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Invited to spam 200 people on [popular business network] a week for $10 -seriously unethical

I just got invited to an entry level job described as being 'for students' (I'm expert level, go figure) where the client's asking for people to spam 200 people a week on a popular business social network, and add a banner image to their personal [business social network] profile that indicates they are a part time employee at the client's company. All this for a princely sum of $10/week plus extra if any of this spamming result in the client being able to call the spam targets. 


How how HOW is this sort of rubbish OK to post on Upwork?? 


Yes I reported it already as unethical and inappropriate and declined the invitation with a snippy message. Sigh. 


Hi Jo,


Thank you for bringing this to our attention and for flagging job post to our team for further review. Please note that because of security and privacy concerns, we will not be able to share the results or findings of our investigations with you. We take all reports seriously, and we will take action as provided for in our Terms of Service.


Our teams are working to address the situation around scam and spam jobs, including higher than usual volumes of scam posts, constantly changing methods of scam accounts and gaps in user education around Upwork TOS and safety. Additionally, I assure you that we'll continue sharing users' feedback with the team and providing updates to the Community about team's initiatives. Feel free to check an update in this post for more information about the team's efforts around addressing these issues.


~ Nikola

Thanks for the generic copy and pasted response 

Community Member

I am sure that buyer must be very rich and fat

Community Member

The job is still online, so it seems Upwork endorses this kind of stuff. Maybe it's because the client has spent over $900K on Upwork...? Disappointing. 



EVERY SINGLE JOB on Upwork is unethical by someone's standards.


You can't beat yourself up about this.


There are job postings on Upwork that involve beef. But if you are an observant Hindu, that is immoral and unethical. What if you are Amish and don't believe in using the Internet for work? No matter what job posting you pick out, I can find ways that it is unethical, illegal, or immoral by someone's standards.


What you refer to as "spam" may be referred to by other people as "email marketing."


That does not mean it isn't spam, by the way.


The important thing is you as an individual freelancer are not required to participate in any job if you don't want to. But sometimes other people will be allowed to do things that we don't personally agree are acceptable.

The important thing is you as an individual freelancer...

I think you can also look if the job break something (ToS) on the target site. If it does then it no longer unethical but also illegal in Upwork per their own definition and you can disappoint more.



Preston, I think you missed the point. It used to be that Upwork had a minimum wage requirement and several categories of work that were not allowed for ethical reasons. Academic fraud, for example (not related to this one, obvs). I guess that's changed. Yeah, people who accept this kind of work will learn... play stupid games, etc. etc. 

I mean it what said above, Upwork does not allow work on sites that breaks the site's ToS.


This is actually one (of a few more) example about how the ToS has flaws, how it's flexible, bendable, and not strictly followed even by their own.


We and scam victims are the ones who're told to follow them.


This particular client is a big spender but also one of the oldest enemy of the internets which should be fought even without a ToS, but Upwork is (if thinking positively) too lazy to look and still allows them to operate in their platform breaking their own ToS.



Community Member

I've been asked to do a bunch of stuff during my 5 years + on Upwork. If you don't like something you have every right to just click away, and spend the time looking for more work, that's more in line with your values and skills.

I hardly look at the entry-level posts because of the number of spam posters (not creating the spam, actual spam) - Sounds like that person has a good thing going if they're spending 900k on Upwork @ $10 a week!

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