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All I want for Christmas from UpWork....

mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
31 of 41

Renata S wrote:

Over the past few years that I've been freelancing on this board, UpWork has given me the gift of being able to connect with clients I could not have dreamed of meeting. I get to find out about some of the coolest research projects that are being conducted all around the world. I really appreciate that UpWork was a place where my clients felt secure enough to bring their projects. 

However, I find that the way UpWork deals with approving profiles and removing fake ones really needs to be reconsidered. The current systems for flagging and ticket handling by T&S don't work well enough to handle the current volume of fake profiles that are auto-approved.

What I want from UpWork for Christmas is for someone to consider the bigger picture of what approving masses of fake profiles does for the system as a whole. My wish is that clients like mine can continue to feel more secure in what they're getting here. 

Can we start with these?

 

**Edited for community guidelines**





Ditto.

 

I have flagged (four times) a profile whose overview actually states that he's lying about his location, because he is really in a country that has sanctions against it.

 

Though we are told otherwise, flagging is useless.

 

I have pointed out to a mod (in a pm) that there are a multitude of profiles who appear to be single freelancers, but they're really agencies (stating so in their overviews). The mod was not interested in hearing about any of them.

 

Flagging is useless.

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
32 of 41

Virginia F wrote:


Ditto.

 

I have flagged (four times) a profile whose overview actually states that he's lying about his location, because he is really in a country that has sanctions against it.

 

Though we are told otherwise, flagging is useless.

 

I have pointed out to a mod (in a pm) that there are a multitude of profiles who appear to be single freelancers, but they're really agencies (stating so in their overviews). The mod was not interested in hearing about any of them.

 

Flagging is useless.


To be fair, I haven't always found that flagging is completely useless, but it often is really hit and miss. There are times when I've found that profiles have been taken down fairly quickly. But there are other times when I've flagged things multiple times and basically nothing has happened. However, recently, the problem is that there's such a proliferation of duplicate fakes, flagging them all individually isn't an option. 

I was talking to another freelancer about about the issue of duplicate fakes recently (like the whole Aussie Voice episode), and her response managed to capture the issue perfectly:  "Upwork should find a solution for this themselves, and not rely on charity work from frustrated freelancers." 


prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
33 of 41

If this was my system, I would add an automatic profile photo checking algorithm, to make sure that every submitted profile photo is not the same photo as the photo of a freelancer already in the system.

 

This is very doable. I have implemented image-checking systems for clients. There are easy-to-use Perceptual Hash (pHash) libraries available. These can find matches even if the image is not the exact same image file, but is essentially the same image.

 

We see image matching all the time when we use Google Image search to find matches to existing image files.

 

We were poking a lot of fun at the fake freelancer profiles Renata found - all 8 of them using the SAME profile photograph.

 

This type of check can be automated. Upwork does not need employees to look at all of the photos coming in.

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
34 of 41

Preston H wrote:

If this was my system, I would add an automatic profile photo checking algorithm, to make sure that every submitted profile photo is not the same photo as the photo of a freelancer already in the system.

 

This is very doable. I have implemented image-checking systems for clients. There are easy-to-use Perceptual Hash (pHash) libraries available. These can find matches even if the image is not the exact same image file, but is essentially the same image.

 

We see image matching all the time when we use Google Image search to find matches to existing image files.

 

We were poking a lot of fun at the fake freelancer profiles Renata found - all 8 of them using the SAME profile photograph.

 

This type of check can be automated. Upwork does not need employees to look at all of the photos coming in.


Thanks Preston, 

I appreciate someone pointing out that this sort of screening is a viable option. I'm a bit torn because, while I enjoy the humour aspects of the chances of octuplets occuring in the UpWork population, like a lot of the freelancers who are concerned about this, UpWork represents a valuable income stream. For better or for worse, it currently supplies a significant chunk of my livelihood. And it gives me an opportunity to find interesting projects while I'm making a living, which is also something that's important to me.

However, I can see a lot of ways clients would be turned off using this platform. So instead of spending valuable resources implementing cutsey stars and rockets announcing how many times people have viewed my profile and the myriad of other half-baked add-ons Upwork has been implementing (not to mention the Talent Specialists) since its inception, I would really rather see the company focus on things that would help bolster a sense of security in the clients who are interested in hiring here. As far as I can see, that's something that really matters to my clients. 

I think putting more effort into preventing obviously fake profiles from being auto-accepted would be a step in the right direction.   

allpurposewriter
Community Guru
Anthony H Member Since: Feb 22, 2017
BEST ANSWER
35 of 41

 "I'm a bit torn because, while I enjoy the humor aspects of the chances of octuplets occurring in the UpWork population, like a lot of the freelancers who are concerned about this, UpWork represents a valuable income stream. "

 

Renata, touche. Didn't the fighter George Foreman name all of his sons George Foreman? We have to protect Upwork clients from fraternal sibling fraud as well, don't you think? And what about those with so-termed multiple personality disorder -- another inroad for inbred identity theft (on a somewhat existential level no less). 

