Academic paper for Revista Contracampo – Brazilian Journal of Communication (v. 39, n. 1, 2020) of the Communication Postgraduate Program at Federal University Fluminense (PPGCOM / UFF), edited by Rafael Grohmann (Unisinos) and Jack Qiu (Chinese University of Hong Kong).
This paper contributes to studies about the work on digital platforms in the Global South. It presents the results of a questionnaire survey that was distributed to 149 Brazilian workers on the Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) platform. The paper starts with a demographic view of Brazilian turkers and their relationship with work in general. As seen in previous studies of turkers in the US and India, AMT offers poor working conditions for the Brazilian turkers as well. We also discussed other results such as: a large number of respondents claimed to be in a situation of formal unemployment for a long period of time; the relative importance of the payment they receive for their financial subsistence; and how Brazilian turkers cannot receive their payments directly into their bank accounts due to Amazon restrictions, what leads them to turn to creative solutions to bypass the system. It is important to note that these Brazilians “ghost workers” (from Gray & Suri, 2019) find ways to support each other and self-organize through a WhatsApp group, where they also mobilize each other to fight for changes in the platform. As this type of work is still in formation in Brazil and will potentially grow in the following years, we argue that, from now on, it must be studied carefully.
Participants: Bruno Moreschi, Gabriel Pereira, Gustavo Aires Tiago and Fabio G. Cozman.