Censorship Gets Crowdsourced By Peacefire

Peacefire are trying to spread their Circumventor software by paying you $10 to install it. And they’re doing this via a HIT on Mechanical Turk.

Peacefire.org was formed to campaign for freedom of speech on the internet. The Cirumventor software is used to give your PC a URL which others can use to circumvent Internet censorship.

To help create more Circumventor URLs that more people can use, we are offering anybody $10 to install the Circumventor on your PC and share out the URL with us. We’ll distribute the URLs to people who need them, such as people serving in the U.S. military overseas (where Internet connections are censored to limit access to sites such as MySpace), and victims of totalitarian dictatorships such as China, North Korea, and high school.

You need to install the software on an ‘always connected’ machine and the payment will only be once the machine has been up for a week.

Make a stand for Internet Censorship and get paid at the same time.

Help promote the Circumventor at Digg.

Update: Amazon has pulled this HIT from Mechanical Turk. Read more in the below comment from Bennett Hasleton at Peacefire. Looks as though Amazon are doing their bit for Internet Censorship!

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2 Responses to Censorship Gets Crowdsourced By Peacefire

  1. I got a form e-mail from Amazon last night saying they’d pulled down the Circumventor HIT because it constituted “soliciting”.

    I wrote back asking what they meant by “soliciting”, since the HIT was just a request to perform a task in exchange for money, just like all the others. I still haven’t heard back, so I don’t know if the Circumventor HIT really is the kind of thing they would disallow, or if it was just the actions of an overzealous employee.

    As far as I can tell there are only about 100 HITs on the *entire MTurk site*, so you’d think Amazon would have time to pay more individual attention to each one before pulling it, or that they would have had time to write a specific reason why they were cancelling it.

  2. […] After posting about Peacefire offering $10 to install their Circumventor software I asked Bennett Haselton why he chose to try spreading the software via Mechanical Turk. I think there are several reasons why this is a good “crowdsourcing” task: (a) When you pay for an expensive dedicated host, much of what you’re paying for is the near-100% uptime. With our Circumventor systems (where people have redundant URLs to fall back on if one goes down), you can live with 80% uptime, so the “cost” of the hosting goes way down, to the point where many volunteers host the URLs for free. (b) Regardless of their talents, almost anyone with a broadband connection has something they can contribute, since most of their bandwidth on any given day is not being used. (c) In order to get around Internet censorship, you need many nodes running Circumventor-like software, rather than one central server, which can be blocked easily. So not only is the task suited to crowdsourcing, but it would be very hard to run without it. […]

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