Mechanical Turk Suspensions and General Speculation

Metallica

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Here's the latest addition to the thread. This person has been on the platform since 2010, has masters, hundreds of thousands of hits submitted, yadda yadda, and they claimed her identity was false. She got her account back tonight, and this was he email they sent her during the ordeal.

Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,

Thank you for your patience while we reviewed your account. We have reviewed your account, and our investigations team has determined that appropriate action was taken. Per our initial email, your account was suspended pending additional account verification. To start working using your Amazon Mechanical Turk account, please send us a copy of your driver’s license or an equivalent government issued Identification Document (ID). You can provide your ID by sending a scanned copy to our secure fax line at x. The specialized team who handles these requests will only accept the information by fax, so we recommend using an online fax service if you do not have access to a fax machine. In addition, please be sure to type or clearly print the following information at the top of the document to help us identify you: 1. Your first and last name 2. The email you use to log into your MTurk Worker account Once we receive and validate this information, we will proceed with reinstating your account. Please note that if we are unable to verify your identity you will not able to disburse your current earnings balance or otherwise participate in the MTurk marketplace.

Best regards,
Samantha B.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
 
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Yesterday, I was contacted by an Amazon employee that showed interest in getting involved with the community. He gave me his personal Amazon email address and told me that he will look into any cases where people feel they were unfairly suspended. He asked that I send people his way for it. From here on, I will be including the email address he gave me into the "template" I send to people that ask for help. I am very glad to see involvement from the company and I hope this is a sign of bigger things to come.
 

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Hey, another update. The contact has expressed interest in me (or rather, requests that I stop giving them to people) no longer sharing any personal Amazon employee email address with anyone needing help. He wants to be the sole point of contact aside from the typical mturk-worker-support@amazon.com address. Wonder if he will become the "support" entirely at some point. I get why he uses the accusatory language, but if this is what I had to do to get the attention of Amazon, I honestly don't feel bad about it. See below:

I wanted to check-in on our discussion on forum as well as on this email thread. It looks like despite of me sharing my direct email address for you to pass on to Workers who believe their suspension was unjustified, you shared the same old list of email addresses with a Worker recently.

How can I help with you not passing irrelevant email addresses (including email lists) to Workers?

Regards,
 
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I get why he uses the accusatory language, but if this is what I had to do to get the attention of Amazon, I honestly don't feel bad about it.
The language is really what sat wrong with me.
I get it... The random Amazon employees don't want Mturk spam mail, so they forward them to this guy with a "can you tell them to knock it off?" kind of message.
If he can be a one-man show and get the job done, then great! But I think it speaks volumes that the list WAS at least getting SOMETHING done.
Have you mentioned your verification suspension to him? :wink:
 
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The language is really what sat wrong with me.
I get it... The random Amazon employees don't want Mturk spam mail, so they forward them to this guy with a "can you tell them to knock it off?" kind of message.
If he can be a one-man show and get the job done, then great! But I think it speaks volumes that the list WAS at least getting SOMETHING done.
Have you mentioned your verification suspension to him? :wink:
I actually had a wild theory that me giving those addresses to people may be a cause behind the suspension and they're just using a boilerplate reasoning as a front. Someone even messaged me earlier and suggested they may be testing on me, seeing how well the suspension team can handle a false suspension. I haven't contacted him about it just yet, but you better believe I am going to show him everything when I get my account back. I probably am being a bit tin-foily with the above, but.. who knows?

Honestly, if I were to stand behind my theory, it would explain why they've toyed with me so much in the past. The multiple suspensions and the "we revoked your masters" only for nothing to happen just don't make sense to me.
 
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Since its tax season and all the questions about how to claim mturk income are flooding it, it made me wonder what suspended turkers can do about it.

When you are suspended, you cannot sign into your account and therefore can't see how much you've made. You don't even get a weekly worker report even if you made money the same week you were suspended. With talk of the report being removed, this is even more concerning. You generally also lose access to Amazon Payments as well. It is my understanding that Amazon does not send a form unless you make 20,000 or above.

The vague and largely unhelpful responses you receive from the support team tell me you are going to struggle to get them to send you the information while you are suspended. I have yet to run into a case where this was a concern, nor have I anyone willing to tell me more about it.

I'd like to see a response to this at some point. Surely they are giving workers the information they need to file their taxes correctly?
 
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Hey everyone, sorry for no updates since my last post.

Regarding my last post, I have been searching quite a lot for any information for a plain yes or no answer, and have came up empty. I have been able to find no evidence whatsoever regarding whether or not Amazon will send out a tax form to a suspended worker if they inquire of it. This bit of info should NOT be kept from the public, because.. it's a bit important.

From a Turbotax document: Since the 1099 form you receive is also reported to the IRS, the government knows about your income even if you forget to include it on your tax return. Once the IRS realizes that you owe additional tax on your unreported 1099 income, it will notify you and retroactively charge you penalties and interest beginning on the first day your tax payment is late.

So from this we can gather that Amazon does not report anything to the IRS if you do not meet their tax form threshold. But that's not an excuse, since you're generally expected to file any self-employment income earned.

I tried to nudge the employee that lurks this forum to come out and have a public conversation, so maybe I'll get my answer when that happens.
 
