Amazon closed my account on a whim, what I can do?

ilya

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I've spent 12+ month developing platform that heavily relies on using Mturk workers. About 4+ month ago, MTurk closed my requester account on a whim.

First they sent me generic "go read policy" reason. I did nothing wrong, so I started guessing. I thought that I found some remote reason why they suspended it. I fixed it. The real reason was very different. (they accused me of trying to collect workers emails).

But, me thinking that I am "overloading" their system and this is the reason, I wrote a script that creates HITs gradually, not all at once.

They sent me "warning" email "go read policy" again, as the real reason wasn't fixed as wasn't aware of it. In the meantime, the script created more HITs while I was on a meeting. In couple of hours, at the time I read the warning email, my account was closed.

I can't get through that wall since then. I have no idea what to do.

Only recently I found the real reason: under heavy load, my server wasn't hiding certain menu item quick enough. that caused rage of the moderators who closed my account. (that menu there is for different category of users, NOT amazon workers; server were supposed to hide it and I personally never saw it fail to do so).

I didn't violate the policy. Not intentionally, that's for sure.

But current state of affairs are absolutely unfair (I know, life if unfair, but still....)

Can somebody possibly help me?

Thank you!
 

jan

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Well, let me start out by saying I have no idea about the requesters world. But, I know two things. 1. Amazon wants to make money, so that is in your favor. and 2. In the last two years, amazon has been much more responsive to turkers whose accounts are suspended. However, they have been persistent. That means emailing quite a bit trying to work with them to find out the problem. From what I can tell, many accounts have been recovered.

So, don't lose hope! Keep emailing and try to find out if this can be resolved. Good luck!
 
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ilya

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Well, let me start out by saying I have no idea about the requesters world. But, I know two things. 1. Amazon wants to make money, so that is in your favor. and 2. In the last two years, amazon has been much more responsive to turkers whose accounts are suspended. However, they have been persistent. That means emailing quite a bit trying to work with them to find out the problem. From what I can tell, many accounts have been recovered.

So, don't lose hope! Keep emailing and try to find out if this can be resolved. Good luck!
Thank you for your kind response!

Is it possible that Amazon appropriates (steals) ideas of the 3rd party platform developers, of the platforms that utilize Mturk extensively? I mean, they have all of the transparency they need to see that certain idea works great and could be applicable (resold) to a more general audience? At that point, they could copy&cat platform, making it part "of their own", in the meantime closing the account of the 3rd party in question by some made up reason?

Or, even by referring to their own policy to that 3rd party platform as something that "hinders Amazon systems from function in the way that Amazon demands". ?

As it actually might be the case with me.
 

aveline

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I've spent 12+ month developing platform that heavily relies on using Mturk workers. About 4+ month ago, MTurk closed my requester account on a whim.

First they sent me generic "go read policy" reason. I did nothing wrong, so I started guessing. I thought that I found some remote reason why they suspended it. I fixed it. The real reason was very different. (they accused me of trying to collect workers emails).

But, me thinking that I am "overloading" their system and this is the reason, I wrote a script that creates HITs gradually, not all at once.

They sent me "warning" email "go read policy" again, as the real reason wasn't fixed as wasn't aware of it. In the meantime, the script created more HITs while I was on a meeting. In couple of hours, at the time I read the warning email, my account was closed.

I can't get through that wall since then. I have no idea what to do.

Only recently I found the real reason: under heavy load, my server wasn't hiding certain menu item quick enough. that caused rage of the moderators who closed my account. (that menu there is for different category of users, NOT amazon workers; server were supposed to hide it and I personally never saw it fail to do so).

I didn't violate the policy. Not intentionally, that's for sure.

But current state of affairs are absolutely unfair (I know, life if unfair, but still....)

Can somebody possibly help me?

Thank you!
You said they accused you of trying to collect worker emails. Was there something in the HIT that was asking for an email address? Was that part of what you said was being shown to Amazon workers by accident?
 
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ilya

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You said they accused you of trying to collect worker emails. Was there something in the HIT that was asking for an email address? Was that part of what you said was being shown to Amazon workers by accident?
I am still only guessing what happened, despite the fact that I've emailed to anybody I could as many times as I reasonably could without being blocked as a "spammer" to find out what's going on and pleading at the same time.

However, at the moment I have only two theories:

1) IF you click the "sandwich - three horizontal lines in a circle" menu button (which is now forever hidden) - there was a field where you could enter email address and press "Save Progress" button. This is the most likely version. (Obviously, this by no means were required to complete the HIT.)

2) Some worker emailed me and asked if he could have more of the HITs. I told him that at some point workers who perform the best would be chosen and invited to participate, instead of the general public. What I meant was "based on workerID". WorkerID is not something I would consider "personal information". Also there is no way to find out personal information just based on the workers performing HITs unless you ask them directly. (obviously I am not so stupid to inquire such things, as I know too well the common business practices even without reading the Amazon's policy, which I know read about 10 times from beginning to the end.).
 
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aveline

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I am still only guessing what happened, despite the fact that I've emailed to anybody I could as many times as I reasonably could without being blocked as a "spammer" to find out what's going on and pleading at the same time.

However, at the moment I have only two theories:

1) IF you click the "sandwich - three horizontal lines in a circle" menu button (which is now forever hidden) - there was a field where you could enter email address and press "Save Progress" button. This is the most likely version. (Obviously, this by no means were required to complete the HIT.)

2) Some worker emailed me and asked if he could have more of the HITs. I told him that at some point workers who perform the best would be chosen and invited to participate, instead of the general public. What I meant was "based on workerID". WorkerID is not something I would consider "personal information". Also there is no way to find out personal information just based on the workers performing HITs unless you ask them directly. (obviously I am not so stupid to inquire such things, as I know too well the common business practices even without reading the Amazon's policy, which I know read about 10 times from beginning to the end.).
Yeah, I would guess it was the email thing.

I went through this myself about 2 years ago, where Amazon suspended my requester account because they misinterpreted a HIT that I posted. So I can relate to what you're dealing with. Unfortunately, I can't really offer any sort of advice other than to just keep doing what you've been doing. Just keep emailing every day. You could try the jeff@amazon.com email address if you'd like another set of eyes to take a look at your situation, but I'm not sure how much good that does. I did get a response from them, but it wasn't a great one IIRC. I think I honestly had better luck just using the contact form on MTurk. I emailed every single day and I think it took me nearly two weeks to get my account back. Just be persistent.

Good luck.
 
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