Note To Obama: Dump The Community Blogs From Your WebsiteJune 8, 2008
One would have thought that the disclaimer was enough:
Content on blogs in My.BarackObama represents the opinions of community members and in no way should be interpreted as endorsed or approved by the campaign.
I watched this story develop in the blogosphere throughout the day, and now it has gone viral. The lesson: If you aren’t going to moderate this section of your website, you should probably just get rid of it altogether, since it can really do more harm than good as far as the campaign is concerned. There’s just too much room for subversion with it; anyone can post anything within minutes (as I proved to the LGFers, who have been spending the better part of the day sifting through the archives for anything antisemitic), and its a jungle out there (here).
I noticed that John McCain doesn’t have an open-forum community on his website, and it is probably for this reason. I know that letting the online community have a voice and providing a venue for open exchange of ideas probably sounds noble and good on paper, but the reality is that sometimes the most radical voices yell the loudest. If you leave it free for self moderation, before long your friendly community begins to look like a cesspool of hate, especially when you have those on the other side who are eager to latch on to the worst and spin it as indicative of the whole.