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Mechanical Turk Suspensions and General Speculation

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

  1. imGreek

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    You guys aren't offending me. Dont worry about it. I'll post up screenshots of what I use, but as I said above it's just TM, TO and a few dashboard improvement scripts. From the sounds of it, they are being overly cautious and swinging down the ban hammer.

    This morning I finally got a response, which seems like the regular one everyone else is getting.

    "We regret to inform you that your Amazon Mechanical Turk account has been suspended effective immediately. Your account was closed due to violation of section 3b of our Participation Agreement, which states you will not use robots, scripts, or other automated methods as a substitute for your human intelligence or independent judgment to perform Tasks."

    Do I wait 2 or 3 days how or message them again and tell them to look into it?
     
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  2. Metallica

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    You always want to annoy them as much as you can. I'd personally recommend never giving them a day or two after they reply back to you. Maybe more like an hour or two ;)

    That's the same message the person who had Stax installed got (again, not saying you were using it). Were you running an AutoHotKey scripts or were the scripts you were using maybe modified in some way? They have absolutely no reason to ban just you for using the scripts you mentioned, because they would have to ban almost everyone on the platform. Additionally, any chance you were using something like an auto clicker? As strange as that question sounds, I've had someone say they suspect they were banned over using one... so it never hurts to ask, right? Lastly, were you using any software such as X-Mouse that allow you to map certain functions to specific buttons? I could see that being an issue depending on what the function is.
     
    #82 Metallica, Aug 29, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  3. imGreek

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    Nope, none of that. I've actually started use less things since the new interface, because I founded searching manually and refreshing pages has worked better for me. Only things installed at the moment are [MTurk Worker] Dashboard Enhancer, TimerInTitlebar, Turkmaster (Mturk), and turkopticon. I've kept it simple because it works for me and I make as much money as I did before the change.

    Now...the good news! Account is back, which is great! But their explanation still puzzles me. I haven't received a hard block in years, let alone "similiar bot like behavior" is quite ambiguous. I usually fill in work between batches, closed qual, and high paying surveys with hits that are surveys in the 0.40 to 0.95 range. I've noticed that I'll get the random few every once in a while, that reject, with the reason of "you did this to quick, shoulda taken 8-10 minutes instead of the 3 minutes you did it in, blah blah blah". Think I'll stop doing them altogether. Apparently having the ability to read quickly and get things done, is "bot like activity", coupled with often hitting the daily limit with batches. At least, my account is back for now!

     
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  4. MarkC

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    Another piece of the puzzle maybe? I could see Amazon looking at this if they are trying to weed out botting accounts. Pure speculation of course.
     
  5. Kadauchi

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    I will make this post here now since it seems that I may have been at least somewhat close.

    My Current THEORY (this is not confirmed information)

    Its not the tools make you look like a bot. Researchers are mistakenly calling foreign workers that are submitting trash work bots. Not all foreign workers are bad, but there are those who purchase accounts and I believe these are the ones mainly being targeted.

    The "bot" epidemic started because a researcher noticed that people with weird geolocations (middle of a lake) were also the same people who had the same bad answers. Instead of rightfully (imo) assuming that its foreign workers buying accounts, using a VPN and just burning through surveys without actually comprehending it.

    You have to take the path of least resistance here. Making a bot to complete these surveys is going to be extremely hard to make in anyways that would actually make it profitable. There is too many edge cases and other things to worry about. It much more likely that its just a group that is giving bad data.
     
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  6. Metallica

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    Another person got their ban removed, and they even got paid $100 (they're the second person I've had contact with so far to have this happen to them). Their situation was unique as they got suspended last year, but gave up trying to get the ban removed until recently. This tells me that Amazon doesn't bother to keep up on who they're suspending and why.

     
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  7. Metallica

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    A person with 2 requester accounts messaged me about having one of them suspended. Their reasoning was that he provided inaccurate information about where he lived when signing up. Both accounts were using the same credit cards to fund HITs. Originally we thought that might be the cause of the problem, but as mentioned earlier, Amazon gave a completely different reason. I gave him the typical information, he emailed them, they gave him the generic "you're banned, leave us alone" email, then he tried to login to the account again and it wasn't suspended anymore.

    So, tl;dr: Amazon removed the ban and didn't tell him they did. This doesn't have as happy a resolution as my previous post, but I guess it all works out. This is the only other requester I've ran into aside from @aveline@aveline that had suspension problems.
     
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  8. Metallica

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    The requester finally received an email telling him his account was re-opened.. sad to say that Amazon seems to prefer giving that $100 credit to workers only :p (permission granted to post the email, of course I took out any identifiable information)

    I find it interesting that they use the same template for both workers and requesters. I don't know what I was expecting.. maybe just recognition that this person is making them money or something?
     
    #88 Metallica, Sep 10, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  9. Metallica

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    I added the following email to the main post, and since it is a public address, I am assuming mod approval isn't needed.
    This email is the one you can find on the "Contact Us" section. It is a generic email, but was updated when the site switched over to the new design. I do not expect it to be any more effective than the old one. The personal emails I give to people who PM seem to work far more often, i.e. getting an actual response. (You get to speak to a human!)
     
