Grocery Shoplifting Story Starts Commenter Shitstorm

Yesterday, Gothamist posted an interview with a Whole Foods shoplifter that got linked to from everywhere. Serious Eats wrote a quick post about it, and the normally cuddly commenters completely lost it, unleashing a fury as never seen before.

Nearly every other comment in the post was written in a tizzy of shock and anger that Serious Eats would dare post such a thing, using terms like "disappointed" and "pathetic," and even (gasp) casting shame upon Serious Eats. We post some of the best:

Said kimonkey7:

What the heck? Really? You're going to promote the bragging of those who steal? Uh...kinda makes me not care much for this blog.

Poor decision, guys. Really.

Martini Me:

Wow, really disappointed with SE on this one. I wasn't aware breaking the law was something to brag about. And shame on you for giving this guy "screen time" thusly encouraging his avarice. Dreadfully disappointed by this.


It's pathetic of SE to post this.


DON'T DO THIS AGAIN. As if Wholefoods wasn't expensive enough. Bad idea Serious Eats. Shame on both of you.


This is NOT a "food-related" story. It is a crime-related story and has no place on this blog.

Certainly, there were many comments in support of Serious Eats' decision to run the post, but they were drowned out by the expressively puritanical and law-abiding commenters.

We're fascinated by the negative comments — the readers have developed a deranged sense of ownership over Serious Eats, as if somehow regularly visiting a website grants them the ability to become arbiters of what should and shouldn't be posted. What we're seeing is that once the tone of a website (or any media for that matter) is set, anything that remotely diverges outside of the norm can cause a reactionary outcry.

You have to wonder: will this response cause the editors of Serious Eats (or any other site for that matter) to think twice before posting something a little too controversial or racy? Censorship by the unwashed masses!

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