When the Obama administration embraced blogging, sans commenting, on the White House website there were a number of detractors saying that Obama had retreated from his campaign promise of providing a site enabling public discussions. The reasons why are fairly obvious, but Clive Thompson looks at how the WhiteHouse.gov blog could enable commenting and successfully/safely control trolls (the original link is currently 404. Google’s cache of the post is up).
If the White House were to use humans to filter posts, it could get into some dicey political situations. If it were to outright ban them, it could draw First Amendment lawsuits. So the genius of modern troll-taming techniques—leaving trollery intact, but mitigating its impact—neatly fits the bill.