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View Full Version : It seems like Mturk is no longer creating new Mturk worker accounts.



Project 2501
07-29-2012, 09:08 PM
From reports on other sites, it seems like Amazon is no longer creating new Mturk worker accounts. There is no official reason stated just that nobody since July 19, 2012 has yet to receive the verification email to allow them to start working on Mturk.

For those that have completed their Mturk registration, don’t panic, you are not alone. Do not try another registration for Mturk only allows one Mturk account for each worker and signing up for more than one will likely get them all denied.

Possible reasons for this? All I can offer is pure speculation. Mturk’s work base might have gotten so large that they can no longer effectively manage it. Possibly, they might be planning to clean house and by closing registrations prevents the newly suspended workers from returning. Lastly, they might be in the process of creating a new registration system that requires more proof of who you are.

So far, nothing official from Amazon about this has been reported by anybody. So nobody has any idea how long Mturk will not be accepting new workers.

jennkturker
07-29-2012, 09:13 PM
Wow, pretty crazy news. If they are cleaning house, I hope they will consider banning some of the spammy rejecters too.

major40
07-29-2012, 09:26 PM
Good news. :hiphip::highfive::rah::thanks2:

Jebediah
07-29-2012, 09:47 PM
Yes my opinion also, whatever is going on will likely benefit us as current workers. And here is hoping to a better way to restrict the spammer's from coming back next day.... such as banning registrations from proxy servers.

penn
07-29-2012, 09:53 PM
I'm willing to bet this has something to do with the new CAPTCHA system. It seems like they've decided they need to beef up security and have suspended registration while they roll out the updates.

Squarix1 - Closed
07-29-2012, 09:55 PM
I don't want to sound gloomy and doomy...but the thought crossed my mind that maybe they're planning to close mturk altogether? Honestly, I don't even know why Amazon hosts mturk in the first place. It's so off base from their main E-commerce site.

Hopefully this is just cleaning house though. Major sure will be pleased.

Edit: oh nevermind, he already posted.

penn
07-29-2012, 10:07 PM
I don't want to sound gloomy and doomy...but the thought crossed my mind that maybe they're planning to close mturk altogether? Honestly, I don't even know why Amazon hosts mturk in the first place. It's so off base from their main E-commerce site.

In some sense, Mturk is a failed product. I don't ever think it caught on the way Amazon thought it might. But it does make sense to keep it around. It fits well with Amazon's web services strategy, and it probably generates enough revenue to pay for itself.

Of course, if issues with fraud are getting out of control, who knows what they may decide to do.

Seqsea
07-29-2012, 10:14 PM
It is a strange product, in terms of Amazon's primary business. But I'm with penn... it probably pays for itself because of the commission they charge requesters. I don't know that it's a failure though. It's definitely used by a number of people to get work done.

milliways
07-29-2012, 10:47 PM
I don't want to sound gloomy and doomy...but the thought crossed my mind that maybe they're planning to close mturk altogether? Honestly, I don't even know why Amazon hosts mturk in the first place. It's so off base from their main E-commerce site.

That was my first thought also.

Diablery
07-29-2012, 10:47 PM
Amazon has an internal need for mturk, although they don't seem to have the volume of search relevance hits that they used to have. Amazon Web Services provides everything you need to operate mturk, so they don't really have a problem sustaining it's cost. No way for me to know what the bottom line is on mturk, but it's probably not that significant a gain or loss. If they lose money they just write it off.

jennkturker
07-29-2012, 10:51 PM
Amazon makes money off of recycling the earnings of workers into purchases too.

dack
07-29-2012, 11:42 PM
That this occurred not long after Reddit posted an article about mturk, leading to a massive influx of workers, cannot be a coincidence, I think.

Squarix1 - Closed
07-29-2012, 11:54 PM
^That was my second thought.

dack
07-30-2012, 12:05 AM
^That was my second thought.

Yeah, and throw in the new captcha system and that argues strongly in favor of culling the herd instead of closing up shop.

major40
07-30-2012, 12:09 AM
I don't want to sound gloomy and doomy...but the thought crossed my mind that maybe they're planning to close mturk altogether? Honestly, I don't even know why Amazon hosts mturk in the first place. It's so off base from their main E-commerce site.

Hopefully this is just cleaning house though. Major sure will be pleased.

Edit: oh nevermind, he already posted.


