Open Town Hall is the most widely used public comment platform for governments. Open Town Hall differs from other web-based discussion platforms in catering to government, ensuring that the dialogue is legal and civil.
Open Town Hall says:
"Your community expects your forums to be free of profanity, personal attacks, and impertinent comments – but civility is not the norm on the web. We use in-house staff and patent-pending software to monitor every comment, and our forums follow the order and decorum of a government hearing to maintain civility."
Open Town Hall places a large emphasis on monitoring - both by humans and by software innovations - to ensure that the online discussion follows many of the procedures that might be in place in an actual hearing. Users are authenticated and limited to only one comment per topic, to ensure that single voices don't dominate. Monitors watch for any signs of "bullying," offensive language, and personal attacks.
Open Town Hall also caters to the legalities of government participation, ensuring that it's easy for governments to comply with monitoring and record-keeping rules, free speech rights, etc.
Two versions are available - an internal version for staff only and a public version to accept open comments - with pricing based on jurisdiction size.