Members of an Aussie Facebook page are up in arms after the administrator revealed they will now be charged a retrospective joining fee.
The Mums the Word group provides advice and support to parents and helps put them in contact with useful contractors, and like the majority of closed community groups on Facebook, has been run without charge until now.
However in a lengthy post explaining the move, the group’s admin has revealed that all new members, and the 24,306 existing members will now be charged a $10 one off fee to cover the salary costs of running the page, monitoring comments and replying to messages.
"Managing and monitoring this wonderful Facebook page is a 24/7 job for me," she wrote, "I get messages on weekends, late at night, from 5:30am and everything in between and if I don’t respond they just keep coming."
"I ask that if you have ever found this group useful, if it’s every helped you find a babysitter, plumber, cleaning tip, baby support, parenting advice or anything at all and you’d like to give back or support then you can just click this safe and secure PayPal link."
Many members did the maths and calculated that if every existing member were to pay, the page’s moderators would pocket a cool $240,000.
In Australia, the majority of unpaid work such as this, childcare and housework, is done by women. A PwC report released last year valued it at a staggering $565,000 million, which would equate to the country’s largest single industry; making it more valuable than mining, healthcare, education and banking.
While there’s no disputing that it takes time and effort to run a page, some users suggested opening the group to advertising to monetise it, or threatened to start their own page that would be run for free.
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