Mturk as Magic, Workers as Invisible

This isn’t a new article but one that is interesting and becoming very important–the notion of the ‘invisible workforce’. Once a workforce is invisible, the reasons to treat workers well become invisible too. And that has continued to be a problem with Mturk in the two years since this article was written.

What I’m not sure about is whether women suffer more than men.

“Female mechanical turkers meet their parallel in the female computers before them. Before the word “computer” came to describe a machine, it was a job title. David Skinner wrote in The New Atlantis, “computing was thought of as women’s work and computers were assumed to be female.” Female mathematicians embraced computing jobs as an alternative to teaching, and they were often hired in place of men because they commanded a fraction of the wages of a man with a similar education.”

The article suggests that 70% of workers are female, and that was the stimulus behind this. The Pew Center research, published a few weeks ago, found the gender balance was more even. Do men resent being invisible more than women? Might that change the power dynamics?

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