Newsletter 3

Welcome to our 3rd Newsletter

Our June 2020 newsletter. Please update your profile to continue receiving our newsletters. Let us know if you would like to keep getting the newsletter by updating your “newsletter opt-in”at
We will be sending a newsletter out once a month to keep you up to date with what is going on at Turkopticon. See the bottom of the newsletter for how you can submit short articles.

“Turking IS a job. I am asking you to own it with me. I am asking you to stand up with me for proper treatment. I am asking you to be proud of the work you do and I am asking you to help change the narrative.” Read on below for Turkopticon committee member “Krystal Kauffman” on “Turking is a Job.”

Calling All Requesters!

Turkopticon is hosting a Requester Communication Workshop for requesters on Wednesday, June 24 at 2:00pm EST. Join the Turkopticon organizing committee to talk about a variety of topics. Please join us! We will be talking about a variety of topics and would love for you to join us! If you are interested please contact us at

Join Us on Facebook!

The Turkopticon community is growing!  Our Facebook page went live on Thursday, June 4th and we would love for you to join us. Participate in the conversations, learn about upcoming projects, and stay up to date on the latest news by giving us a “like.” You can find the page by searching for Turkopticon or visiting

I recently spoke with a friend I had not talked to for several months. As with most “catch-up” conversations, the topic of jobs came up quickly. She asked me how things were going for me with work. I told her that since the height of COVID-19 in the United States some of the work had dwindled as companies and universities were shutting down. I explained how frustrating it was. I told her how I was taking whatever work I could, even if the pay was low. She meant well but she said the thing that I cannot stand hearing:“It is too bad that you can’t work a real job.”

I know I am not the only turker who has heard this or something similar. Of course I wanted to say so many different things in response but I didn’t. This did make me think long and hard about how I feel about what I do, however.

I wake up in the morning, grab my caffeine of choice, and sit down at my desk. Sometimes I don’t turn my computer off at night so programs searching for work can continue to run. Sometimes I do shut it down only to have everything back up
and running just hours later. Screens pop up in front of me listing the day’s current work opportunities on AMT. My day starts out the same as it does for tens of thousands of other workers. Even though we rarely meet the other people who do the same work we do, we know they are out there.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition, defines ‘job’ as listed below:

Noun, A regular activity performed in exchange for payment, especially as one’s trade, occupation, or profession.

Noun, A position of employment.

Noun, A task that must be done.

Noun, A specified duty or responsibility: synonym: task.

Check, check, check, and check.

I applied to work on AMT and went through their verification process. I anxiously awaited the email that would tell me if they had accepted me. Luckily they did and I went through the probationary period. I trained myself by seeking out other workers on Facebook, watching YouTube videos, and visiting forums. I work every day on tasks and have for the last five years. I constantly test for qualifications for new work. I am a turker by profession and am referred to as
such by AMT and the requesters who use the platform.

Turking is a job.

Some American turkers receive 1099 forms from AMT for tax purposes. We include our Amazon income, 1099 or not, on our yearly taxes.

Turking is a job.

Even though what we do fits the very definition of a job, there are still people out there that think otherwise. Even with the federal and state governments legitimizing Gig Economy workers by providing them unemployment benefits for the first time ever, there are still people out there who don’t think we deserve them if our work is affected.

Turking IS a job. I am asking you to own it with me. I am asking you to stand up with me for proper treatment. I am asking you to be proud of the work you do and I am asking you to help change the narrative.

by Krystal Kauffman

Participation in an Art Film

Hello, I am a visual artist that makes short films.

I am looking for Mturk worker participants for a short art film about the labor conditions of online work. Participants will re-perform moments from a failed utopian labor camp set up by Henry Ford in the 1920s in the Brazilian Amazon. We will re-perform scenes from this real history as if it was happening now. Participants will need to have the ability to shoot footage at their location on their own devices. At a later date, participants will be paid to travel to a specific location for a studio shoot with me and a professional film crew.

This position will be paid, and participants will need to agree to an ongoing involvement in the project from now until the end of the year.

During the Coronovirus pandemic, all work will happen online.

We will meet and shoot in person only when it is entirely safe to do so.

Please contact me if you are interested in participating:

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Submissions should follow the civility guidelines. Want more than 250 words?

Get in touch and let us know your article idea.


Published by admin

Turkopticon helps the people in the 'crowd' of crowdsourcing watch out for each other—because nobody else seems to be! Almost half of the Mechanical Turk workers who wrote their Bill of Rights demanded protection from employers who take their work without paying. Turkopticon lets you REPORT and AVOID shady employers.

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