Newsletter 6

Our  November 2020 newsletter. We will be sending a newsletter out once a month to keep you up to date on what is going on at Turkopticon. You can see our previous newsletters on our blog here

We are now helping with taking on suspended accounts and trying to get them reinstated if they were suspended in error. So far we have managed to get 27 accounts reinstated. We are talking with requesters to improve conditions and passing suggestions from both requesters and turkers on to Amazon to help improve our turk work.

We Need Your Help!

Help us decide on what issues we  should be working on. We would like to hear the issues you are facing with Mturk.  Could you please help us by taking the time to fill out our survey?  Turkopticon Issue Survey

We have added a donate page to our website, blog and newsletter. We are in no way saying you have to donate but we are asking that if you want the service remain free and you are able: please donate. We also plan to look for and locate other funding but your donations will be important too!  Please help us remain free so we can work to make Turk better for all of us!

See the bottom of the newsletter for how you can submit short articles.

New Pay Process for International workers.

Beginning on 27th October, international workers in countries listed by Amazon are able to be paid into a US bank account. Before it seemed to be a random process of who could get paid and who would receive gift cards.

This change is a great improvement. Everyone was able to choose their payment frequency – 3, 7, 14, or 30 days – rather than waiting until reaching the $20 minimum to withdraw funds. We would like to know if the new payment system has gone smoothly for everyone or if anyone is having problems so we would appreciate your feedback! It might be worth it to check out Transferwise as well of Hyperwallet because their fees are much lees and they use much better exchange rates.

Turkopticon is looking for suggestions!

Do you have suggestions for how to make Turkopticon better and wish to share them? Please email and someone will contact you to further discuss your suggestions. We want to hear from everyone so don’t be afraid to contact us. We can work together to make Mturk better for everyone.

My Mturk Story, Part 1,

It was five years ago that I discovered Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT.)  A chaotic set of events led me to find it and as I’ve become part of the turker community I have learned that everyone has a story. This is mine.

When I was 30 years old I decided to go back to school and make a career change. I had previously worked in politics and enrolled at a university to pursue my degree in geology. At the time I was living off of a part-time job and student loans. I lived in a studio apartment for my first two years and then moved into a small house. Times were lean but I always made it. 

I had not been feeling “right” for many years and was written off by doctors as being anxious. I kept plugging along the best I could. I figured the doctors must be correct. After all, I was what they called a “non-traditional college student” which, in my case, simply meant old.

In 2015 I began to have a lot of health problems. I couldn’t walk more than a few feet without being totally out of breath with a high heart rate. I felt dizzy when I had to stand for more than a minute. I was losing weight and at times I resembled a walking skeleton. My resting heart rates starting climbing. It became common to have heart rates between 150-190bpm. My joints started dislocating from simple movements. I was weak, scared, and felt physically ill all the time. The emergency room became a second home to me. I was getting so close to finishing my degree. By the time my field work requirements came up, no doctor would clear me to go. Just like that I was forced to stop my schooling and my job.

I suddenly found myself sick and struggling to pay bills. My nearest family member was a six-hour drive away. I couldn’t find a traditional job in which I would be accommodated in the ways I needed. My town was small and there weren’t a lot of options. I became unable to drive and I started doing research about work-from-home opportunities.  That is how I stumbled upon AMT. I applied with hopes that this would be the answer to my troubles.

It was here that I found that there were so many people with stories like mine. I don’t think that Amazon, or anyone for that matter, realizes how many people use this platform because of illness and/or disability. While flexibility is often decided between employee and employer, not all of us have had luck finding that in the job market. AMT allows for the flexibility that many of us need and I am thankful for that.

While AMT sounds like a great solution to a problem many people face, there are downsides to having health issues and doing this work. There are areas that both Amazon and individual requesters could improve upon and I will touch on those in part two of this article which will be published in the next newsletter. I plan on talking about the number of hours it takes to pay the bills, requesters paying low wages for your most traumatic experiences, and the toll turking takes on the body. 

In the meantime, I would love to hear YOUR story. Please feel free to send them in via our Facebook page or to We might contact you for permission to use part of your story for the newsletter in the future!

-K, Turkopticon

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

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.