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Building Trust in Crowd Worker Forums: Worker Ownership, Governance, and Work Outcomes


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Presentation at Weaving Relations of Trust in Crowd Work: Transparency and Reputation across Platform workshop at WebSci16.

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Building Trust in Crowd Worker Forums: Worker Ownership, Governance, and Work Outcomes

  1. 1. Building Trust in Crowd Worker Forums: Worker Ownership, Governance, and Work Outcomes Rochelle LaPlante & M. Six Silberman
  2. 2. CROWD WORKER FORUMS ➤ Crowd worker forums serve as sites for trust-building between workers. ➤ The four largest Mechanical Turk worker forums have different management styles. ➤ We expect a worker-owned, democratically governed forum to increase trust among stakeholders and lead to better outcomes.
  3. 3. WHY CROWD WORKER FORUMS? ➤ Amazon Mechanical Turk requesters can reject work for any reason. ➤ Worker receives no payment and platform approval rating is lowered with no support or appeal process from Amazon. ➤ In response, workers have developed their own methods to protect themselves and share information: worker forums.
  4. 4. WHY WORKERS USE FORUMS 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Find HITs Share HITs Read/Share Info Socialization Community
  5. 5. BUILDING TRUST IN WORKER FORUMS ➤ Workers often email new requesters to test responsiveness and to determine if the requester appears trustworthy. ➤ Received information is shared on worker forums. ➤ Transitive trust is established. Direct trust Direct trust Transitive trust Requester Worker B Worker A C
  6. 6. BENEFITS OF SHARED TRUST ➤ People who trust each other make more informed and educated decisions based on shared information. ➤ Better communication and increased trust leads to better outcomes. ➤ For workers: fewer rejections, higher effective wage, a better work experience. For requesters: higher quality work.
  7. 7. “Workers collaborate by referring tasks to each other. Here again workers use their social connections to convey trust, this time to convey trust that a task or requester is legitimate and will pay. -Gray, M. L., S. Suri, S. S. Ali, D. Kulkarni. The crowd is a collaborative network. CSCW ’16: 134.
  8. 8. FORUM DESIGN TO PROMOTE TRUST ➤ Ownership: worker-owned versus investors ➤ Democratic decisions versus hierarchical leadership ➤ Members enforce community norms and flag issues for moderators ➤ Distribution of labor among forum members
  9. 9. THE MTURK CROWD STORY ➤ Workers wanted shared decision making, open and public discussion. ➤ 4 co-administrators and 4 supporting moderators. ➤ Decision making: monthly staff meetings, community polls, group discussion threads.
  10. 10. FUTURE CHALLENGES ➤ Amazon provides no way for workers to contact each other. ➤ Outreach is difficult since HITs advertising services are prohibited. ➤ Reaching more workers would build more trust and improve outcomes. How can this be accomplished?