The world of online public discourse has had its darker side for some time. One of the more unpleasant aspects is the act of trolling: posting inflammatory messages with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response. But when public officials get involved in this juvenile act, it can become really messy.
That’s what happened when a small cadre of misbehaving prosecutors posted anonymous comments relating to the allegations of corruption against former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on the Times-Picayune website. One post about Nagin read, “You three stooges wrought upon this city one disaster after another.”