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Mechanical Turk Suspensions and General Speculation

Discussion in 'MTurk Help & Resources' started by Metallica, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Metallica

    Metallica
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    No remorse, no repent

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    8/28/2018 edit: I'm still actively helping people with their suspensions. Any time I hear something new, I update this post with any information I can. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel that I can provide you with any assistance.

    Logging in to see the 'This account has been suspended by the Amazon Mechanical Turk Team'* message is one of the worst ways to start or end your day. There appears to be multiple reasons for suspension, which will be covered in this post. My searching around the forums and Reddit for recent suspensions has shown that this can be a very long uphill battle. A large majority of the people who have tried to get their account back quit bothering just days into the process. With that said, it appears to be a toss up whether or not you will get your account back even if you email every single person you can think of. 8/6/2018: note that if your requester account is suspended, so is your worker account, and vice versa. This is because they use the same Amazon account.

    WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NEXT

    Now that you have received the spirit crushing message, let us proceed to the process you need to conform to. You should immediately use the 'Contact Us' form, located at the bottom of the MTurk home page. They will generally answer back within 1-2 business days and give you a 'canned response' as to why you were suspended.

    WHO ELSE CAN I EMAIL?*

    There are a variety of choices here. From experience, most of them will not lead to a response at all, however, they are read, which could make someone investigate your case further. jeff@amazon.com is the best email to use. It seems to bring better results than using the CU page on MTurk (mturk-worker-support@amazon.com). Other emails you can use can be found on the CU page on Amazon Payments, and on the main Amazon page. Permission to list the above email was granted from the moderators. *I have other emails, but they are personal email accounts belonging to Amazon employees. Both I and the moderators require that you message me if you would like to have access to them. They will not be posted here.


    THE MAIN REASONS FOR SUSPENSION

    **Update** According to correspondence @electrolyte@electrolyte had with someone from Amazon, it seems like you'll be getting an actual response as to what you did from here on out. 8/6/2018: This was not present in the most recent case I encountered. Suspension reasons 4 and 5 below show what an "actual response" looks like. This is much better than before. compare the first 3 reasons, which are now "old", to the 2 new ones.
    According to research and contributions from others, there are now many (used to be just 3) different suspension reasons. The actual cause for your suspension now seems to be told to you upon your first email to them.
    I have checked your account and confirmed that the account was suspended. Your account was suspended because our system detected activity on your account that may have violated the participation agreement.

    Your case has been forwarded to our suspension research team to review the suspension decision.

    We will follow up with you in 2 - 3 business days with our decision.

    Thank you for your understanding.
    We regret to inform you that we have suspended your Mechanical Turk account effective immediately. This action was taken because you received multiple blocks from Requesters due to the quality of your work.

    If you are a US Worker, you may withdraw any remaining balance on your account by logging on to your account on http://payments.amazon.com . If you have an Indian worker account and your PAN, EPIC, or Passport has been submitted and approved, then your balance has already been automatically remitted via check. There have been situations where you are completely locked out of your Payments account as well. This seems to depend on the severity of the suspension.
    We regret to inform you that we have suspended your Mechanical Turk account effective immediately. This action was taken because of a consistently low approval rating.
    Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,
    We regret to inform you that your Amazon Mechanical Turk account has been suspended effective immediately. Your account was closed for not providing true and accurate information about your location during the registration process, which violates section 1a of our Participation Agreement. You can review the complete Participation Agreement at
    Once all of your submitted HITs have been approved or rejected, we will disburse your account balance to your primary disbursement method.
    If you have questions, or believe this decision was made in error, you may email us using the Contact Us form on our Worker website
    Regards,
    Amazon Mechanical Turk
    Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,

    We regret to inform you that your Amazon Mechanical Turk account has been suspended effective immediately. Your account was closed for use of robots, scripts, or other automated methods as a substitute for your human intelligence or independent judgment to perform tasks, which violates section 3b of our Participation Agreement. You can review the complete Participation Agreement at https://www.mturk.com/worker/participation-agreement

    Once all of your submitted HITs have been approved or rejected, we will disburse your account balance to your primary disbursement method. If you have questions, or believe this decision was made in error, you may email us using the Contact Us form on our Worker website.

