Fraudes, fakes e golpes na economia de plataformas

Fotografia: Lars Poyansky/Shutterstock

A revista New Media & Society lançou um dossiê sobre fraudes, fakes e golpes na economia de plataformas. Editado por Winifred Poster, o número especial se concentra em entender essas dinâmicas do ponto de vista dos trabalhadores, usuários e comentadores online. De acordo com Poster, “em vez de se apoiar em perpectivas individualizadas que apontam para um criminoso solitário ou um alguém malvado, os artigos focam no papel das dinâmicas institucionais e dos comportamentos coletivos. Eles nos direcionam para fatores contextuais e formações sociotécnicas e nos fornecem uma nova linguagem para falar sobre golpes”.

Os artigos analisam especificamente três setores: plataformas de trabalho, plataformas de mídias sociais e setor de finanças. Os autores questionam binarismos como aberto x oculto, novidades x permanências, exceções x regra. Eles também desafiam algumas suposições sobre golpes, falsificações e fraudes, por exemplo, de que essas atividades são feitas apenas por indivíduos isoladamente. Os artigos mostram que há scams vindos das plataformasscams em redephishing farms dramas em plataformas.

Leia os títulos e os resumos do dossiê:

Red flags, sob stories, and scams: The contested meaning of governance on carework labor platforms

Julia Ticona

Labor platform scams are an opportunity to integrate scholarship about governance across social media and labor platforms. Labor platforms have borrowed governance mechanisms from social media to cultivate trust among users and remove problematic content. However, while these platforms may share governance strategies, labor platforms mediate employment relationships between workers and clients with different amounts of power. Based on a multistakeholder ethnography of carework labor platforms, online careworker forums, and interviews, this study describes scams on carework labor platforms. Labor platforms narrate workers into the role of technology consumers, constricting their own obligations to workers. Workers’ explanations of scams vary, with some contesting and others aligning with platform narratives. Some workers seek support in online forums, which remediate the harm of scams for some but also enroll workers in unpaid labor. These scams challenge the assumption of antagonism between the interests of workers and platform companies and highlight the consumerization of work.

“Have you learned your lesson?” Communities of practice under algorithmic competition

Elizabeth Anne Watkins

Gig workers are typically thought of as individuals toiling in digitized isolation, not as communities of shared learning. While it’s accurate to say they don’t have the same information-sharing norms as people in traditional employment arrangements, some do gather, in part in digital communities. Online forums, in this space, have become popular sites for gathering, sharing information, and comparing practices. These behaviors provide an opportunity to examine gig workers as emergent communities of practice, and to analyze how work, identity, skills, and workspaces co-constitute each other as sociotechnical environments of work change. In this research, I examine workers’ interactions in an online forum, and focus on how they talk about scams. Analysis reveals that talking about scams is a way for workers to enact belonging in their community of practice. Victims are belittled by other workers, who frame vulnerability, and lack of foresight due to unfamiliarity with the forum itself, as a lack of authenticity. Repudiations are denunciations through which workers assert their belonging. These findings illuminate the practices of what I call “para-organizational” work, with implications for knowledge management in structures of algorithmic competition.

Good jobs, scam jobs: Detecting, normalizing, and internalizing online job scams during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexandrea J Ravenelle, Erica Janko, Ken Cai Kowalski Ken Cai Kowalski

Good jobs that allow remote work have enabled white-collar professionals to stay home during COVID-19, but for precarious workers, online advertisements for work-from-home employment are often scams. In this article, based on in-depth interviews conducted between April and July 2020 with nearly 200 precarious workers, we find that precarious workers regularly encountered fraudulent job advertisements via digital media. Drawing on Swidler’s concepts of the cultural tool kit and cultural logic, we find that in this time of uncertainty, workers defaulted to the focus on personal responsibility that is inherent in insecurity culture. Following the cultural logic of personal responsibility, job seekers did not place blame on job search websites for allowing the scams to be posted, but normalized the situation, deploying a scam detection repertoire in response. In addition, the discovery that advertised “good jobs” are often scams affecting workers’ desire to continue job hunting and perceptions of potential future success.

