[iDC] Introduction

Niloufar Salehi niloufar at cs.stanford.edu
Thu Sep 18 03:48:08 UTC 2014

My name is Niloufar Salehi, I am a phd student in Computer Science at
Stanford University, where I am a member of the HCI group. My research is
broadly on crowdsourcing and social computing.

For over a year now I have worked with Lilly Irani (UCSD) and Michael
Bernstein (Stanford) on collective action among workers of Amazon
Mechanical Turk. We have done ethnographic fieldwork on online labor and
worker communities. We have also engaged in these communities and together
with Turkers we have built Dynamo (www.wearedynamo.org).

Dynamo is a platform that Turkers can use to propose ideas, articulate
issue, debate actions, and act collectively. During its two month
deployment, 180 Turkers have gathered on Dynamo and collectively
authored guidelines
for academic requesters <http://guidelines.wearedynamo.org>:

Plenty of academic research passes through AMT or is about Turkers, but
ethics boards (IRBs) who review and approve research protocols often don't
know how workers want to be treated. Turkers have collectively authored
these guidelines to help educate researchers and let Turkers *hold them
accountable to a higher standard*.

So far, 71 approved Turkers and 23 academics have signed and agreed to the
guidelines. I would like to invite you too to show your support and agree
to follow these ethical guidelines in your research. Email us at:
info at wearedynamo.org to do so!

Other actions are also brewing on Dynamo, for example a letter writing
campaign to show the world the human side of Turking and portray Turkers as
the professional and independent workers they are. Dynamo supports such
actions by creating a space for Turkers to gather around issues and act on

I am very excited to meet you all at #DL14! Together with Mushon Zer-Aviv
and Lilly Irani, we will be hosting a workshop about design interventions
by workers in online labor.

Best wishes,
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