Union 2.0: How a Browser Plug-in is Organizing Amazon’s Micro-Laborers

Union 2.0: How a Browser Plug-in is Organizing Amazon’s Micro-Laborers

July 4, 2013 4:00 pm 0 comments

On the “quantified work” beat:

Researchers have estimated the average wage on Mechanical Turk is just $2 an hour, and some claim that’s an overestimate. Craigslist-style scams are common, in which requesters ask for up-front payments in exchange for later rewards, then disappear. If employers decide a completed task is unsatisfactory, they can decline to pay and still keep the resulting work. As a result, workers complain that many requesters decline work simply to get out of paying.

Experts estimate Mechanical Turk sees as much as $400,000 worth of transactions every day, but despite the money, Amazon has kept a hands-off attitude to the marketplace. Workers are left to fend for themselves.

But a new tool may give Turkers a secret weapon of their own. It’s called Turkopticon, a browser plug-in that aims to turn the tables on requesters by giving workers a chance to rate employers by reliability.

Full Story: The Verge: Union 2.0: how a browser plug-in is organizing Amazon’s micro-laborers

See Also

The Quantified Man: How an Obsolete Tech Guy Rebuilt Himself for the Future

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