Moshe Marvit Wins March Sidney Award for Profiling the Most Exploited Workforce You've Never Heard Of
Moshe Marvit, an attorney and writer with the Century Foundation, wins the March Sidney Award for his Nation magazine profile of the hidden world of crowdworkers, digital pieceworkers who earn an average of $2-$3 an hour at home, performing repetitive “microtasks,” such as transcribing words from photographs, analyzing snippets of text, and judging whether images are pornographic. Nobody knows exactly how many of these workers exist, but millions of people in the United States and around the world do crowdwork at least part time.
Crowdwork customers range from large companies like Twitter to individual web surfers. Brokerages like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and CrowdFlower bring buyers and sellers together and take a cut of the action.
Wage theft is rampant in the industry and discrimination is practiced openly because crowdworkers are independent contractors who operate outside the protections of most labor and civil rights laws. Get the Backstory on this shadowy industry that employees millions, and the lawsuit that could help change their working conditions for the better.
[Image credit: Courtesy of The Nation, Art by Tim Robinson.]