26 May 2018

Inside the world of low-paid digital work

From This Way Up, 12:40 pm on 26 May 2018

Be your own own boss, work flexible hours, earn heaps, and take control of your future... that's the sell, but unfortunately, it doesn't match reality for many online workers in the US and around the world.

Because as well as bringing many benefits, the online economy is also enabling a largely unregulated employment market to flourish.

Jobs that pay way less than the minimum wage are now brokered via websites like CrowdFlower, Clickworker, Toluna, and Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Alana Semuels of The Atlantic takes us inside the world of the low-wage digital worker.

"A recent Mechanical Turk listing, for example, offered workers 80 cents to read a restaurant review and then answer a survey about their impressions of it; the time limit was 45 minutes. Another, which asked workers to fill out a 15-minute psychological questionnaire about what motivates people to do certain tasks, offered $1, but allowed that the job could take three hours." Alana Semuels