Can crowdsourcing be ethical?

Responding to the low pay of Amazon Mechanical Turk workers:

“In the course of my graduate work at Harvard University, I paid hundreds of Americans living in poverty the equivalent of about $2 an hour. It was perfectly legal for me to do so, and my research had the approval of my university’s ethics board. I was not alone, or even unusual, in basing Ivy League research on less-than-Walmart wages; literally thousands of academic research projects pay the same substandard rates. Social scientists cannot pretend that the system is anything but exploitative. It is time for meaningful reform of crowdsourced research.”

More at the Brookings Institute, Inside Higher Ed.
(Contributor: Haym Hirsh)

Can crowdsourcing be ethical?

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