Prof. Miriam Cherry was recently quoted and cited in an article by Moshe Z. Marvit of The Nation. Prof. Cherry’s current legal research focuses on employment and labor law in the virtual world. The article focused on Amazon’s creation of “Mechanical Turk,” a “low-wage virtual labor phenomenon” that buys and sells crowd-based labor. The article also discusses about “crowdworker” duties and the negative impact this type of work is having on our workforce.
On the one hand, Prof. Cherry agrees that Amazon’s “innovation” is problematic: “These technologies are not enabling people to meet their potential; they’re instead exploiting people.” An employment class action against Crowdflower that might have resolved some minimum wage issues seems as if it will be settled.
On the other hand, excessive regulation could stifle new technology and innovation. Commenting on these fears, Prof. Cherry stated, “There’s a lot of ways that things can go right or things can go wrong, and it depends on cases like CrowdFlower to really tell us if they’re going to go right or if they’re going to go wrong.”