Design Activism for Minimum Wage Crowd Work

Akash Mankar, Riddhi J. Shah, Matthew Lease

Entry-level crowd work is often reported to pay less than minimum wage. While this may be appropriate or even necessary, due to various legal, economic, and pragmatic factors, some Requesters and workers continue to question this status quo. To promote further discussion on the issue, we survey Requesters and workers whether they would support restricting tasks to require minimum wage pay. As a form of design activism, we confronted workers with this dilemma directly by posting a dummy Mechanical Turk task which told them that they could not work on it because it paid less than their local minimum wage, and we invited their feedback. Strikingly, for those workers expressing an opinion, two-thirds of Indians favored the policy while two-thirds of Americans opposed it. Though a majority of Requesters supported minimum wage pay, only 20\% would enforce it. To further empower Requesters, and to ensure that effort or ignorance are not barriers to change, we provide a simple public API to make it easy to find a worker's local minimum wage by his/her IP address.

Knowledge Graph



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