It's no secret that many online publications struggle with how best to handle their comment sections. Should they allow anonymous comments? Should there be some kind of moderation? Well, it appears that the Sun Chronicle, which appears to be based in Massachusetts, has chosen to go to a pretty extreme position. Reader Shawn alerts us that The Sun Chronicle disabled their comment system a few months back, after it got upset about a few anonymous readers "disrupting" things. Shawn says "When the comments went away I found myself spending less time on the site but didnt care enough to complain." However, he recently went back and was surprised that, in order to comment you need to hand over your credit card
, and the paper will charge you $0.99. Obviously, this is more to prove that you are who you say you are, but it does seem a bit distorted when the newspaper wants to charge people just to comment. Also, once charged, your name and hometown are automatically associated with your comments. I can't see how that's all that appealing to most people. The newspaper says this is "a necessary step," but I'm not sure how many people in the community will agree. Instead, they might just go elsewhere.