 

Time travelers are also a big problem. God knows, in the future, this is predicted to be a rampant new crime front and it's not certain if they are here already or not. I know a few repeat lottery winners who are highly suspect in this regard. (I don't know how many repeat lottery winners are on Upwork, but I'm sure the board of directors has considered this issue -- or I hope so.)

Frankly, I always thought Preston was a clone of some kind. You know, this gets a little complicated. I happen to be an identical twin (true enough), but the proper scientific designation for an identical twin is a mutant, not a clone. (Scientifically, identical twins are an anomaly.) Anyway, this gets us to a serious point that gets us back to the octuplets. If I had my druthers: Clones -- no! Mutants -- yes!

View solution in original post

renata101
Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
36 of 41

Anthony H wrote:

 "I'm a bit torn because, while I enjoy the humor aspects of the chances of octuplets occurring in the UpWork population, like a lot of the freelancers who are concerned about this, UpWork represents a valuable income stream. "

 

Renata, touche. Didn't the fighter George Foreman name all of his sons George Foreman? We have to protect Upwork clients from fraternal sibling fraud as well, don't you think? And what about those with so-termed multiple personality disorder -- another inroad for inbred identity theft (on a somewhat existential level no less). 

 

Time travelers are also a big problem. God knows, in the future, this is predicted to be a rampant new crime front and it's not certain if they are here already or not. I know a few repeat lottery winners who are highly suspect in this regard. (I don't know how many repeat lottery winners are on Upwork, but I'm sure the board of directors has considered this issue -- or I hope so.)

Frankly, I always thought Preston was a clone of some kind. You know, this gets a little complicated. I happen to be an identical twin (true enough), but the proper scientific designation for an identical twin is a mutant, not a clone. (Scientifically, identical twins are an anomaly.) Anyway, this gets us to a serious point that gets us back to the octuplets. If I had my druthers: Clones -- no! Mutants -- yes!


Thanks for making my day, Anthony! In honor of this special contribution, I've channeled my Guru powers to make you the solutions author of this thread. So your lovely mug will be gracing the Coffee Break solutions author leaderboard with Mary for the next month. Enjoy!

Clones -- no! Mutants -- yes!




m_terrazas
Community Guru
Maria T Member Since: Nov 12, 2015
37 of 41

Preston H wrote:

If this was my system, I would add an automatic profile photo checking algorithm, to make sure that every submitted profile photo is not the same photo as the photo of a freelancer already in the system.

 

This is very doable. I have implemented image-checking systems for clients. There are easy-to-use Perceptual Hash (pHash) libraries available. These can find matches even if the image is not the exact same image file, but is essentially the same image.

 

We see image matching all the time when we use Google Image search to find matches to existing image files.

 

We were poking a lot of fun at the fake freelancer profiles Renata found - all 8 of them using the SAME profile photograph.

 

This type of check can be automated. Upwork does not need employees to look at all of the photos coming in.



I have no idea of ​​programming, but I had already thought that something like that, perhaps it was not so "complicated".

So I appreciate you confirming that my "thought" was not so crazy Smiley Happy
In fact, you can now search for a text in the search for freelancers.
Why doesn't Upwork use it automatically every time a new account is created? Between that and a recognition of photos, a good amount of scammers would be removed.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
38 of 41

I would not want to suggest that checking new photos to see if they match existing photos is "easy" or "without effort." None of you are saying that. But it is "doable" or "viable." It would require some effort to implement, but it does not require "reinventing the wheel."

 

It is indeed possible that clients will notice fake profiles and/or duplicate profiles and have less regard for Upwork, or be less likely to hire hire.

 

I think the bigger problem these fake duplicate profiles pose is this:

 

Every fake profile represents a person or group of people who are more likely to be scammers trying to steal money from clients, or simply low-quality freelancers who may cause big problems for clients because the freelancer has no real accountability.

 

Upwork, particularly in its predecessor forms such as oDesk, originally did not care much one way or another about freelancer authenticity. The reason that Upwork has cracked down as much as it has (although clearly such efforts are not yet perfect)... is that freelancers with fake photos, fake names, fake locations, etc., were causing a disproportionate amount of problems for clients. Moreover, clients often complained specifically about the fake details.

m_terrazas
Community Guru
Maria T Member Since: Nov 12, 2015
39 of 41

With knowing that it is something "feasible", nothing of nuclear engineering or something like that, it is enough to think that Upwork can carry it out. And it does not.
Just now a duplicate profile has been discovered, in a matter of a short time, that it seems that the life of the "original" freelancer may be bitter.
And it has not been discovered by Upwork precisely.
They have to do something NOW.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
40 of 41

Hi All,

 

A number of posts have been removed from this thread as they were off-topic and also included personal attacks. 

 

I realize that this thread is in the Coffee Break section. However, we'd appreciate if we could keep it on topic so we could be more productive keeping up with your reports and sharing your feedback/suggestions with the team.

 

Thanks!

~ Valeria
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