The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
The day-to-day life of a crowdsource worker is much more complicated than most are led to believe. It isn't just the dream job where you wake up at noon, and work for a few minutes when you get bored and randomly money appears in your pocket and you are able to pay all your bills. The current structure to monitor the community and keep the workers safe do a great job at what they are meant to do, which is exactly nothing. The largest, and realistically the only site to work on with any regularity for crowdsourced work, Amazon's Mechanical Turk also known as Mturk, doesn't even have so much as a single way for a worker to complain when the job posters decide to just mass reject all the work so that they don't have to pay. Amazon doesn't even attempt to help, why? Because they don't view the workers as important because the requester's are the ones who actually pay them, as far as workers go when they do something to cause us to stop working out of anger, or pain, or just so much disrespect that we stop going on for a while, all they do is open up the ability for people working in extremely poor countries to work. They don't even consider trying to make the environment safer for workers, why bother when they can just open up the jobs to non-English speakers until we decide to come back eventually since there is no other medium for us to go to. You would think that would be bad enough, but obviously not. Now Amazon is raising the rates for work done on Mturk, and saying that it is due to the fact that they have put so much work into making Mturk a better place. Now not only are they simply raising the rates they are quadrupling them, knowing that this is only going to mean even lower pay for the workers. When literally us workers are the only ones who make improvements by writing scripts to change everything from the broken interface that Amazon hasn't fixed in all these years, to fixing the individual job posts that are constantly broken, and to try to make the jobs a little faster with the same quality work to try to raise the pay rate at least slightly above a dollar an hour. On top of all that the requester will still just randomly reject workers on their hits that pay one cent for several minutes work, whether there are mistakes or not doesn't matter, which lowers our approval rates and makes it so that it becomes even harder for us to find work. This is not the time to simply sit back and let the huge companies make the rules, this is the time to say that there needs to be a fair pay agreement at least, with some idea of rights for the workers. Having access to an unlimited sized workforce is great for companies, but when you can pay that workforce a dollar for 12 hours worth of work and leave them lacking the tax to pay for a double cheeseburger at McDonald's, there is obviously something wrong.