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1/8/20: explanation and screenshots of Mturk (Amazon) platform
Exploiting the desperate and poor -- and the Yang Gang loves it!
Meadview, Mohave County
Forum Posts: 275
Member Since:
March 11, 2017
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January 8, 2020 - 9:56 pm
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This posting relates to Mturk (Amazon) HITs  (jobs) posted by "Yang Gang", the group associated with Andrew Yang, Democratic presidential candidate.   I support the Andrew Yang policies and he seems to care about the little people.
When "Yang Gang" requester screened me out after I started the survey and I didn't get paid, I was upset.  I did NOT think that Andrew Yang would exploit the workers just like Trump.
The Yang campaign has NOT denied that it was "the" Yang Gang requester who posted the HITs on Mturk.
I posted on Reddit in the Yang for President forum:
Almost all comments were in SUPPORT of the EXPLOITATION of the workers.
I'm still shocked.  
One supporter is mostly interested in the Freedom Dividend, the $1,000/month all adults would get if Andrew became president, so he can continue to be exploited on Mturk.  
And that's sad.  It's all about the money.   And at least some of the Freedom Divident will actually being handed over to the corporations  -- INSTEAD of regulating these platforms to ensure that the little people won't be exploited and get a fair pay.
Amazon's Mturk proves without any doubt that the free market isn't working. 
I'm not aware of any other platform where the little people do better.
Here's the MUST READ primer about Mturk in the Atlantic in 2018:

The Internet Is Enabling a New Kind of Poorly Paid Hell


It's the digital version of the sweatshops in China.  I would have been so thrilled to find Mturk in 2008 when I lost ALL income and I had nothing but an unfinished house, a 12-year old truck (9 m/g) and a dog.   I would have worked for ONE dollar an hour.  Or less.

In summer 2019 I heard that we have a new resident in Meadview who works out of his house, online, webcam and all.   I did a little research and found that there are lots of different jobs and I first heard about Mturk.   I read a bunch of articles, watched YouTube videos and most important, read countless comments.  
I can confirm that it a new kind of hell. 
I often don't get paid.  Unpaid screener, no completion code (no pay), broken HITs, and COUNTLESS misrepresented HITs.    5 minutes often turn into 10 minutes.  Surveys that go on forever, with no completion bar, so you keep thinking that you HAVE to be done soon, and it goes on and on.  $2/hr, $1/hr ...   I'm always very surprised when I do a HIT that gets me over $10/hr.  Of course you really make MUCH less per hour, since most HITs pay so little and the time looking for HITS, reading horrible instructions and then returning the HIT, cutting your losses.
In case you're wondering WHY I do this:
Some HITs are very interesting.  I love to think.   What the surveys are about, why they're doing so much classification, the naming tasks, training CSR bots, lots of annotating and pics work, it all interests me.   How things work.  I often wish I could get paid to test surveys.  Self employment is rarely an option.   So many times nothing applies.  I love logic puzzles.  Knowing how so many statistics are based on seriously flawed surveys.   I'm trying to do website reviews, screen recording and talking about your experience as you navigate.   So many websites suck and are not easy to navigate and it frustrates me.

Oh, almost forgot, I might have early onset Alzheimers, have serious memory / focusing problems when under stress.  Have to exercise my brain, learn.

But some weeks I don't get to it at all, am very busy.
Here's a screenshot of ALL jobs in the last few minutes.
2020-1-8-ALL-jobs.pngImage Enlarger
You can see how it says "accept and work". That's because I'm QUALIFIED for these jobs. I did almost 5000 HITs for ONE penny to reach the 5000 threshold.  I had read the 100, 500 and 5000 HITS are significant thresholds.  
It took me several days and I was VERY lucky to find batch jobs that were quick to do to get my numbers up without a single rejection.  I got just under $50 for all that work, about $3.60/hr or so, depending somewhat on my internet connection. 

It sucks to live in the abandoned rural communities.  My only choice for unlimited internet is Frontier.  The service was so bad, and finally they CANCELLED my repair tickets and didn't even tell me!   And then Verizon offered unlimited data and I had them port my Frontier landline number in early October.   Nothing ported.  $220+ bill including $70 for 10 gb data.  There is no unlimited data.  They lied.  Capitalism at its finest.  Exploit the weakest, the sick, the poor -- comprehensively referred to as the "disadvantaged".  We don't have a single consumer attorney in Mohave County, AZ.  Now I'm paying an additional $140+ for unlimited internet to a company I found on Ebay.  Hopefully "soon" I'll have time to post the court filings and regulatory complaints. 

Ok, back to Mturk:  When I ACCEPT a HIT, I expect to GET PAID.
Most of the time I filter for ONLY jobs I'm qualified to work, but if you want to make more than a few bucks an hour, you have to constantly apply for qualifications and take tests.  Since there are so many requesters and so many different jobs, I appreciate the scripts to include and exclude requesters, color codes, mouse-over info, etc.  
You get ratings and pay info when you mouse over the colored bars.  I so appreciate the colors and also the warning symbols.  I stay away from those requesters.

You also see that Foxtrot is GREEN, but their HITS are RED, very low pay.   I often work HITS that are red too if they sound interesting.  For me it's about more than money, it's fascinating to see how data is processed and sometimes they explain the reason for the madness. 

2020-1-8-Foxtrot-qual.pngImage Enlarger

I'm not going to apply with Ibotta.

2020-1-8-Ibotta-qual.pngImage Enlarger

You can see that I have over 5000 HITs, greater than their requirement.  And I have a 99% approval rating, exceeding their 95% minimum.   I've only had two rejections and that greatly decreases my stress level.  Although I do return many hits when I'm not sure about the instructions. 

Often it's just not worth my while to spend several minutes reading complicated instructions and trying to figure out what they want if there are only a few HITs, likely gone by the time I finish my first HIT.  I'd like to find some requesters with regular batch jobs.  It's nice to be able just do the work without constantly worrying about making mistakes.  

I'm going to edit and add some more info, hopefully soon.