The Onion testing new online paywall, but still free for Americans

The Onion‘s website,, has begun testing a new system that charges for accessing more than five pages per month online.

But wait!

It doesn’t apply to you if you’re in America. Or if you visit The A.V. Club, The Onion‘s non-parody arts-and-entertainment section.

Sean O’Neal tried to ease readers fears by outlining the new rules, which I’ll paraphrase in bullet points:

  • The paywall impacts only international readers who access more than five articles within 30 days.
  • That’s articles, so the home page and section fronts are excluded from the count.
  • If you’re an American serving abroad in the military, your area also is excluded.

Get it? Got it? Good.

The Onion already charges readers to pay to read it on Kindles and Nooks. And as O’Neal says, people in the U.K. also are accustomed to paying for online content.

Huh. If only I could find a way to charge you to read this. One of these days…

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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