A Bot Panic Hits Amazon Mechanical Turk

On Tuesday, August 7, he posed a simple question in a Facebook group for psychology researchers: “Have anyone used Mturk in the last few weeks and notice any quality drop?”.

“There are bots on MTurk and have been for years,” says digital labor researcher Rochelle LaPlante, a former moderator of Reddit’s r/mturk subreddit.

As more researchers used MTurk, they’ve also discovered ways to mitigate many of these concerns.

Whether an IP address or GPS, is not by itself a reliable indicator of fraudulent behavior, four different MTurk and bot experts told WIRED. So if that’s the only suspicious thing that researchers are seeing in their results, they should not worry.

Amazon wouldn’t say whether there has been an uptick in automated behavior on MTurk recently, nor would the company discuss specific examples of bots or accounts.

“There are a dozen people I know of personally who run bots, and they get away with it,” she says, adding that it would take her 30 seconds to write a simple script to fill in survey information automatically on MTurk.

Anyone who finds a possible bot account, or an account otherwise violating MTurk’s terms, can alert Amazon via a contact form on the site.

This article was summarized automatically with AI / Article-Σ ™/ BuildR BOT™.

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