Forums » Ideas » Write to NPR with me: http://help.npr.org/npr/includes/customer/npr/custforms/contactus.aspx See my dynamo discuss post about it.

A note of clarification. I first heard about Amazon Mechanical Turk on NPR (National Public Radio). When I heard about it, the idea appealed to me. It wasn’t until I became involved that I found out how complex and complicated Mturk was. Since it was NPR that introduced me to AMT, I thought that it was fitting that I write them and let them know what the experience was like. One of my messages included a listing of some of the hits that were available with their pay rate and the estimated completion times, to give them an idea of what Mturk is like.

You can go to the link above, pick contact a show, and then All Things Considered. You should mention that NPR had directed people to NPR and that you want to share your AMT experience with you.

When I sent my first message, I received a message with a link that allows me to continue to add comments.

Thanks for your time.

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Count me in!

Thanks. If you are a regular NPR listener you will be familiar with their investigative reporting and their dedication to good causes. I believe that one bit of coverage of the working conditions of Mturk workers would do more to influence people at Amazon and universities and research companies than a whole sack of letters to Jeff will do.

Also if you are a regular listener, I am sure that you heard the clip about AMT, right (wink). My idea in writing to NPR was to point out that AMT is plagued with problems that they didn’t mention on the radio. Probably because no one there ever did any work at AMT. I have suggested that they have an intern do some hundreds of hits in order to give them the feedback that they need for the story. It probably wouldn’t take that many more people writing them to convince them that the story is worth while.

Thanks for listening.

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I believe that one bit of coverage of the working conditions of Mturk workers would do more to influence people at Amazon and universities and research companies than a whole sack of letters to Jeff will do.

I think we should expand on this before we write to anyone. What are the working conditions we need to highlight?
- Sometimes I forget the feeling of the sun on my skin because I can’t leave the house if there are good batches up
- I can’t see my family since I have to work so hard to make so little
- Requesters ignore my emails, see me as nothing more than an algorithm
- I have no days off to relax and unwind, so I have a lot of stress; moreso, I have no time off, I work from sunup to sundown
- I have no sick days, so I have to Turk in bed when I’m deathly ill
- I have no benefits, so if I get carpal tunnel, I have to pay for my own surgery
- I face wage theft day in and day out as Requesters reject unfairly, taking my work without having to pay me
- I am forced into unpaid labour, that being searching for HITs, working on HITs only to find out later I can’t submit them (broken, unqualified, can’t find the answer, etc.), having to seek our reviews on Requesters, having to monitor my rejections/approvals, etc.
- Amazon doesn’t communicate with me, so they never improve anything based on my needs
- Amazon doesn’t facilitate communication between myself and Requesters, so they rarely take my needs into account, fix things, etc.
- There is no dispute process, so when I’m rejected/blocked, there is nothing I can do about it
- Amazon doesn’t facilitate coworker communication, so I feel alone unless I go out of my way to find communities where I spend UNPAID time trying to better my work

What else, or is any of that off-base?

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I think we should expand on this before we write to anyone.

We could submit it to a committee and put it to a vote. (If you never saw Monty Python’s “Life of Bryan” and don’t know what I am pointing to, I recommend that you see that movie.) I am just kidding, of course, as I am no parliamentarian. I have already written to NPR more than once.

As I said in my posts above: When I sent my first message, I received a message with a link that allows me to continue to add comments.

That is, you can build on your story. I welcome you to also see my comments at Forums » Dynamo Discuss » write to NPR about AMT

What else, or is any of that off-base?

None of that is off base. What else? Anything that you feel in your heart. You communicate very well, and I believe that NPR would be touched by the sentiments conveyed in what you have presented.

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