Finally my daily emails to Amazon are paying off! ;)

Cannibalpriest
07-30-2012, 12:56 AM
Perhaps they're finally starting to regulate Mturk a little bit more. This could be good, or be bad for us. I agree with a couple of the previous posters. If they're "cleaning house" then they need to make sure there's only quality requesters as well. Without a worker base, their design will fail. Perhaps the Mturk worker base has been getting to large, and they need to size down. As much as I know it sucks to people that can't make an account, this is good for current turkers.

Pugnacious
07-30-2012, 09:13 AM
I don't think that Amazon is really really far off base with Mturk. Most of the major dot coms feel that they need to expand into different markets and experiment with different things because Google has set that standard. Remember when Google was just a search engine? Now it's a verb and they're laying fiber optic cable :|

dalturker
07-30-2012, 11:28 AM
This is good news indeed. This was way overdue. I hope AMT is making plans to clean house from both ends. Stopping new workers from flooding the AMT site makes good business sense. AMT needs to hit the pavement and start recruiting new requesters that can supply the work demand. So far most of the requesters on AMT is providing nothing but junk. Most of the hits just take up space and rot on AMT.

RippedWarrior
07-30-2012, 11:41 AM
Yes my opinion also, whatever is going on will likely benefit us as current workers.

This statement is contrary to past performance, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

Project 2501
07-30-2012, 11:54 AM
I don't know what is the reason they closed registrations. I do hope they leave it closed for a couple months to root out the scam workers.

I wonder if they will take an informal email survey of requesters and ask if the could the registrations be closed while they get rid of the poor preforming workers and will it affect the work they post on Mturk while they do it.

The requesters it would most hurt for now are the scam requesters that post hits like dating profiles and credit reports. They prey on the newbies that don't know better. Cutting the supply of people that do those hits will likely drive them off Mturk.

chrism
07-30-2012, 11:58 AM
mTurk was originally developed for Amazon's in-house needs - those needs are still there, aren't they? Amazon has an even larger database to update/modify.

For what it's worth - I think more scrutiny is being paid to legal/tax ramifications of all types of Internet transactions. All the sites I work for have recently revamped their registration process and require more information/proof up-front.

If this is an attempt to reduce the number of scam workers and/or requesters - it's a good thing. The fact that there is no official word is sadly typical of many companies today. Let the rumor mills define your brand. :o

dvsa5
07-30-2012, 12:00 PM
I don't think they want to stop adding new workers since the new member registration form is still available in the mturk homepage. They only stopped sending the verification emails temporarily. As project2501 said, amazon may be trying to add a new registration process with more stringent measures. Anyway if scammers are stopped , many companies will start using mturk platform to get their work done.

alohashavon
07-30-2012, 08:46 PM
It would be nice if Amazon communicated more directly about these kinds of changes.
I hope they are working towards a scam free working environment, that would REALLY help all the good workers and requesters!

MackW
07-30-2012, 09:57 PM
That this occurred not long after Reddit posted an article about mturk, leading to a massive influx of workers, cannot be a coincidence, I think.

You would think I would know this by now, but what is Reddit again? And what was the article?

.......... okay, now let's fight.

taintturk
07-31-2012, 11:00 AM
Reddit is a forum like site that college kids use. Nothing of value there, but they have a lot of web traffic.

penn
07-31-2012, 01:18 PM
Reddit is a forum like site that college kids use. Nothing of value there, but they have a lot of web traffic.

The default front page is pretty worthless. There is tons of great reading and discussion to be found in many of the sub-reddits though.

jennkturker
07-31-2012, 07:37 PM
I still think that this "freeze" is probably so that they can review the workforce that they currently have in place and possibly enhance security to do more to prevent bogus or spam accounts, but I am probably wrong.

Saxon
07-31-2012, 09:47 PM
I feel very fortunate, I narrowly got ahead of the cut. If this freeze is to make things safer/higher quality, then kudos to them!

missamyliz
07-31-2012, 11:44 PM
Just stumbled across this article - apparently Amazon is going to have to start charging sales tax. Not sure how this affects Turking, but is it possible that this is the reason for the freeze? Article was written 2 days before last known successful registration..

http://www.readwriteweb.com/biz/2012/07/amazon-gets-ready-for-sales-taxes.php

wendi5000
08-01-2012, 01:38 AM
It's also possible that something is simply broken.... and they don't have enough real live people reading trouble tickets to realize it yet. Sad but true.:o

penn
08-01-2012, 09:48 AM
Just stumbled across this article - apparently Amazon is going to have to start charging sales tax. Not sure how this affects Turking, but is it possible that this is the reason for the freeze?

