Pluralistic: When the app tries to make you robo-scab (30 July 2023)

Today’s links When the app turns you into a robo-scab: The implacable, inarguable tactics of disciplinary technology. Hey look at this: Delights to delectate. This day in history: 2003, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2022 Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading When the app turns you into a robo-scab (permalink) When we talk about the abusive nature of gig work, there’s some obvious targets, like algorithmic wage discrimination, where two workers are paid different rates for the same job, in order to trick occasional gig-workers to give up their other sources of income and become entirely dependent on the app: Then there’s the opacity – imagine if your boss refused to tell you how much you’ll get paid for a job until after you’ve completed it, claimed that this was done in order to “protect privacy” – and then threatened anyone who helped you figure out the true wage on offer: Opacity is wage theft’s handmaiden: every gig worker producing content for a social media algorithm is subject to having their reach – and hence their pay – cut based on the unaccountable, inscrutable decisions of a content moderation system: Making content for an algorithm is like having a boss that docks every paycheck because you broke rules that you are not allowed to know, because if you knew the rules, you’d figure out how to cheat without your boss catching you. Content moderation is the last place where security through obscurity is considered good…Pluralistic: When the app tries to make you robo-scab (30 July 2023)

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