Platform scams: Brazilian workers’ experiences of dishonest and uncertain algorithmic management

Rafael Grohmann, Gabriel Pereira, Abel Guerra, Ludmila Costhek Abilio, Bruno Moreschi, Amanda Jurno

This article discusses how Brazilian platform workers experience and respond to platform scams through three case studies. Drawing from digital ethnographic research, vlogs/interviews of workers, and literature review, we argue for a conceptualization of “platform scam” that focuses on multiple forms of platform dishonesty and uncertainty. We characterize scam as a structuring element of the algorithmic management enacted by platform labor. The first case engages with when platforms scam workers by discussing Uber drivers’ experiences with the illusive surge pricing. The second case discusses when workers (have to) scam platforms by focusing on Amazon Mechanical Turk microworkers’ experiences with faking their identities. The third case presents when platforms lead workers to scam third parties, by engaging with how Brazilian click farm platforms’ workers use bots/fake accounts to engage with social media. Our focus on “platform scams” thus highlights the particular dimensions of faking, fraud, and deception operating in platform labor. This notion of platform scam expands and complexifies the understanding of scam within platform labor studies. Departing from workers’ experiences, we engage with the asymmetries and unequal power relations present in the algorithmic management of labor.

Platform drama: “Cancel culture,” celebrity, and the struggle for accountability on YouTube 

Rebecca Lewis, Angèle Christin

Recent years have witnessed debates about so-called “cancel culture” and more broadly about online accountability practices. Here we revisit this topic through a study of YouTube “drama,” a hybrid genre where creators provide commentary on the scandals, scams, and feuds between YouTube celebrities. Drawing on cultural studies scholarship, and based on qualitative interviews and content analysis, we argue that YouTube drama embodies a range of cultural and moral negotiations that take place on social media platforms. We conceptualize accountability practices on YouTube as an ongoing “platform drama” in which creators engage in perpetual and highly visible power struggles with celebrities, audiences, legacy media, other creators, and YouTube itself. Within the context of this “platform drama,” structural issues and interpersonal conflicts become blurred, as do accountability practices and monetized spectacles. We analyze “cancelation” on YouTube as a ritualistic practice in which structural tensions are publicly negotiated and performed, even as accountability itself remains largely elusive.

Policing “Fake” Femininity: Authenticity, Accountability, and Influencer Antifandom

Brooke Erin Duffy, Kate M. Miltner, Amanda Wahlstedt

Although social media influencers enjoy a coveted status position in the popular imagination, their requisite career visibility opens them up to intensified public scrutiny and—more pointedly—networked hate and harassment. Key repositories of such critique are influencer “hateblogs”—forums for anti-fandom often dismissed as frivolous gossip or, alternatively, denigrated as conduits for cyberbullying and misogyny. This article draws upon an analysis of a women-dominated community of anti-fans, Get Off My Internets (GOMIBLOG), to show instead how influencer hateblogs are discursive sites of gendered authenticity policing. Findings reveal that GOMI participants wage patterned accusations of duplicity across three domains where women influencers seemingly “have it all”: career, relationships, and appearance. But while antifans’ policing of “fake” femininity may purport to dismantle the artifice of social media self-enterprise, such expressions fail to advance progressive gender politics, as they target individual-level—rather than structural—inequities.

Platforms as phish farms: Deceptive social engineering at scale

Jasmine E. McNealy

Phishing is a method of social engineering—it attempts to influence behavior and/or beliefs—in which a party either “imitates a trusted source” (Felix & Hauck, 1987) or induces another party to trust or place more or a different kind of trust in it. I argue that by their very nature, social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and others are large-scale phishing operations designed to collect information about users surreptitiously. Although providing terms of service and privacy policies, an individual has no way of knowing the extent of the platform’s personal data collection. This article reconsiders platforms as organizational phishing, and just as harmful as that done by hackers or others seeking unjust enrichment. To do this, this article identifies the significant elements of platform phishing by examining the descriptions of platform conduct provided in regulatory actions taken by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Theorizing the 2017 blockchain ICO bubble as a network scam

Lana Swartz

In the popular imagination and in academic literature, scams are usually seen as dyadic, involving a con artist and a mark. This article retheorizes scams as networked, collective activity. Scams, like all commerce, are shaped by and in turn shape communication channels. The “network scam” is therefore offered as a lens for understanding scams in the digital economy more broadly. As a case study, this article documents the 2017 Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Bubble. ICOs were supposed to be a new, radically disruptive way of crowdfunding to finance the development of a new, radically disruptive blockchain technological ecosystem. All told, ICOs raised an estimated $5 billion in 2017 alone. But by all analyses—both from observers and participants, both during the bubble and after—the vast majority of ICO turned out to be scams. This article uses these scams to theorize the “network scam” as a collaborative effort to bring about a shared future, but one that is fundamentally characterized by arbitrage on uneven belief among participants in that future ever coming to pass.

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Data original da publicação: __/__/2019

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