Modern Slavery: How Google Let Appen and Lionbridge Exploit It Is Raters

It looks like Lionbridge has decided to incorporate the worse practices from Appen Global. Lionbridge seems to be at it again recently by not only cutting wages but now they are also changing the Task Completion Rate or TCR. 

Some raters have seen changes in the Task Data Center that tasks were increased from 46 to 56, which many are calling employee abuse. This of course means that you now have to complete more tasks in less time. Task time has also been reduced by a minute or two. 

For some tasks, it might not be possible to complete them in the time given. This is because more and more tasks take longer than one minute, and some even more than two to three minutes. 

But now it looks like Lionbridge expects raters to complete all tasks in less than a minute, this would be around 60 tasks in an hour. 

But this isn’t the only problem. It also appears that there are less tasks available now and it’s getting hard to clock just 10 hours, and increasing the task rate is only going to compound this problem. 

It just seems lately that Lionbridge and Appen don’t care about their employees by raising the TCR expectation when there aren’t enough tasks to complete in the first place. 

So far, a group of raters has taken to reddit to complain and try to change this situation. 

For one, it’s hard to meet the quality standards that are expected of you when you don’t have adequate time to complete the tasks because most of the tasks take time to answer the questions, check videos, or have to do a fair amount of research on some pages. 

As far as the amount of tasks that are available, one person said they can sit at their PC for 50+ hours a week and only get 15 to 20 tasks!

But apparently, all is not lost at the moment. It would seem that the system is designed in a way that the task completion rate will increase by itself. If a rater will do 50 to 60 tasks, that rate will slowly increase. 

It would seem there is some idea that the reason for this is because people are completing tasks really fast, and this is making the system tighten the time allotted. It could be the system itself, or it could be a manual change at this time. However, no one knows for sure. 

So what can you do about this as a rater?  

There are a lot of people who are angry about this situation because Lionbridge just seems to become a worse company with how it treats its employees, but perhaps with a lot of people acting at once, something can be changed about it. And that’s the key, everyone should move at once. 

All raters who work for Lionbridge need to act right now and follow these first steps. 

1. Let’s synchronize our actions, join my anonymous Telegram channel to follow the latest updates in the industry:

https://t.me/joinchat/Yto6o-CF4lhhOGM6

2. Raise questions on Lionbridge webinars and via emails about transparent policy regarding productivity and average estimated time for every type of tasks;

3. Release long tasks in the client tool with explanations about not sufficient time to complete the tasks;

4. All these actions must be massive and synchronized.

Don’t forget that you can also send an email to Ads-human-eval-rating@google.com and ads_eval@google.com

Of course, also send emails to homeworkers.bal@lionbridge.com

Of course, if you have any questions you can leave a comment and we’ll reply.

4 Comments

  1. Its time to resist! Its getting worse and it needs to stop! lets build a campaign so that they can hear our voice. We are not slaves. Please share all appen and lionbridge, google email addresses of rating departments! ridiculous pay rates, low work load, no bonus, no insurance, no severence pay… even we have to pay the taxes!

    1. Exactly. The taxes are rough for self-employment! When the pay way still a rather measly $15/hr, I still had to pay A TON, and it severely reduced my otherwise large refund.

      Now, I don’t know that I should even waste my time on this ads Evaluator crap for $11/hr PLUS less task time and higher TCR? There has to be something that we can do about this. I’ll start looking around at what some of my LinkedIn Business connections suggest, and lawyers, if I can get a hold of some. I know that there is something we can do.

  2. Ok, so I used to work for Lionbridge as an Internet Assessor and got $15/hr, which even then was not enough for the type of work that you’re doing, in my opinion. You could get an actual career with the same skills that you possessed to get this job, and earn a ton.

    Anyway, the reason I’m posting is because, as of 3 days ago, I’ve officially been in the week long exam phase for Lionbridge again, but as an Ads Evaluator, but the guidelines look the exact same to me, so I’m guessing it’s basically the same job for less money.

    I was immediately hesitant to even apply. I mean, $4 less per hour?? For a job that’s not exactly just grilling burgers at McDonald’s?? It was offensive, but I thought, ok, the worst thing is that I find NO job on my current job hunt, which I think I’m going to anyway, but I’d have SOMETHING to fall back on for now that paid more than 0. I didn’t even know about the TCR being increased AND the task times being cut down!! I’m really glad that I found this article, because I doubt I’ll waste my time now. It’s nothing! I can only imagine just sitting there for days without much if any tasks to begin with, but you’d need to do damn near a million to even reach the minimum hours lol.

    It doesn’t sound like it’s worth it, does it? What would you do in my situation? Just take the test anyway? I still might, depending on how I feel, but I’m not stressing anything.

    What I don’t understand is that they want us to be the human algorithm, essentially, and it takes more than a few seconds of rushed thought, which obviously isn’t wise, as this will only lead to an increase in mistakes over time, because it’s something that needs to actually be thoroughly examined, thought through, and if comments are required, there’s that, too, which they also want to be great. How in the hell do they expect to keep Google from becoming a nonsense search site, and at the very least, it’s going to have a bunch of tiny mistakes here and there that wouldn’t have been there if they weren’t so cheap. It truly does seem like a form of slavery or the type of money they’d pay a child sweatshop worker.

    And that’s not even talking into account the morale that all of this has eliminated, because people are pissed off. How dare a company pay you love rate for years then suddenly cut it by almost HALF!?! Either way, this is a cause I would like to get behind. These are unfair work practices. I could see if it were a mindless job like watching paint dry lol. However, this requires actual brain activity. What is there left to motivate new hires, and how much longer will the remaining current workers, especially those that were there before and after the changes, hold on, because I know I would’ve been so much more infuriated if it happened while working for them. It’s a demotion, essentially! More work, less time, and less pay.

    I’m going to join your group, because this is wrong.

    — Kate D.

  3. I think that you are correct to continue to keep your TCR at the same rate. I woulda do the same with task time, too! This is what happens when you pay slave wages.

    But if everyone can get together, and the majority of people if not all can just keep their rates the same, then they would only then see that what they’re trying to pull won’t work. It needs to be en masse! I would honestly rather just find freelance work here and there than to work very hard for nothing. This is not enough per hour to do anything, let alone pay any of my bills.

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