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Platform scams: Brazilian workers’ experiences of dishonest and uncertain algorithmic management

Grohmann, Rafael, Pereira, Gabriel, Guerra, Abel, Abilio, Ludmila Costhek, Moreschi, Bruno and Jurno, Amanda (2022) Platform scams: Brazilian workers’ experiences of dishonest and uncertain algorithmic management. New Media and Society, 24 (7). 1611 - 1631. ISSN 1461-4448

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Identification Number: 10.1177/14614448221099225


This article discusses how Brazilian platform workers experience and respond to platform scams through three case studies. Drawing from digital ethnographic research, vlogs/interviews of workers, and literature review, we argue for a conceptualization of “platform scam” that focuses on multiple forms of platform dishonesty and uncertainty. We characterize scam as a structuring element of the algorithmic management enacted by platform labor. The first case engages with when platforms scam workers by discussing Uber drivers’ experiences with the illusive surge pricing. The second case discusses when workers (have to) scam platforms by focusing on Amazon Mechanical Turk microworkers’ experiences with faking their identities. The third case presents when platforms lead workers to scam third parties, by engaging with how Brazilian click farm platforms’ workers use bots/fake accounts to engage with social media. Our focus on “platform scams” thus highlights the particular dimensions of faking, fraud, and deception operating in platform labor. This notion of platform scam expands and complexifies the understanding of scam within platform labor studies. Departing from workers’ experiences, we engage with the asymmetries and unequal power relations present in the algorithmic management of labor.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Sage publications.
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2022 14:42
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2024 23:26

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