Turkopticon: Interrupting worker invisibility in Amazon Mechanical Turk

As HCI researchers have explored the possibilities of human computation, they have paid less attention to ethics and values of crowdwork. This paper offers an analysis of Amazon Mechanical Turk, a popular human computation system, as a site of technically mediated worker-employer relations. We argue that human computation currently relies on worker invisibility. We then present Turkopticon, an activist system that allows workers to publicize and evaluate their relationships with employers. As a common infrastructure, Turkopticon also enables workers to engage one another in mutual aid. We conclude by discussing the potentials and challenges of sustaining activist technologies that intervene in large, existing socio-technical systems.

Irani, L. and Silberman, S. (2013), 'Turkopticon: Interrupting worker invisibility in Amazon Mechanical Turk,' CHI'13 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 27 April - 2 May 2013, Paris, France.

Metadata

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • professional services
  • Online moderately skilled click work
  • United States
  • 2013
  • Research publication
  • representation, industrial relations, social dialogue
  • English
  • Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Publisher)
  • Qualitative research
  • Subscription
Disclaimer  —  Eurofound aims to keep the information in this database up to date and accurate. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. However, Eurofound bears no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the accuracy or content of this database or of external links over which Eurofound services have no control and for which Eurofound assumes no responsibility.