As part of a new campaign to increase revenue, the Star Tribune has introduced a new pop-up featuring the alarming image of a flaming skull and live satellite footage of your current address whenever one’s weekly free article limit is reached.
The new feature aims to further unsettle and terrify visitors by playing a slowed-down version of the nursery rhyme “Ring Around The Rosie” mixed with menacing laughter. If brave visitors attempt to access a paywalled article a second time, the site will show a disembodied hand writing the phrase “pay me” on the screen in blood while a low-pitched voice breathes heavily and describes the room the website user is in.
“People have figured out ways to bypass our subscription system so what else can we do? This is the next best thing to displaying some kind of strobe effect that puts people into a suggestible trance-like state or threatening to play a high-pitched tone that rabid squirrels find sexually exciting” said Star Tribune owner Glen Taylor, “because those things are impossible. Trust me. We’ve tried.”
The Star Tribune says if this new tactic fails to raise subscriptions, they’ll be forced to begin a new strategy known ominously as “Plan X”.