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Amazon Mechanical Turk Probably a Waste of Time

Mechanical Turk claims to be accepting applications, but in reality they are not, and they are just wasting peoples time. Stay away!


Edited: 2018-12-05 10:58

I recently heard about Amazon Mechanical Turk through a YouTube video, and decided to join the site to see what it was about. To my surprise, they do not currently seem to be accepting applications, so it is very strange their HTML form is still open for sign-ups. They are essentially wasting our time, and offending us in the process.

The site seem somewhat unprofessional to me, not even disclosing the actual reason why people are rejected. The approval process is likely automated, and therefor, giving people a proper reason requires no extra work on their part.

I am not sure if the site is relevant in my case, since I am a web developer, and likely will not be able to find much to do on the site. But, I just wanted to check out the site, and maybe write some articles about it.

I have written tutorials for AWS in the past, and I am in the process of doing new video tutorials as well.

Companies treating people badly

However, something that really makes me angry, is when you are rejected by companies. Be it for a Job application, or some other type of work (YouTube Partnership for example), and they do not disclose the exact reason why you are not approved.

Even worse is the companies that posts available jobs, and then never respond to applications. It is a total waste of our time, and I prefer never not dealing with these companies, because they typically tend to treat you badly in other ways as well.

It is fully their decision to treat applicants badly, but they also risk loosing the best people in the process.

In mturk's case, they simply send you a meaningless rejection e-mail:

Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,

We have completed our review of your Amazon Mechanical Turk Worker Account. We regret to inform you that you will not be permitted to work on Mechanical Turk.

Our account review criteria are proprietary and we cannot disclose the reason why an invitation to complete registration has been denied. If our criteria for invitation changes, you may be invited to complete registration in the future.

Thank you for your interest in Mechanical Turk. Sincerely,
Amazon Mechanical Turk

I do not care if their "algorithm" is proprietary. I think their algorithm can likely be duplicated in a matter of days by a competent developer, so who cares about their proprietary code? Lol!

Not disclosing the actual reason is very offensive to users, and it is frankly not necessary to keep it a secret. In my case, it is probably because I am not based in the US. However, I am far from the only one, and even people in the US are rejected without explanation.

At this point, I see no reason anyone would want to join, knowing that you will likely be rejected – or, in the case you do manage to get in – massively underpaid for your work.

My advice is therefor to spend your time on something more productive and lucrative to you. Freelance work, of the kind you can find online, is often massively underpaid.

Your skills are worth more than what these cheep hobos can afford to pay you. Instead, I would look for a real job, at a reputable company, with a proper contract. If freelancing is your thing, be sure to not to accept underpaid work.