A Ghost Workers' Bill of Rights: How to Establish a Fair and Safe Gig Work Platform

California Management Review 62 (2) (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Many of us assume that all the free editing and sorting of online content we ordinarily rely on is carried out by AI algorithms — not human persons. Yet in fact, that is often not the case. This is because human workers remain cheaper, quicker, and more reliable than AI for performing myriad tasks where the right answer turns on ineffable contextual criteria too subtle for algorithms to yet decode. The output of this work is then used for machine learning purposes to generate algorithms constructed from large data sets containing thousands of correctly coded observations. The fact that ghost workers are treated as consumers distorts the basic logic of the employment relationship, effectively placing the worker-as-consumer in the worst of both worlds, in which they hold the legal rights of neither group. This puts them in a regulatory limbo position in which they have little or no protection, control, or guarantee of return on investment. This is because the platforms that facilitate ghost work have orchestrated a three-way virtual relationship that absolves all parties of responsibility, while placing nearly all the risks and opportunity costs squarely on the shoulders of the workers. As a result, we believe such a work arrangement as it stands, does not uphold basic standards of Rawlsian justice as fairness.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Sweatshops, Labor Rights, and Comparative Advantage.Gary Chartier - 2008 - Oregon Review of International Law 10 (1):149--188.
Labor Human Rights and Human Dignity.Pablo Gilabert - 2016 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (2):171-199.
Workers Without Rights.Paul Gomberg - 2017 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 4 (1):49-76.
Human Rights for the Digital Age.Kay Mathiesen - 2014 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 29 (1):2-18.
Work.Edmund Byrne - 2015 - In James Britt Holbrook (ed.), Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering, Vol. 4, 2nd Ed. Farmington Hills: Gale. pp. 543-549.
Forget Your Right to Work: Detroit and the Demise of Workers' Rights.Gloria Albrecht - 2017 - Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 37 (1):119-139.
A Modified Rawlsian Theory of Social Justice: “Justice as Fair Rights”.Rodney G. Peffer - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:593-608.


Added to PP

277 (#41,895)

6 months
41 (#25,682)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Julian Friedland
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references