The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to get the most feathers with the least hissing - Jeane Baptiste Colbert
SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook is still trying out its system that lets normal punters send messages to high profile users and celebrities.
We reported on tests of the system in January. Then we learned that you could send a message to Mark Zuckerberg for the bargain price of $100.
Facebook confirmed this, saying that it is an extreme example of attempts to step on spam. "We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam," it said in a statement.
This weekend details emerged about the UK system and the prices users will have to pay to whisper nothings into the inboxes of their more famous peers.
According to the Daily Mail a sliding scale of charges means that you can pay just over a tenner to send a message to Olympic swimmer Tom Daley, or less than a quid to say "Yo" to Miranda Hart.
While we are waiting for Facebook to confirm the details we are looking under sofa cushions for loose change.
There is apparently a base rate of 71p for sending a message and this applies everyone from the man down the street to some celebrities. We feel sorry for those celebrities who are lumped in with ordinary people.
It does not seem like too much of a hardship to spend 71p to send a message to UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, for example.
However, Facebook said that the charge will discourage users, but perhaps it doesn't really know the internet, after all. Back in December it said that the fee would be a deterrent.
"Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful," it said. µ