by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 22nd 2008 9:33pm
A few people have sent in the recent story about how Facebook has relied on volunteer users to translate the site into other languages. That story has resulted in something of a debate from users who feel that this is somehow exploiting these translators, since they're working for "free" for a company that is supposedly valued at $15 billion (despite revenues of about $150 million). This is the same old bogus Nicholas Carr argument that this is somehow exploitation because the users aren't getting paid in cash for their labor. That, of course, is missing the point. No one is being forced or compelled to do these translations. They're doing it because they are getting compensated in their own way. It's either recognition from the community, or merely the fact that doing this enables them to use Facebook more effectively -- and that's compensation enough. For the users who do the translation, it's obviously a fair trade, otherwise, why would they take part?
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