Thursday, May 21, 2015

How to destroy Amazon Mechanical Turk 101

Quoted from the Amazon Mechanical Turk blog today....

Examining our Commission Structure

To continue growing Mechanical Turk, we are analyzing possible changes to our commission structure for Requesters. These changes would be intended to allow us to increase our investment in the marketplace and bring future innovation to Mechanical Turk that will benefit both Requesters and Workers. Mechanical Turk has not changed its commission structure since launch in 2005. As part of this, we are considering changing our base commission to somewhere between 20% and 35%. Today, our base commission is 10%. We will share the outcome of this analysis in June.

This will either further reduce payments to workers, or it will force requesters into finding other platforms like CrowdFlower to post work on. The minor changes in coding they made this year with qualifications is hardly a justification for raising the fee 100-250%.

Amazon decimated the international participant pool in 2012 by not allowing any new international worker accounts. It is almost impossible to publish any studies dealing with locations outside of the United States with the exception of India. Then in August of this year they removed a great source of income by basically banning all international requesters.

This is a sad day for both workers and requesters on Mturk. I guess we will see how this plays out in June, but judging by past Amazon decisions, I am not optimistic.

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