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Discussion in 'Forum Discussion' started by aveline, Jan 29, 2016.
Over in the daily thread, I posted a copy of a paragraph on requester contact info that I got from a link that was the front page of a hit. Is this entirely legitimate? It included the phone numbers for the office of the researcher and for the university IRB. After comments in the thread suggesting this might not be appropriate, I partially blanked out the requester's phone number.
This was a very well-paying hit that had technical difficulties and failed to get submitted properly, so that unless action is taken, no one is getting paid. Someone else posted a workable message link, but I figured that since I found the phone numbers, I should post those too, since I've had mixed experiences with mturk messages.
The forum guidelines say that we are not supposed to post personal phone numbers, but it is not entirely clear to me if this is meant to include requester phone numbers that are included as part of the contact information in hits themselves.
My personal view is that the issue is somewhat subtle: we need to work together to ensure that requesters take responsibility for their own mistakes, but we also need to make clear to requesters and to Amazon that we are acting in good faith for the mutual benefit of all. (Like it or not, that's the game!)
I'm sorry, I'm not sure how I missed this post.
To answer your question, yes, that no contact info rule still applies to information that shows up on preview pages. I think it's just a matter of respect to the requesters that make their contact info available.
The internet is full of bots that crawl websites looking for contact info to use for spamming/nefarious purposes. I see bots crawling our forum threads all day, every day. Any one of those could be up to no good. Because all of our work threads are public, it's pretty easy find anything that gets posted in them. That's different for stuff that appears in a preview page on mturk. Most HITs require you to be logged in to even preview them, making that info harder to get at for non-turkers.
Another thing that tends to happen, is people will often attempt to post private info such as phone numbers, social media profiles, home addresses, etc while they're in the middle of a witch hunt over some stupid rejection that ends up getting overturned anyway. This often leads to excessive harassment and I believe some have even reported receiving death threats. The unfortunate reality is that there are a lot of shitty people on the internet, including mturk. Not everyone shows the same respect to requesters that a level headed person might. We feel it's best to try to avoid that by just not allowing any of that info to be posted publicly.
None of this means that you can't offer that info to others, though, or ask someone else for it. We just prefer that it be exchanged privately, rather than posted openly in the threads.
Thanks, that's a good reply. I wasn't thinking about bots, but I know there are bots here since I recall that before I registered I browsed the site a number of times, and would see that around 20-30% of active viewers were bots. (I guess I only see members when I am registered? I haven't seen the bots on the list recently...)
In a way, the same things goes for unhinged people. My sense is that people posting here form a fairly mixed crowd, but that they are mostly trying to act reasonably, in a way. But obviously there are people on mturk who have a me-against-the-world view, and are ready to lash out against any perceived transgression. And I know the posts here are world-readable.
As far as the requester I was discussing goes, I myself went to TO and gave them top scores across the board once they fixed things. They came through to fix the problem.
I do think it useful to think about how mturk workers could respond to problems in an organized and effective and responsible way that eschews any semblance of a mob mentality. Maybe refraining from posting personal info is a good part of that, while nonetheless discussing how to solve the practical problems. (For what it's worth: I am COMPLETELY and UTTERLY against mobs!!!!)