Crowdwork is commonly described as an extremely isolating and anonymous form of work. Contrary to this, the article examines platforms’ managerial strategies to engineer so-called crowd communities. The results show that platforms assume either more controlled or lose strategies, which results in lower or higher crowdworker interaction, respectively. None of the communication spaces, however, seem to enhance labour power. While to some extent breaking the sociotechnical isolation of the crowd, the article suggests that crowd interaction serves to scale and outsource managerial tasks to the online workers in a highly rationalized work regime. Where it arises the self-organization is largely a self-regulation and reflects crowdworkers’ efforts to cope with the work system. Overall, the findings suggest that platforms develop more diverse and complex managerial systems than often assumed.
crowdwork platforms labour process control communities