"The individuals performing this work are of course not traditional employees, but neither are they freelancers. They are, instead, 'users' or 'customers' of Web-based platforms that deliver pre-priced tasks like so many DIY kits ready for assembly. Transactions are bound not by employee-employer relationships but by 'user agreements' and Terms of Service that resemble software licenses more than any employment contract.
"Researchers at Oxford University's Martin Programme on Technology and Employment estimate that nearly 30% of jobs in the U.S. could be organized like this within 20 years. Forget the rise of robots and the distant threat of automation. The immediate issue is the Uber-izing of human labor, fragmenting of jobs into outsourced tasks and dismantling of wages into micropayments."
Mary L. Gray in the Los Angeles Times issues a warning about "crowdwork."