The sales tax issue is an unrelated battle Amazon has been having with various states for a long time. When the economy crashed, lots of states saw online retailers as an easy source of revenue to close their budget gaps. There's really no connection to what we do on the Mturk side though.

Elvis of Dallas
08-01-2012, 12:24 PM
In some sense, Mturk is a failed product. I don't ever think it caught on the way Amazon thought it might. But it does make sense to keep it around. It fits well with Amazon's web services strategy, and it probably generates enough revenue to pay for itself.

Of course, if issues with fraud are getting out of control, who knows what they may decide to do.

It's hugely profitable and fits right in line with all of Amazon's commercial server and internet services. AWS provides content distribution for Netflix, HBOGO and is as least a backup provider for every major video site outside of youtube. Their cloud services are the platform of choice for sites as small as tss-radio.com and as big as microsoft.

penn
08-01-2012, 01:01 PM
It's hugely profitable and fits right in line with all of Amazon's commercial server and internet services. AWS provides content distribution for Netflix, HBOGO and is as least a backup provider for every major video site outside of youtube. Their cloud services are the platform of choice for sites as small as tss-radio.com and as big as microsoft.

Amazon's cloud services (EC2, S3, etc) are hugely profitable, but is there any evidence that Mturk itself is? It seems to me that if they saw huge potential in Mturk they would have dedicated more engineering resources to it in the last seven years.

Seqsea
08-01-2012, 02:04 PM
Reddit is a forum like site that college kids use. Nothing of value there, but they have a lot of web traffic.

I'm not sure that's a terribly fair summarization of Reddit. There are large swathes of it that are useless, but there are also a ton of really great communities with really knowledgeable contributors. But yes, the "default" that people see when they first visit the site is a little useless. Which is unfortunate, because it probably turns off people who would really like it if they found some good subreddits.

Elvis of Dallas
08-01-2012, 02:48 PM
I'm not sure that's a terribly fair summarization of Reddit. There are large swathes of it that are useless, but there are also a ton of really great communities with really knowledgeable contributors. But yes, the "default" that people see when they first visit the site is a little useless. Which is unfortunate, because it probably turns off people who would really like it if they found some good subreddits.

Exactly - I'm surprised to read Taint's extreme simplification of the site. Reddit is great and some of the subreddit forums are full of valuable information for more than just college kids... LoL

penn
08-01-2012, 02:59 PM
I'm not sure that's a terribly fair summarization of Reddit. There are large swathes of it that are useless, but there are also a ton of really great communities with really knowledgeable contributors. But yes, the "default" that people see when they first visit the site is a little useless. Which is unfortunate, because it probably turns off people who would really like it if they found some good subreddits.

I totally agree. The default front page is worthless..anyone looking at it for the first time will think it's a discussion forum for atheist cat owners. All of the good content is hidden in the sub-reddits that have zero exposure.

Satori
08-02-2012, 03:41 PM
Have any new turkers been approved yet? How about updates regarding why this even happened? I've been looking for news updates but there is nothing to find. Does MTurk have a phone number by any chance?

taintturk
08-02-2012, 03:50 PM
I have gained my information about reddit from the small amount of time I spent on a Amazon related deal/fourm there.

I would not say it is competition to turkernation, because the information posted in that area was like the blind leading the blind.

Other than that, I have no reason to use it. I turk online and that's about all I do. I have no use for the rest of the internet other than to complete hits.


Anyway it is off topic, still do not know if new users have been added. I know our welcome forum has been lacking in posts recently.

savetheunlikely
08-02-2012, 05:01 PM
I highly doubt that mturk can be considered profitable compared to all of the other money that Amazon makes. It could become much more profitable if they fixed it up a bit, but if that hasn't happened in the last several years...
.

spamgirl
08-02-2012, 06:44 PM
It's also possible that something is simply broken.... and they don't have enough real live people reading trouble tickets to realize it yet. Sad but true.:o

100% wrong. This is on purpose.

alt5119
08-02-2012, 08:22 PM
This is disappointing news. I just suggested Mturk to a friend that is going through some hard times financially. Thought it could at least help her get some quick money for groceries.

