But there are still others who are misinformed about Mturk. Using old data collected back in 2010 as a guide, I consistently see this outdated quote prestented...
Estimates of what workers can earn on these crowdsourced tasks range from about $1.20 to $5 an hour without any benefits. Employers treat them as independent contractors not covered by federal minimum-wage legislation.I have received a few requests from academics asking us (begging) to lower our payment to workers so they can afford posting their surveys using Mturk. This was my reply to one such request last night.
You are paying for time, not for how easy a survey is. When you are on your death bed, you cannot purchase more time, so paying workers a fair wage is essential to a successful marketplace that has been undermined by people who post underpaying work.
The reason a search of Mturk with the keyword "study" or "survey" yields so many results with underpaid work is because that work sits and sits until people who are bored or desperate complete it. The good work is taken almost immediately.
The survey we posted this morning was 120 responses, paid $3 and all data was collected in under an hour. On Monday we had 250 responses paying $1.50 and our data was collected in under an hour once again. Our criteria is workers with a 99% approval rating and over 10k hits approved.
We have very strict rules on who works for us and have less than a 4% rejection rate. We also have years of experience working with surveys and understand how to make them clear and understandable with as few worker problems as possible.
When it is said that it is costly for "us" academics, you probably mean yourself. Since our inception a couple of months ago we have published for 12 different clients and two are repeat customers now. I would suggest looking at this http://wiki.wearedynamo.org/index.php/Guidelines_for_Academic_Requesters because the idea that going to mturk and throwing a few pennies to workers is outdated and unacceptable.
As you can see the bottom of the document is signed by quite a few "academics" for such a small project that has really just organized. There is also the Digital Labor Conference coming up that will add some insight into this discussion.
So for the tldr explanation
No, it is not up to the workers to decide, it is up to the requesters to behave in an ethical manner and pay a fair wage to start.
We will not publish underpaid work. There are dozens of requester middlemen available like CrowdFlower or CrowdSource that you can go to, but I guarantee they will charge you 3x our very affodable rate and you will end up paying workers $3 an hour.
Thanks for your consideration, but we have to decline.