With my morning coffee I stumbled upon this article today: WPI Research Detects When Online Reviews and News Are a Paid-for Pack of Lies After reading it, I have a few thoughts/questions..... My goal is to reveal a whole ecosystem of crowdturfing. Who are the workers performing these tasks? What websites are they targeting? What are they falsely promoting?” Are they looking to identify turkers who complete these tasks? If so, how do you think they would do that? The algorithm can identify the malicious organizations posting the tasks, the websites the crowdturfers are told to target, and even the workers who are signing up to complete the tasks. This also makes me wonder about what they intend to do with the info they gather in identifying workers. Will this lead to a worker ID blacklist? Lee added that he expects to make his algorithms openly available to companies and organizations, which could tailor them to their specific needs. “I expect to share the data set so people can come up with a better algorithm, adapted for their specific organization,” he said. So does this mean he intends to share the data he collects about workers who perform these type of tasks? Per the Acceptable Use Policy examples of the prohibited activities are: Collecting personally identifiable information (e.g., donât ask Workers for their email address or phone number) Using the MTurk website to try to generate "referred" site visits or click-through traffic Disrupting, manipulating, or degrading the operation of any website, product, or service Phishing, spamming, or pharming Unsolicited contacting of users or third parties, or other abusive behavior Advertising or marketing activities, including HITs requiring registration at another website or group HITs intended to promote a site, service or opinion (e.g., don't ask Workers to write fake news or reviews) Infringing or misappropriating the rights of others, including HITs that require violating the terms of any website, product, or service Posting or transmitting any content that is illegal, fraudulent or otherwise objectionable, including content that constitutes child pornography, relates to bestiality, or depicts non-consensual sex acts Disrupting, manipulating, or impairing the operation of the MTurk website (e.g., donât try to "game" search results for HITs, or knowingly publish HITs that Workers will be required to return after accepting them) Scraping data or content from the MTurk website (except in connection with permitted Worker scripts and automation tools, see FAQ above) Creating a security risk for MTurk, any MTurk user, or any third party, including posting HITs that require downloading software that contains harmful content Using bots, scripts, or other automated methods to complete HITs Performing or requesting HITs through venues other than the MTurk website unless permitted via MTurk templates or applications that we may make available to you Performing your own HITs in the marketplace (however, it's ok to perform a small portion of your own HITs for testing purposes) Posting HITs on behalf of third parties without our prior written consent Posting a HIT that may contain adult content without using the Adult Content Qualification That being said, my opinion is that it's both wrong and against MTurk policies to post those hits, as well as to complete them. I also wonder, if this researcher's work is actually violating this policy: Scraping data or content from the MTurk website (except in connection with permitted Worker scripts and automation tools, see FAQ above) Because the article stated: Using machine learning and predictive modeling, Lee builds algorithms that sift through the posted tasks looking for patterns that his research has shown are associated with these illegitimate tasks: for example, higher hourly wages or jobs that involve manipulating or posting information on particular websites or clicking on certain kinds of links. Does this mean he is scraping data/content from the MTurk website? What are your thoughts my fellow turkers?