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Big Revolution - The boss staring at your screen

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Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution. There’s a day of writing ahead for me, but first... I wrote thi
 
August 9 · Issue #165 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution. There’s a day of writing ahead for me, but first… I wrote this for you.
Martin

Big things you need to know today
  • New York City is the first city to set a limit on the number of drivers offering ride-hailing services through companies like Uber. Drivers will also get a minimum wage.
  • Google is using a Chinese web directory it owns to help it build its controversial censored Chinese search engine, according to The Intercept.
  • Tesla met with SoftBank last year to discuss a deal to take the car company private, Bloomberg reports, but Elon Musk wanted more control than SoftBank were happy with. Meanwhile, the SEC is investigating whether Musk’s tweet yesterday broke its rules.
The big thought
Upwork’s website is all about happy client-freelancer relations
The boss staring at your screen
I read BuzzFeed’s look at the way Upwork treats freelancers on its platform through my fingers, with my hands over my face in shock. Okay, not really, but that image gives you a good idea of how I felt while reading it.
Upwork, which connects freelancers with work opportunities, has tracking software that logs the keystrokes a user takes while working on a job. It also takes regular screenshots, and can even take images from their webcam if they opt in (hardly anyone does, funnily enough).
This is more ‘Victorian workhouse’ than ‘21st century flexible working utopia.’ Aside from the invasion of privacy, it likely leads to work of a lower standard than would otherwise be produced.
Part of the creative process for many people involves going out for a walk, taking a shower, or other activities away from a screen that get the brain working in different ways, and take you away from the process of tapping keys and clicking a mouse. Creatives in an office wouldn’t produce great work if the boss regularly stared over their shoulders and took photos of their screens. It’s no different with freelancers.
Upwork says the software exists to help resolve disputes if a client doesn’t pay. It can prove the work took place, and Upwork can pay the freelancer out of its own pocket if needed.
That’s fair enough, but they can’t expect the quality of work freelancers produce to be as high as if they weren’t being spied on, and everyone trusted each other and paid their invoices on time.
One big read
Rules Won’t Save Twitter. Values Will. Rules Won’t Save Twitter. Values Will.
Even if you think you’ve had enough of the Twitter/InfoWars debate, this from Kara Swisher is well worth reading.
“Twitter is doubling down on the same squishy point of view that has allowed too much of it to become a cesspool over the last several years, and it has little intention of truly cleaning up.”
One big tweet
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave an interview to far-right American broadcaster Sean Hannity yesterday, leaving credible tech journalists with nothing else to do but listen to a show they would likely normally give a wide berth.
Charlie Warzel
remarkable day when Sean Hannity gets answers to semi-complex technical questions about a social media platform that I've wanted to have answered for 3 weeks https://t.co/Sqd5mEnkxY
9:46 PM - 8 Aug 2018
That’s all for today...
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