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Whitehouse.gov turns on the comments. Sort of.

To me, the coolest thing about WhiteHouse.gov going all social media on us is not that it shows that the White House knows about this stuff, or even that it understands that we now want the news to come to us. It’s that at the White House Facebook page, the comments are turned on.

I do understand why the WhiteHouse.gov site has been reluctant to allow us to leave comments on the official site. Oh, sure, you can fill out a form and submit it, but this knowingly commits the Fallacy of Scale, i.e., believing that anyone is going to read your message. We want at least to be able to read one another’s messages. But, I assume the staff is afraid that open commenting on White House blog posts will enable situations that are sticky beyond escape. What do you do when people get racist, anti-Muslim, and all around stupid? There are answers, but none are as good (from the White House media point of view) as not enabling the problem in the first place.

So, now WhiteHouse.gov is cross posting to its Facebook page. If you want to comment, go there. Because it’s not the White House’s site, trashy comments don’t littering the White House lawn. Facebook allows WhiteHouse.gov to distance itself sufficiently from the commenters to enable commenting. It’s a great step forward.

The next step: WhiteHouse.gov should respond to some of the comments, either in the comments area or in blog posts themselves.

Meanwhile: Well done, WhiteHouse.gov! Well done.

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