Frequently Asked Questions
What is MTurk work? What are the hours, what is the pay rate?
MTurk work is a series of repetitive identification tasks and sociology surveys assigned and paid in batches from “requestors.” There are no set hours and pay rate is set by the requestor. MTurk workers often stay ‘on call’ in order to select the highest paid work as quickly as possible, with a cap of 3800 task hits per day.
How many MTurkers are there?
The Cloud Research network, which specializes in studying online recruitment, reported there were 250,810 workers who have completed at least one batch of work. In 2019, that number grew by 50,000 and is expected to grow throughout 2020 and 2021 as in-person employment closed and people turn to new avenues of employment.
What is a Mass Rejection?
Work is assigned from requestors in batches that can contain hundreds of tasks. A mass rejection occurs when the requestor ‘rejects’ the work completed by the MTurk Worker. Occasionally, this is due to poor performance from the worker. However, this can be a means of having the worker complete a large amount of work, receiving the data back, and refusing to pay on the part of the requestor. Amazon has not been responsive to investigate these claims of fraud from MTurk Workers.
Why do accounts need to be reinstated– can’t workers just reapply with a different username?
No! Usernames are linked to the MTurk Worker’s IP address– creating a new account violates the Terms of Service and new accounts are banned immediately. Likewise, their income is tied to an account’s Approval Rating. Many batches have an access floor of 99%– if a worker’s approval rating dips below this threshold, they lose the opportunity to access many tasks on the platform. Dipping below 95% causes the worker to stop receiving any new paid work in the system, often forcing them to take unpaid tasks and work for free in order to boost their rating.
How will my donation be spent?
Turkopticon is an organization for and by MTurk workers. This organization needs to afford its own server space in order to handle the large volume of claims it currently receives from workers, both locally and internationally, to fight mass rejections. This will also pay existing MTurk workers to organize and fight for account reinstatements after fraudulent mass rejections, helping others keep their means of employment.
Are donations tax deductible?
Yes, Turkopticon is a fiscally sponsored non-profit organization.
Does this only benefit US workers?
Turkopticon is currently run by MTurk workers based in the US and abroad and has fought for account reinstatements for users based in the US, India, Brazil, Nigeria, and Vietnam.
What is #TW4TW?
Tech Workers 4 Tech Workers (#TW4TW) is a mutual aid project that supports worker-led organizing in the gig economy. TW4TW recognizes that all tech workers, including drivers, shoppers, taskers, Turkers, and corporate office workers, have the right to fair and dignified working conditions. TW4TW aims to redistribute wealth and resources from higher-paid management to lower-paid workers and to build solidarity by organizing all types of precarious workers.