Has anyone heard anything from Amazon about this?

taintturk
08-02-2012, 08:32 PM
Amazon RARELY discusses their internal workings.
When they do it is in press release form or sometimes on their social media and blog.
Not much going on there either.
They have made some changes over the last year, some have been questionable to say the least. We can only hope that whatever they are doing, they are thinking it through fully before implementing it and that it benefits all of us, workers, requesters, and amazon.

penn
08-02-2012, 11:37 PM
I'm willing to bet that 99% of the customer support inquires that Amazon gets regarding Mturk are from accounts that are less than a month old. Newer accounts are also likely responsible for 99% of the fraud that happens (sweatshops, etc).

Amazon has probably moved to a new policy of approving new workers when they see that HITs aren't being completed in a timely manner. This should create a huge reduction in the resources needed to manage Mturk on a day-to-day basis.

taintturk
08-03-2012, 07:43 AM
I think you are dead on in the first part about customer service at mturk.

Idk about the second part penn.

Amazon is a free marketplace. The pay is what determines how quickly a hit is completed. There are more than enough active workers, it is and has always been how little someone is willing to work for.
As long as there are people are willing to work for $1.60 an hour and less, there will always be shit hits on mturk.
A simple Google search will reveal a multitude of articles written by academics and professionals stating they get their work completed for pennies on the dollar on mturk. One of the keys they always miss is that there really are two mturks, one for crappy outsourced junk, and one for professionals looking for quality work. The requesters and workers on turkernation are the latter. I have a link for the former, but it is against the rules to post it. It is a place where the likes of Oscar Smith is held in the highest regard for publishing his famous $1.20 an hour hits and Oscar Smith is loved there.

penn
08-03-2012, 09:19 AM
There are more than enough active workers, it is and has always been how little someone is willing to work for.

I agree, I think the current size of the Mturk workforce is way more than adequate to handle the amount of work that is being posted. There has probably been a massive influx of new workers since the economy tanked, and Amazon has seen a huge increase in the amount of customer service and fraud prevention that is needed to handle these new workers. The product managers have probably decided that it's better to close registration and only add new workers if the active workforce falls below the threshold needed to handle the workload. I imagine we won't see any new accounts activated for quite some time.

Satori
08-03-2012, 10:30 AM
I'm sure that is good news to everyone who is already registered, but for me, that completely blows. I know there are other options out there similar to Mturk, but to be blunt, I feel they suck ass.

Project 2501
08-07-2012, 09:33 PM
Registrations may resume within a week on Mturk. I hope the improvements will make it easier for them to detect fraudulent accounts before they get to turk.

https://forums.aws.amazon.com/ann.jspa?annID=1583




Created in:
Forum: Amazon Mechanical Turk (Beta) (https://forums.aws.amazon.com/forum.jspa?forumID=11)


Posted on:
Aug 7, 2012 12:49 PM



We have recently changed our Worker registration process to include a review by our customer care team before a Worker can work. Some Workers have experienced a delay with this new process and it has taken longer than we expected and we apologize for the delay. Our goal is to complete reviews within 2 business days of the initial registration. We are falling short of this goal right now but are working to get back on track. We expect to complete the review of all Worker registrations we have received within the next week. Once a Worker’s account has been reviewed, the Worker will receive an email from us. Again, we apologize for this delay.

penn
08-07-2012, 11:05 PM
They have obviously developed criteria which they're using to approve/deny new accounts. I wonder why they simply haven't turned that into an automated process. Maybe it's in the works.

Satori
08-07-2012, 11:27 PM
BOOYAH! That's the best news I've heard all day! :yay:

wendi5000
08-08-2012, 01:46 AM
Now, if only they would do that to requesters...

Fordie
08-08-2012, 05:51 AM
Looks like I got in just in time and didn't have to wait.

Project 2501
08-09-2012, 07:57 PM
A few people are reporting their Mturk accounts are being approved today. A few also say they are being rejected too.

Hollie - Closed
08-09-2012, 07:58 PM
Rejected from opening an account? Wow.

chicory
08-09-2012, 08:19 PM
Wow! Wonder what their basis is for recjecting them.

ptater
08-09-2012, 08:28 PM
Interesting that they are rejecting accounts. At least it sounds like there is some type of criteria needed, which should turn away some or most of the workers that should not be processing HITs.
I was fortunate enough to get in prior to the registration process change and this makes me respect my access (and future workers, should as well) even more.

penn
08-09-2012, 09:20 PM
Wow! Wonder what their basis is for recjecting them.

