The Verge should use a freemium model.

The freemium model works for apps and would work for web sites also. The Verge should allow people to read the articles and comments for free, and charge to create an account and post comments. A small amount ($1-5) for a lifetime membership would be enough. The vast majority of people who read this site don't comment, so there's no real risk of losing readers.

The advantages of charging for an account:

  • Reduces spam
  • Better comments/behavior

People will be reluctant to behave inappropriately if it could mean losing their account and having to pay again to create another one. Perhaps people who pay (or pay extra) can have ads removed.