    #89 Metallica, Sep 11, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  10. Buddy

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    Hi, I'm a bit worried since a new requester rejected me saying that I was a suspected bot, which I've never done. I've worked on Mturk for years without having this message. I've contacted the requester and waiting on a reply with why they said this. Should I take some extra steps or wait until I get some reply from this person?
     
  11. jan

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    If it were me, I would do what you are doing- email and discuss it with the requester. The only way this would cause you a problem is if the requester then reported it to Amazon. Chances are, they won't. But you talking to them (reaching out to discuss) reduces that risk even more.

    I'd try that avenue only, for now. I wouldn't call attention to my account with Amazon proper at this point.
    YMMV
     
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  12. chris ryan

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    Hi,

    I been here since 2016 and suddenly yesterday my account was suspended and the reason is for identification verification. Here is what the email said:

    Greetings from Amazon Mechanical Turk,
    We apologize for the inconvenience caused by your account suspension.
    Your account was suspended pending verification of the account holder’s identity. Per that email, please send us a copy of your driver’s license or an equivalent government issued Identification Document (ID). You can provide your ID by sending a scanned copy to our secure fax line at 1-206-569-1407. The specialized team who handles these requests will only accept the information by fax, so we recommend using an online fax service if you do not have access to a fax machine. In addition, please be sure to type or clearly print the following information at the top of the document to help us identify you:
    1. Your first and last name
    2. The email you use to log into your MTurk Worker account
    Once we receive and validate this information, we will proceed with reinstating your account. Please note that if we are unable to verify your identity, you will not able to disburse your current earnings balance or otherwise participate in the MTurk marketplace.
    Best regards,
    Ahkeel P
    Amazon Mechanical Turk

    My question is how long does this process take and is there any other way I can speed it up because I use a large percentage for my bills. Is there any other information or emails you can share with me to help this along faster?

    Thank you
     
    #92 chris ryan, Nov 1, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  13. TSolo315

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  14. greg

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    Hey that tickles

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    I just got a similar account suspension last night. I faxed over the information they requested with one of those free fax programs this morning. Kept a copy of the confirmation that the fax was successfully sent. I hope it doesn't take 2 weeks to get this unf*cked. Between this and Prolific, I've been making about $100 per week on MTurk and that has allowed me to quit another crappy part-time job.

    The only thing I can think of is that the "suspicious activity" is that I regularly turk from 2 different locations with different IP addresses. I turk in the early morning at home and then sometimes do HITs at work during my lunch break. I can't be the only one who does this. I imagine there are lots of people who turk from different places.
     
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    #94 greg, Nov 14, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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  15. jan

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    I turk not only from different locations around town, but I moved a few states to the North. They didn't flag me.

    Once they have your information (and process it, however they do that), I think you'll be fine.
     
  16. greg

    greg
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    Hey that tickles

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    I'm going on 2 weeks and I haven't been let back in yet. I've emailed the mturk support account and I get responses back the next day or a couple of days later, saying their "team" has to look into it and they'll get back to me when it's done. I don't know what Stax is so safe to say I'm not using it. I only use MTurk Suite and I'm located in the US. Everything I entered about my account was truthful, so I'm not sure what triggered the flag.

    In the mean time I get ~2-3 Prolific surveys a day but that's pocket money compared to what I was doing in MTurk. It's starting to snow here in earnest and the sun sets at 3:30 PM. I'd rather be working but this is getting damn boring.

    :poop::poop::poop::poop::poop:
     
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    #96 greg, Nov 21, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  17. chris ryan

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    I did git back in two days ago and have been doing hits. But it took 3 weeks and a shit loud of emails too git it back on i hope you got the same by now. But if not i do have some emails add you can have that help me out i think lol.
     
    #97 chris ryan, Nov 23, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  18. greg

    greg
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    Hey that tickles

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    The email came in last night as I slept - I'm back in. Just about two weeks since I got my suspension. No explanation, no apology. Here's the email:

     
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  19. Delilah

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    Hey friends - glad I found this forum and this post! So, I've been suspended since December 12th due to Mturk being unable to validate my identity. Since my suspension, I've probably faxed my ID in with all the necessary info at least 5 times a week, and emailed the general support email the same amount of times that often. I did try the Jeff email the other day, to no avail. I got a few canned responses that first week but it's been radio silence ever since, which I can only speculate is because we're just coming off Christmas/New Year's... although I'm also a little worried maybe that because I've been faxing/emailing so excessively, I might be marked as spam?

    Any insight or advice to this would be great! Not sure if I should just keep trying, but my suspension seems to have definitely gone on longer than average.
     
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  20. Metallica

    Metallica
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    Hey, I'll be sending you a PM shortly.

    As an aside, this type of suspension isn't the one I made this thread for. Not saying I can't be of any help necessarily, just that I'm not too knowledgeable about this process.

    Edit: I updated the thread to say this isn't meant to cover suspensions during the Amazon Payments process. It can be found in the FAQ section. Can't believe I didn't think to add that sooner, lol
     
    #100 Metallica, Jan 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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