Late Friday afternoon, The Huffington Post announced its latest way to get free content from writers. According to Forbes, "The Huffington Post’s best response to those critics who accuse it of exploiting writers by not paying them has always been the libertarian one: Within the boundaries of the law, consenting adults are free to enter into whatever sorts of arrangements they choose, even one that involves donating their labor to a for-profit corporation. But what about when those writers aren’t adults?" Yes, that's right, kids as young as 13 are being invited to provide content for Patch, which is run by the Huffington Post Media Group.
Today on Advertising Age, "Patch 'is churning out one piece of content every 9 seconds.' That's what this is about, folks: churn. Page views. And getting unpaid children to help AOL shovel content -- digital coal -- into its page-view oven. Quite simply, AOL/HuffPo intends to monetize the work of minors earning $0/hour. On Patch and HuffPost High School, it will sell ads against content created by minors -- but it will not share advertising revenue with those minors."
The National Writers Union is committed to establishing a living wage for all freelance writers. For more campaign updates, sign up at www.PayTheWriter.org