Fredrick Brennan 
Member since Aug 23, 2012


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Re: “Dawn of the Digital Sweatshop

This story is far from well-researched. While it is true that 90% of turkers likely turk for a bit and then stop due to their inability to find any tasks that are worth their time, very few of us long-term turkers work for pennies an hour. There are plenty of professional requesters who pay fairly on Mechanical Turk, their work is just taken by us very quickly or we have qualifications that allow us to do it. Like any job, you need to work your way up. Yes, you work your way up from pennies an hour, but you can get to $16-20/hour if you're smart.

Which brings me to my next point: your attempt at turking was hilarious, Ms. Cushing. Did you know that that business card task is actually run by LinkedIn ("Oscar Smith"), and is mostly hosted to exploit poor Indian workers? http://mturkforum.com/showthread.php?1921-…

I hate it when the news media tries to decry microtasking in this way or doesn't get the whole story. Most tasks on mTurk are slave wages, but notice how long they're up too! That's because no one is doing them except poor new users to the service who don't know better, yet. I'm pretty sure those are the only people you talked to.

My main focus is getting new good requesters to join the site. And by this I definitely don't mean your "superstar" CEO of CrowdFlower/Dolores Labs. That guy should be in prison. If you think his tasks on mTurk are bad, you should take a look at some of the stuff he posts on other places like Inbox Dollars. His company's junk is all over the front page because no one does it seriously, that's why he needs to rely on horrendous quality control mechanisms to weed out spam or frustrated workers.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Fredrick Brennan on 08/23/2012 at 6:21 AM

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