Terms of Service Violations - Demographics


Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2016
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We're seeing quite an influx of Requesters asking for zip codes on their demographics pages. If you're a Requester reading this please note that requesting zip codes is in violation of the Terms of Service for Amazon Mechanical Turk.

This is taken directly from https://www.mturk.com/acceptable-use-policy and should serve as a reminder of what Amazon will and will not allow. We see zip codes requested from all over the place (big box stores, online stores, etc) but mTurk is not a marketing tool and as such it does not allow further segmentation than the oft-used state and country selections.

Are there restrictions or prohibited uses of Amazon Mechanical Turk?

You may not use, or encourage others to use, MTurk for any illegal, harmful, fraudulent, infringing, or objectionable activities. Here are some examples of prohibited activities:

  • Collecting personally identifiable information (e.g., don’t ask Workers for their email address or phone number), or otherwise attempting to derive any personally identifiable information about Workers
  • 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, or building profiles of MTurk Workers for any purpose other than to track performance of specific Workers completing your HITs (e.g., you may not collect demographic information from MTurkWorkers for profiling, marketing, or other purposes)
  • 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, or failing to adequately disclose to Workers what data you collect from them and how you will use it
  • 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., don’t 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 (e.g., spyware, keyloggers, rootkits, or similar malware)
  • 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
  • Posting HITs that contain personal information of third parties