singing your own praises if you have made it clear who you are. You don’t even have to use your real name – we only ask that if you do comment, you must mention in your comment that you are connected with the establishment, and use a real email address (we do check, and using fake emails risks having your comment deleted). But if you are responding to criticism do be aware of the pitfalls of jumping in with both feet.We strongly recommend you take a deep breath, and whilst you’re thinking about what you might want to say read this wise advice before you write anything.

Comments may not be enabled for some posts and might be closed for others at the editors’ discretion. Persistent spammers or those who can’t follow the rules are banned. Occasionally legitimate comments are misidentified as spam. If you find you want to make a legitimate comment but you are banned then please email the editors to be unbanned.

Note also that comments once submitted may be reposted elsewhere, distributed, archived or used in other ways by Matt and Cat’s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide. Where appropriate, the commenter’s attribution will be given.

Is this an independent website? What does that actually mean?

We’ve always called our website independent. Like many adjectival descriptions such as ‘quality’ or ‘number one’, it’s hard to be sure what that actually means, as the term is so widely used as to be almost meaningless in many marketing contexts. So this is our take on it.

  • This is an independent website, not affiliated to any newspaper, shop, restaurant, café, or other catering organisation, offering independent restaurant and food reviews and other information about eating out on the Isle of Wight.
  • All reviews are undertaken anonymously, without notice, and full payment is made.
  • As is inevitable on a small island sometime Matt and Cat are recognised whilst reviewing, and if we become aware of this we will always say so in the review or comments.
  • No venue has ever paid to be reviewed on this website, either in money or in kind.
  • Promotional events, advertisements and articles which are not reviews will always be marked as such.
  • Although we do write for other publications, including the Isle of Wight County Press, everything written under the Matt and Cat name will follow these same standards unless we explicitly state otherwise.

Seriously, who are Matt and Cat? Why the secrecy?

Some people – usually people who’ve been on the rough edge of one of our reviews – really would like to find out who we are so they can put a stop to our activities. They write to our Internet Service Provider. They write to Matt’s employer, they write to Cat’s employer. They engage solicitors, and investigators. They ask questions of our friends. Seriously, all these things have happened. So far, if you’re reading this we are still here. So we thought it worth setting out our policy on anonymity for the avoidance of doubt.

We, as Matt and Cat, wish to remain anonymous and do not wish to publish pictures of ourselves, or not often anyway. This is purely to facilitate anonymous reviewing. We have no wish to hide from our responsibilities or appear to be devious. We can be contacted through this website at any time, and will answer enquiries using our real names in all likelihood. Plenty of people know who we are and where we live and work, and who our families are, and so on. You are not alone if you have discovered these things, and we won’t be worried if you threaten to reveal them. However if you do, you risk spoiling the enjoyment of those who do like to read this website.

So please do not contact our employers and complain about this website. It is nothing to do with them. The website is a private enterprise published solely by Pinkeye Graphics Ltd, to whom all enquiries may be addressed using the link at the bottom of every page.

Please also do not trouble our internet service providers. They are not liable for our work and not interested. Frankly, if you think this is offensive or immoral, you really don’t know much about the internet.

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