    Regards, Amazon Mechanical Turk


    FURTHER RESPONSES AFTER YOUR INITIAL EMAIL

    Again, there appears to be a list of things they can tell you after the initial suspension reason email. I have yet to compile a complete list of these, and only have one thus far. I hope to rectify this by receiving more contribution from others in the future. I received the exact same message shown in the "Response 1" spoiler, but I still continued to email them for 2 more days. Not much longer after, I received an email stating that my account was re-opened. Just because you received this message DOES NOT mean you are done for. It is just a canned response.

    Unfortunately the appeal was denied and this account will remain closed. As previously mentioned the decision is final and we would only have responded if the suspension was reversed.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding in this regard.

    I don't have the exact messages for them, however there are some people who have been able to create a second account. This comes after being told your original account will remain closed (See above). I can't give you a reason for that, however I think it would be annoying to start all over again.

    This one just happened to someone I helped last night. Note the itneresting part in the following paragraph. Maybe being falsely suspended is worthwhile now? ;)

    Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,

    Thank you for your patience while we reviewed your account. We’ve received your complaints and understand your concern regarding the closure of your Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) account. Your suspension appeal has been reviewed, and we’ve reinstated your account effective immediately. We apologize for the delay in getting back to you. We’ve applied a $100 credit to your MTurk Worker account to compensate for the time it took us to resolve this issue.

    Thank you for your participation in MTurk. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Best regards,

    Adam J.
    Amazon Mechanical Turk

    Response 3 comes from a person I helped get unsuspended last week. Definitely the newest and most interesting contribution thus far.

    FAQ

    I received an email stating I am blocked by a requester. What does this mean?
    • This can be for bad quality work you have done for them, a error from their part, or an error in whatever software they use. A block is detrimental to your account and can lead to suspension if enough are gathered in a short period of time. Note that these blocks can be reversed, however you won't receive an email telling you if they were.
    What's the difference between a "hard" and "soft" block, and how many can get me suspended?
    • There isn't a difference. A block is a block, so either distinction can lead to your suspension. The number needed for suspension isn't exactly 100% known, but the consensus is 4 within 6 months. Note that some blocks will not generate an email telling you that you were indeed blocked. This is where the "soft block" term started getting use. Years ago, a turker made a requester block them to see if an email was generated. It never was, so you can't really tell with certainty how many requesters have blocked you in the past.
    Can rejections get me suspended?
    • Most definitely. The general rule of thumb is to stay at 99% approval rate or higher, which isn't all that hard if you do work correctly and pay attention to Turkopticon ratings. The exact percentage you need to get suspended isn't really known, but it is something terrible, so think around 75 or 80%.
    How long will I have to email Amazon before I am unbanned?
    • This is an answer no one can tell you, as it is up to Amazon. Remember that you are not promised to get your account back to begin with.
    What else can I do to prevent being suspended?
    • Be honest with requesters, don't scam them. Don't make multiple accounts or let other people use yours. Most of this stuff is pretty common sense, but you would be surprised how often people are suspended for that. More can be learned from MTurk's Participation Agreement, however some of it isn't clear or is misleading.
    My account is under review. What does this mean?
    • Since this doesn't directly relate to suspensions, I am of no help. For more information regarding this, search the MTurk subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/mturk/
    You mentioned in your post that you have more emails I can use. How do I get them?
    • You have to PM me to get them. As mentioned in the post, I had to get approval from the moderation team to give them out. They will not be posted publicly because they are personal accounts. I shouldn't need to add this to the FAQ since I plainly mentioned it in the main post, but I keep getting asked about this.
     
    #1 Metallica, Oct 13, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  2. rae saunders

    rae saunders
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    Thank you for your much appreciated information. Mine is spoiler one. I guess I will begin my email campaign. Really feeling down and dejected.
     
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  3. DonThinkBoutYorMomTwerki

    DonThinkBoutYorMomTwerki
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    I need these hidden emails if anyone can help me. My account was just suspended with 300,000 hits, 99.9% approval. I think I messed up on an AWS barcode batch around 400 submitted.
    I guess don't don't piss off the king. :tearsofjoy:
     
  4. turker

    turker
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    How many pork chop of pork chop are in this image?

