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Photo: nelen (Shutterstock) Like driving for Uber or delivering groceries for Doordash, signing up for a microwork site sounds pretty tempting: If you have internet, you can make money doing simple tasks on the computer. But as is so often the case, microwork isn’t the easy side hustle it’s made out to be. Here’s everything you should know. What “microwork” actually means Microwork is a series of microtasks, which sociologist Antonio Casilli defines as “fragmented and under-remunerated productive processes.” Companies break up big projects into small tasks that can be performed by anyone with an internet connection, then hire people to do them for very little money, usually through a third party that handles the staffing. Mega-corporations use private firms like Samasource, while smaller companies find workers through user-facing platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk, Fiverr, and ClickWorker. The nature of microwork is highly variable, to say the least. Sometimes it’s as simple as clicking on ads to drive traffic; sometimes it’s more complex, like transcribing audio or formatting files. Often, it’s for billion-dollar corporations like Google, Amazon, Netflix, or Meta/Facebook/Instagram, which hire microwork contractors en masse to generate and review data for machine-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence products. Workers are paid a set rate for each task they complete, and not the time it takes to do it. This is nothing new; people have gotten paid on a task-by-task basis for as long as paid work has existed. Microwork just makes those tasks as small as possible and renders […]