Yeah, I would love to know as well. What data can they possibly have? Maybe they're approving applicants who have an existing Amazon account.

Saxon
08-10-2012, 01:34 AM
I would like to know what their limitations are when deciding reject/deny of a worker account. There are many rules against discrimination in the hiring process for what I will call "offline" jobs, do any of these carry into worker accounts?

wendi5000
08-10-2012, 01:44 AM
Probably not, Saxon, because you don't actually work for Amazon... they simply offer a service, that allows you to connect with workers. The whole thing is a legal grey area...

Diablery
08-10-2012, 03:12 AM
I would assume that they are rejecting people if they suspect they might engaged in identity theft or similar activity. It has always been obvious that the blackhat hackers were establishing large numbers of bogus accounts with fake info or with stolen identities.

Saxon
08-10-2012, 03:14 AM
Yea I suppose if the government was involved, the requesters paying 1.00 an hour would be out of commission. Just a little below federal minimum wage eh? :p Another problem is likely that there are workers from so many nations, different places have different rules. It just seems kinda weird that they re-open the ability to make accounts, but now accept/reject applications with no set standards in place for potential workers to see (even if those standards are set by themselves and not any outside influence). As for being a middleman for work, temp. agencies are subject to the same discriminatory laws as employers. This is according to https://hr.blr.com/HR-topics/Staffing-Training/Employment-Agencies/

cubbykatz
08-10-2012, 05:49 AM
I would like to know what their limitations are when deciding reject/deny of a worker account. There are many rules against discrimination in the hiring process for what I will call "offline" jobs, do any of these carry into worker accounts?

You're an independent contractor. So nearly all of those laws don't apply to you.

But does anyone have any idea what criteria they're using to reject accounts? I guess it's a good thing that they're finally setting some sort of criteria to be able to turk - hopefully it'll keep some of the spam out.

chrism
08-10-2012, 07:11 AM
I doubt that there is any secret to 'rejections'.

Mechanical Turk has criteria, such as
You must be 18 years old.
You may only register once.

If they cannot verify the info you submit, you don't supply complete and accurate information, or a flag is raised (such as another account that matches some of that data) - you are rejected.

The Participation Agreement is here

https://www.mturk.com/mturk/conditionsofuse



a. Registration. When you register with the Site, you will be asked to provide us with, at a minimum, your name, a valid email address, your phone number, and your physical address. Providers may also be asked to provide certain tax information at registration or afterwards. You agree to provide us with true and accurate information, and to update that information to the extent it changes in any way. When registering or updating your information, you will not impersonate any person or use a name that you are not legally authorized to use.

StTurk
08-10-2012, 07:51 AM
I woke up this morning to a message that my MTurk account had been approved! Time for the happy dance!

Only about a week's wait for me. I'm ready to get started.

Lunix
08-10-2012, 09:19 AM
After a good month of waiting, I also got finally got the approval message. Though after the two week mark, I made a new account out of confusion so hopefully nothing bad happens. I also hope that I haven't joined during mturk's final breaths-- some of the speculation on this thread scares me. Too bad the new school semester starts in 15 days. Wish I found out about mturk sooner.

spowers88
08-10-2012, 10:26 AM
I'm just thankful I got in before all the hub bub!

baskln
08-16-2012, 08:20 AM
I got accepted a week ago but it did take while. I waited about 2 weeks after submitting my information

spowers88
08-16-2012, 12:22 PM
I heard they are letting people in now, any word? I'm just happy I made it in a week before they closed the doors!

taintturk
08-16-2012, 12:33 PM
I heard they are letting people in now, any word? I'm just happy I made it in a week before they closed the doors!

From what I have heard, American workers only. International is still on hold.

Amentius
08-17-2012, 05:32 PM
Does anyone know if this is still the case? My mother in law was asking me about Mturk, something to putter around and make a little money doing. Don't know if it's worth it now to send her over there.

Kaylapaige
08-18-2012, 01:49 AM
Does anyone know if this is still the case? My mother in law was asking me about Mturk, something to putter around and make a little money doing. Don't know if it's worth it now to send her over there.
Someone just posted the other day and said they had finally been approved, so I think they are slowly but surely approving new accounts.

djtech9
08-25-2012, 07:37 PM
From what I have heard, American workers only. International is still on hold.

Yeah, my friend in Canada was denied roughly a week ago with no explanation. We were both really bummed.