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Businesses

Inside the Mechanical Turk Sweatshop 267

Barence writes "PC Pro has investigated the appalling rates of pay on offer from online services such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk, YouGov surveys and affiliate schemes. One Mechanical Turk task the writer tried involved finding the website, physical addresses and phone numbers of hotels for a travel website, for only $0.01 per hotel. The details often took more than a minute to locate, which equates to a rate of around $0.60 an hour, barely enough to cover the electricity bill. Meanwhile, filling out surveys for YouGov generates a maximum income of £3 an hour, and you could end up waiting more than a year for your cheque to arrive, because the site only pays out when you reach £50. 'The result is often that those who carry out online or casual work do so for surprisingly low rates of pay, with no job security or protection from unfair terms and practices,' an employment lawyer told PC Pro."

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