There’s rarely as satisfying a moment on TV as watching someone strike it rich on Antiques Roadshow when a random item turns out to be worth a fortune. That’s exactly what happened on this evening’s episode when an Air Force veteran learned a rare Rolex he’d never worn was worth upwards of $US700,000 ($1,035,726).
The workers of Mechanical Turk, Amazon’s on-demand micro-task platform, say they have encountered mutilated bodies, graphic videos of botched surgeries, and what appeared to be child pornography. They say they have been asked to transcribe Social Security numbers and other personal data. Sometimes their temporary bosses, “requesters” in Amazon’s parlance, allegedly ask their anonymised employees to send along their underwear, take photos of their feet, or to draw pictures of their genitals. They say they have been paid to recount traumatic instances in their lives—a cancer diagnosis, severe depression, or the death of a loved one—often for less than a dollar.