You should not have to pay to connect with other people. This is why you will always have the option to be part of Darcy for free. However, running an online community also involves hosting, as well as a variety of bureaucratic processes that have historically functioned as hidden labour. This includes reviewing reported content, legal compliance, spam-fighting, ensuring user-safety, protecting privacy, intellectual property.
We’re not looking to trick users into believing that technology can magically do everything without human labour. We also want to appropriately remunerate this important labour, without relying on practices that would treat users as product, such as harvesting and selling their data.