Newsletter 4

Welcome to our 4th Newsletter 

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

First, I want to thank Lilly Irani, Six Silberman and any past contributors for all their hard work and dedication to create Turkopticon and operate it for ten years for FREE! One thing we need to remember is that they always provided this service for free to help Turkers find the good work and what work to avoid. We are now transitioning to a completely Turker run, non-profit organization. This will ensure that we can continue to provide a worker run review site where we focus on the human part of reviews. We understand people make mistakes and errors and we now have mods that will reach out to help Turkers and requesters understand how to make things better. We are also now taking on helping suspended accounts be reinstated if they were suspended in error, talking with requesters to improve conditions, and passing all the suggestions from Turkers and requesters on to Amazon to actually make our Turk work better. During this transition we are adding 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 buckets for Reviews

After careful consideration we’ve decided to temporarily implement pay brackets in place of the current 1-5 scale rating for pay. The current rating system doesn’t take into account workers being spread across the globe and other various influences that affect judgement of pay. We hope this will help workers better determine hits they want to do, and remove the frustration some workers were experiencing with the pay ratings in the past. We’ll plan to test this new system out for the month, and depending on how our community feels decide if it will be a permanent feature. There is also an updated  script available to display the new feature. We would love to hear feedback via either on our Facebook page, Twitter or by email.

You Cannot Have a Community Without Communication

I realize that the title of this article may sound a bit corny to some but I have been thinking about this a lot lately. In my opinion, it rings very true!

When AMT was launched in 2005, even though there were thousands (possibly more) who began working on the platform, workers did not have contact with each other. There were no training modules, no way to communicate on the AMT platform, and people were left to figure it all out on their own.

It did not take long for individual workers to become a community, however. Workers began organizing on forums and social media. Groups were formed on Facebook and became a place workers could not only ask for help but they could “meet” each other as well. The various forums allowed for this as well. 

Over the years it has been us, the workers, who have organized, helped each other, and taught one another. Turkers have built a massive virtual infrastructure which has transformed turking into full and part-time jobs for so many. 

While we may be spread out across the world, one thing has allowed us to build this infrastructure: Communication.  Think about it for a moment. We have not worked together in person yet we have stronger tools at our disposal than many brick and mortar companies because we have communicated our needs to each other, built what we needed, and continued to improve upon it as we encounter changes with requesters and AMT in general as a community.

On a personal note, this community has led to some amazing friendships for me. We send care packages back and forth, chat often about life, and share photos of our families. These people know if I am having a bad day by how I communicate online. Likewise, I can tell when my friends are having rough days for the same reasons. 

I think it bears repeating that we cannot have a community without communication. Fellow turkers, I would say our communication skills are among the strongest I have seen during my twenty-five years in the workforce. I am thankful for the turker community and proud to be a member of it. I am excited to see where our collective skills lead us in the future as we continue to build a better AMT experience for all of us.

by Krystal Kauffman

Are you using an older browser to turk?

Due to upcoming changes in browser security, MTurk will no longer support Microsoft IExplorer 11 (+ older) & Edge Legacy browsers.

Workers attempting to reach worker.mturk.com using these browsers will encounter an error message.

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 

https://www.facebook.com/Turkopticon/

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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:

danielledeanstudio@gmail.com

Article submitted 

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.