(August 15, 2012)
Recently a visitor asked us the question:
“Why are there so many people working cheaply with crowdsourcing services? Sometimes for as little as a few cents per minutes!”
When you are talking about crowdsourcing experiences, the No.1 service which comes into mind is Mechanical Turk.
Reasons why people are working cheaply on crowdsourcing services
What seems a cheap pay to you may not be cheap pay to someone else in another country. In many Asian countries, seemingly small amounts are considered a good pay compared to the cost of living of these countries.
$3/hour in the Philippines, $2 in India or Pakistan are some of the real life examples of pay rates people in these countries are very comfortable to work with.
When crowdsourcing, do it ethically
You must ask one question before the question if it is OK for people to work for cheap on crowdsourcing services:
“Is that ethical?”
We from ideal-helper.com care for what is happening in the outsourcing world. My personal opinion is that there is enough money for everyone to create a win-win situation.
If you find a business partner who lives in another country and would be very happy to work for you at a certain pay rate and it appears cheap for you, you can try to find a middle ground which will make both sides very happy.
In the end, it doesn’t change the fact that thousands of very different people from all walks of life are working on crowdsourcing services.
Some just are looking for a fun part-time and if it gives them a few additional dollars. This is just all the better and this is also not only limited to people from Asia.
- Read this post about a Canadian guy called Kevin who is happy to work $1 per hour in addition to his other job.
Some people do not think of it as a real job. Some people just approach it as helping each other out for a small amount of money.
All in all, I am sure than there are very different reasons to work on crowdsourcing services like Mechanical Turk, even for very cheap. But not in all cases should this be alarming.
You must look closer at each individual case.
Is there a child working, is someone working inhumane hours for minimal pay…?
Yes? Then you should go and protest as much as you can.
I’ll be right beside you.
For some freelancers, crowdsourcing sites are OK
But for those people who are just doing it for fun as a hobby or as a pass time, however useless this pass-time may appear, it is still their choice.
Here are some real life case studies from people who are actually working on Mechanical Turk that could not be more different.
- Read this post by Tejas from India who explains how the seemingly low pay in US dollars converts to an acceptable payment in Indian currency.
- Read the statement from Arun from Cyprus who wanted to make a social experiment to pass time, kill boredom and make some money on this site, all inspired by a Japanese comedian.
- And finally read this testimonial from Tina from Canada that surprisingly was paid on Mechanical Turk for saying a prayer for a certain person and other interesting little mini tasks.
If you still think that it is wrong that many people are working for so cheap on crowdsourcing, I hope I have differentiated your point of view a little bit with this post.
Still feel free to add a comment by clicking on the link below.
Looking forward to a lively discussion.