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I'd like to add that logging in to your account to see "This account has been suspended by the Amazon Mechanical Turk team." is no longer a thing. Since at least the site change, you are simply told your password is incorrect. Sorry for not thinking of adding this sooner (like maybe 2 years ago, lol)!
 

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Removed some things from the main post that were old and/or no longer relevant.

edit: I would just add my handful of recent messages to the main post, but I think it works better this way so that people can see I am still involved.
 

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Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,

You have received a warning because your account was flagged for failing to use your human intelligence and independent judgment to conscientiously complete HITs for Requester, which violates Section 3(b) of the MTurk Participation Agreement. If you continue to complete HITs without exercising human intelligence in a conscientious manner then your account will be suspended. You can review the complete Participation Agreement at https://www.mturk.com/worker/participation-agreement.

You can review your recently completed work here: https://www.mturk.com/mturk/status.

We have forwarded your case to our investigations team to review this warning. We will reach out to you with a review decision in 2-3 business days.
This is the message one received after contacting the support team regarding a warning they got. I don't know why Amazon ever thought implementing this was a good idea when they just repeat the same copypasta over and over. They give no indication regarding the specific things you did wrong that made their (very bad) algorithms upset. Its also a bit ridiculous how often this has been happening to people in recent weeks, especially since none of them are getting the boot. What's the point in getting someone scared about losing a potentially large source of income over literally nothing? If the AMT team is truly interested in "raising worker morale" then they need to get on here and explain to everyone why they're using such terrible methods of weeding out the "undesirables". All the false positives rest my case. MTurk has some of the cheapest and most wrongly implemented checks I've ever seen. I understand that MTurk makes them pennies compared to the rest of their assets. They're probably never going to get the inclination to care. Regardless, THEY need to understand that the people they're messing around with are human, and it would be really nice if they'd consider that maybe the person they're suspending for no reason heavily depends on the income they rightfully earn from this platform.
 
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I touched base with a user that got a similar message shown above on Reddit yesterday. He got the message last month. I gave him a contact email and he got the typical copypasta as a response. Over a month later, and he is doing just fine. It would be great if they would go into more detail about what exactly is throwing up a red flag instead of just "rEaD tHe PaRtIcIpAtIoN aGrEeMeNt".
 

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I'd like to add that logging in to your account to see "This account has been suspended by the Amazon Mechanical Turk team." is no longer a thing. Since at least the site change, you are simply told your password is incorrect. Sorry for not thinking of adding this sooner (like maybe 2 years ago, lol)!
This is the exact response I received. I have not used mturk since probably 2015 or 2016. Searched my email and I have a couple of bonus emails from summer 2018, so I think I was suspended after that even though I was not active. Sent email to customer support and Jeff. Could you send me the help template?
 

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I have been suspended for reason below and have yet to receive a response after faxing my documentation in and e-mailing them. Has anyone experienced this? I am in the US military but I am currently in the UK. I registered last week using my US address and passed verification for my bank account by showing them an acutal account statement for approval. After about 200 hits I was shut down. I'm guessing it's becasue I registered as a US user but live in the UK. I am a US citizen, have a US address and US bank account.

Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,

We were unable to validate important details about your Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) account. As a result, your account has been suspended pending additional verification. At this time, we need you to verify your identity so we can reinstate your account.

In order to verify your identity, please send us a copy of your driver’s license or an equivalent government issued Identification Document (ID). You can provide your ID by sending a scanned copy to our secure fax line at 1-206-569-1407. In addition, please be sure to type or clearly print the following information at the top of the document to help us identify you:

-- Your first and last name
-- The email you use to log into your MTurk Worker account

Once we receive and validate this information, we will proceed with reinstating your account. Please note that if we are unable to verify your identity, you will not able to disburse your current earnings balance or otherwise participate in the MTurk marketplace.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and we appreciate your patience with our security measures. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process, please email us using the Contact Us form on our Worker website:

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Amazon Mechanical Turk
 

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Users have told me that the Amazon contact has not been responding to their emails. I have attempted to touch base with him and have received the same result.

Unfortunately, until I can figure out what's went wrong, I won't be able to share his email with you. I can, however, offer alternate contacts.
 
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A fair amount of identity verification-related suspensions have happened this month, and its around the same time frame as the past 2 months. I am going to assume that these suspensions now happen in waves, instead of randomly.
 

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Yea I never heard back from the contact you sent me or from their general e-mail account.
 

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Yea I never heard back from the contact you sent me or from their general e-mail account.
Just to add, from what I've heard, persistence is the key. Don't just email once or twice. I've even heard of people getting to the point that they send in an email every day.
 

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same when I emailed
People who gets their accounts back, from what I understand, are persistent You have to keep emailing. Your goal is a reasonable answer. Some people lose their accounts because they abuse them. A reasonable response would be you have done X and this is why your account was suspended.

Many others, often the ones we seem to hear about - on this thread - seem to be caught by a - I don't know - something triggers the suspension that isn't warranted. Your goal is to keep asking the why question. If it's not a real issue, they have been able to untangle that. Many people DO get their accounts back. It just takes persistence.

Good luck.