Straight from the Source? Media Framing of Creative Crowd Labor and Resultant Ethical Concerns
Increasing numbers of marketers are turning to the crowd—members of the public engaged with brands via the Internet—to develop marketing and advertising campaigns. Some marketers use social media to connect directly with customers, while others use crowdsourcing agencies to harness the power of crowd labor. As more members of the public become aware of creative crowdsourcing, they look to the media to understand more about it. As a result, it is important to examine how the media currently frame creative crowdsourcing to the public, particularly when numerous ethical issues about crowdsourcing have been identified (e.g. work is devalued as crowdworkers earn little money and no benefits for their work). This study examines media coverage of creative crowdsourcing to examine how benefits and challenges are presented. Informed by a framework developed by Swain (Understanding and communicating science: new agendas in communication, Routledge, London, pp 209–232, 2009), results indicate that most media coverage focuses solely on benefits to the industry: benefits to the ‘crowd’ are rarely discussed, yet drawbacks to the crowd are mentioned more frequently than drawbacks for the industry. This provides a skewed vision of what creative crowdsourcing is and may affect participation in the practice.
KeywordsMarketing Crowdsourcing Creative work Advertising
- Araujo, R. (2013). 99designs: An analysis of creative competition in crowdsourced design. AAAI conference on human computation and crowdsourcing. https://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/HCOMP/HCOMP13/paper/viewFile/7519/7399.
- Brabham, D. C. (2008). Moving the crowd at iStockphoto: The composition of the crowd and motivations for participation in a crowdsourcing application. First Monday, 13(6). http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2159/1969.
- Bruell, A. (2016). Welcome to the agency of the future. http://adage.com/article/print-edition/agency-future/303798/.
- Calkins, T., & Rucker, D. (2016). The hidden costs behind Dorito’s popular Super Bowl ads. http://fortune.com/2016/01/30/doritos-super-bowl-50/.
- Chen, M. (2015). Is crowdsourcing bad for workers? http://www.thenation.com/article/crowdsourcing-bad-workers/.
- Cushing, E. (2012). Dawn of the digital sweatshop. East Bay Express. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/dawn-of-the-digital-sweatshop/Content?oid=3301022.
- Della Costa, C. (2015). How to fix the ad industry’s diversity problem. http://www.imediaconnection.com/articles/ported-articles/red-dot-articles/2015/jan/how-to-fix-the-ad-industrys-diversity-problem/.
- Engle, D., Jaffe, C., & Scherer, C. (1996). Social and scientific conceptualizations of risk in the mass media. Paper presented at the society for risk analysis annual meeting.Google Scholar
- eYeka (2016). The state of crowdsourcing in 2016. https://fr.eyeka.com/resources/analyst-reports.
- Felstiner, A. (2011). Working the crowd: employment and labor law in the crowdsourcing industry’ (2011). Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, 32(1), 143–203.Google Scholar
- Hanan, A. (2016). Five facts that show how the ad industry fails women. https://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2016/feb/03/how-advertising-industry-fails-women.
- Howe, J. (June 2, 2006). “Crowdsourcing: A Definition”. Crowdsourcing Blog.Google Scholar
- Irani, L., & Silberman, M. S.(2016). Stories we tell about labor: Turkopticon and the trouble with” Design”. In Proceedings of special interest group in human computer interaction.Google Scholar
- Kittur, A., Nickerson, J. V., Bernstein, M., Gerber, E., Shaw, A., Zimmerman, J., et al. (2013, February). The future of crowd work. In Proceedings of the 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 1301–1318). ACM.Google Scholar
- Klaasen, A. (2011). Harley Davidson breaks consumer-created victors and spoils ad. Advertising age. http://adage.com/article/news/harley-davidson-breaks-consumer-created-victors-spoils-ad/148873/.
- Kohlberg, L. (1982). Moral development. In J. M. Broughton & D. J. Freeman-Moir (Eds.), The cognitive developmental psychology of James Mark Baldwin: Current theory and research in genetic epistemology. Norwood: Ablex Publishing Corp.Google Scholar
- Lease, M., & Alonso, O. (2014). Crowdsourcing and human computation, Introduction. Encyclopedia of social network analysis and mining (ESNAM), pp. 304–315.Google Scholar
- McInnis, B., Cosley, D., Nam, C., & Leshed, G. (2016, May). Taking a HIT: Designing around rejection, mistrust, risk, and workers’ experiences in Amazon Mechanical Turk. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 2271–2282). ACM.Google Scholar
- Ogawa, S., & Piller, F. (2006). Reducing the risks of new product development. MIT Sloan management review, 47(2), 65.Google Scholar
- Petavy, F. (2014). How creative crowdsourcing is changing the ad game. http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/how-creative-crowdsourcing-is-changing-the-advertising-game-and#axzz4DqBfiH5u.
- Phneah, E. (June 4, 2013). “Crowdsourcing faces ethical, legal risks”. ZDNet. http://www.zdnet.com/article/crowdsourcing-faces-ethical-legal-risks/. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Quinn, A. J., & Bederson, B. B. (2011, May). Human computation: a survey and taxonomy of a growing field. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 1403–1412). ACM.Google Scholar
- Rest, J. R. (1986). Moral development: Advances in research and theory. New York: Praeger Publishers.Google Scholar
- Roth, Y. (2011, February 23). Fantastic Four motivations for co-creation [Web log post]. http://news.eyeka.net/2011/02/fantastic-four-motivations-for-co-creation/.
- Roth, Y. (2013). Crowdsourcing as a way to get creative ideas and content. http://yannigroth.com/2013/11/05/crowdsourcing-as-a-way-to-get-creative-ideas-and-content-sempl15/.
- Schmidt, F. (2013). The good, the bad and the ugly. http://florianschmidt.co/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/. Accessed January 16, 2015.
- Shearman, S. (2016). Women in advertising: Diversity will make our industry more creative. https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2016/mar/08/international-womens-day-diversity-advertising-industry-creative.
- Sheehan, K., & Pittman, M. (2016). Using mechanical turk for academic research. Irvine: Melvin and Leigh.Google Scholar
- Swain, K. A. (2009). Moral development framing in environmental news coverage. In L. A. Kahlor & P. Stout (Eds.), Understanding and communicating science: New agendas in communication (pp. 209–232). Lodon: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Video Contest News (2012). Do former finalists have an unfair advantage? http://videocontestnews.com/2012/02/14/do-former-finalists-have-an-unfair-advantage-in-doritos-crash-the-super-bowl-contest/.
- Video Contest News (2015). Doritos announced 50 surprisingly decent crash the Super Bowl semi-finalists. http://videocontestnews.com/2015/12/05/doritos-announced-50-surprisingly-decent-crash-the-super-bowl-semi-finalists/.
- von Ahn, L. (2005). Human computation. Doctoral thesis. UMI order number: AAI3205378, CMU.Google Scholar
- Wells, M. (2010). Hardly Davidson CMO crowdsourcing ads to engage a new audience. http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniewells/2010/11/18/harley-davidson-cmo-crowdsourcing-ads-to-engage-a-new-audience/#459b0ab523ef.
- Wood, S. (2015). The scarce capacity theory of boredom and crowdsourcing. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/scarce-capacity-theory-boredom-crowdsourcing-what-steve-wood.