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    thanks for this just in case
     
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  5. kryss

    kryss
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    carburante al fuoco

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    Was it just warning?
     
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    #5 kryss, Feb 18, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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  6. Suhail

    Suhail
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    Can anyone here tell me, why my account shows its been went under review when i try to accept the hits.is this a kind of a suspension or any blockage???
     
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  7. TSolo315

    TSolo315
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    SnapNCrackle

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    If you are brand new you need to wait for your account to be approved before working on HITs. You then need to be approved for an Amazon Payments account.
     
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  8. Suhail

    Suhail
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    Nope.actually i am working since 2012. last week i changed my account name because of some pan card submission but i didnt change my bank account. Does it relate to this issue.does anyone got the same problem before.pls let me knw .ty
     
  9. jan

    jan
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    that sounds like it could have triggered it. DId you get a letter from Amazon? Have you sent them an inquiry?
     
  10. Suhail

    Suhail
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    Yea i already." I have done some research and confirmed that the Worker ID you quoted in your email exists under a different address.

    I'm truly sorry, but for security reasons, we can only take action on an account when the request comes from the e-mail address associated with that customer account. It's important to us to make sure that any changes are authorized by the account holder and that your personal information is not compromised. " and this is the reply i got.after that no mails.what this means.does it solve by changing my bank account.
     
  11. electrolyte

    electrolyte
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    No, that has nothing to do with the bank account question. What the email is saying is that the Worker ID you included is associated with a different email address than the email address you sent the email from. They want you to send the question from the email address that is associated with the Worker ID.
     
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  12. Suhail

    Suhail
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  13. Suhail

    Suhail
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    Its not possible.i'm working on it for 3 years with same email id.and i never change that.Last week i change the name and tho they askd pan card num and i submitted.till sunday i dnt had any problem.but from monday morning only this problem occured. Even today i mailed them several times.but no reply
     
  14. AndreaR

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    How do I know if I've been blocked from a requester or if that requester just hasn't been posting. I used to do Zoltar every morning it was up, but since March 1st, I have seen no batches for Zoltar. Have there been batches? Am I blocked? I never received any indication of not doing a good job or an email saying I was in danger of being blocked. In hind sight, I might have done a couple of hits without opening the link and maybe put "no website available" when it was in a foreign language versus trying to figure it out. I did 1000s of hits for them with no rejections, so could be blocked so abruptly? I truly tried to answer the questions to the best of my ability. How do I find out if I am blocked and, if so, can it be reversed?
     
  15. MrTrentSD

    MrTrentSD
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    Alive and Kicking

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    Well, since you joined on March 9, they have posted on the 10th and 11th. Nothing since.

    Not clicking through a link is a HUGE no-no. :ave:

    Foreign language pages: you can translate a page by right clicking your mouse and look for Translate to English (something like that).

    If you use Panda Crazy to catch Zoltars, the color will change to BLACK - then you are blocked. No reversals - they never respond to emails from what I can tell.
     
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  16. AndreaR

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    I do not use Panda Crazy, I use Taskmaster. I wish there had been something somewhere that pointed these tips out to turkers! Ugh! Thanks.
     
  17. Jaded

    Jaded
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    The real themildone

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    If you go to the Zoltar FAQ thread there should be a PandA link or two from there. The hits won't be available BUT if you click the PandA's and it only says "not available" you're fine. If you are blocked it will tell you, even if no hits are available.
     
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    #17 Jaded, Mar 18, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  18. Suhail

    Suhail
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    I had review problem last week.but got a mail to fax them the official id proof and i sent them. Yesterday it was all ok.i got my account back and they emailed me that review went succeaafully.but last night while am working my account got suspended.i dont know why it happend. I dint got any block or warning messages.please help me to recover this. I mailed them already. Should i give hope for my account ??
     
  19. Suhail

    Suhail
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    Please anyone reply.now what to do next for the above problem???
     
  20. kryss

    kryss
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    carburante al fuoco

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    You just have to email them persistently, I'm afraid there isn't anything we can do here, other than the information that's already been provided.
     
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