A few days ago, Mashable put out an article about Facebook wanting to charge you $100 to send a message to its founder Mark Zuckerberg. But, I just discovered that Facebook also wants to charge the same fee for contacting me. Huh?
Listen, Facebook. This isn't cool.
Journalists are supposed to give a voice to the voiceless. I don't see how this helps our cause. How are people who don't know me supposed to send me story ideas? I'm sure viewers will only take this out on me... and I surely am not going to get a cut of this $100. And, even if I could, I wouldn't want it.
My media ownership group also required all of its employees to set up a Facebook page. So, if this rollout comes to my page, will the station take some accountability for the messages? Certainly not; that is insane.
I am just a local gal trying to cover the local news. As much as I'd like to think of myself as a really cool person, I'm simply not. I have always been accessible to people who want to be in touch, and this is really discouraging.
And, let this be a lesson to anyone out there. If it can happen to me, it can surely happen to anyone - journalists, public figures, actual cool people...
Why didn't Facebook give me a heads up? I might understand this more if there were verified Facebook users or a special designation given to those who come with $100 messaging. But again, I would've opted out.
This is troubling to me. Most of my viewers are still using Facebook.
UPDATE, 11:54 a.m. :
There's been a lot of discussion on Google Plus and Facebook since I wrote this post. A couple of things here - I understand that the messages can still come through to my "other" inbox. But, again, I don't want my accessibility to be associated with money. I do not take gifts or money for my work (payola), and I can't guarantee someone out there will know Facebook is behind this $100 fee.
Final thoughts, 24 hours later:
After a long day of talking about this post, I have some final thoughts in addition to what I posted above.
I realize this is only a test and that Facebook has to make money. That being said, I feel strongly that a journalist's accessibility should not be tied to money. In a real world perspective, if you walked up to me and offered me $100 to pitch a story, I would turn you down. I know it's under Facebook's discretion, but I would hope FB makes ethical decisions.
Another point - if you paid $100 to spam me, how much unsavory content would I have to endure? Would I have the opportunity to report it? Are spammers with $100 to burn better than poor people who may have a good idea?
The other box is a great idea, however I recently checked my other box and it had several legitimate messages that I missed. Why does it matter if I have an other box when I still need to check it everyday?
I finally found the way to get to the other box via mobile, but it wasn't a way that you'd assume. Either way, I know this isn't the end of the world, but I do hope people voice their concerns if they have them. I'm not looking for a fight, I'm just looking for some consideration.
CONTACT ME FOR FREE:
Michelle on Google Plus
PS - Thanks to my Google Plus friends Brian Parker and Stormy Henderson for bringing this to my attention. Also, as with every post on this site, this is MY opinion alone.