I was looking at the discussion and user options, and I was wondering if WordPress will add support for comment whitelists, to automatically prevent people not on the whitelist from making comments. Or, perhaps WordPress could add a new kind of user role, to allow adding/editing comments but not articles? Thank you very much for your help.
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whitelists for commenters
In essence this can be effected by choosing this comment moderation option on this page -> Options -> Discussion
Comment author must have a previously approved comment
to automatically prevent people not on the whitelist from making comments
You can also ban someone's IP number also through Dashboard>Options>Discussion if they keep on causing a problem.
In case you want more specific instructions here is the FAQs reference link http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/05/07/can-i-stop-someone-from-leaving-comments-on-my-blog/
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