Your **Edited for Community Guidelines** fee increase to 23+% had already set me out looking for alternatives, but your recent ridiculous policy change crossed the line. I'm talking about the photo requirement.
A while back I got the request for a video interview. So far so good, except I have no way of doing that, no webcam, no smartphone. Perhaps you have an alternative? I didn't even get that far. The rep started by telling me I now need to upload a pic.
My face has absolutely nothing to do with my work, this is not a dating site. There are no pictures of me on the internet, and I'm not about to start now. I care deeply about my privacy - incidentally why I only did fixed price jobs, I found your tracker demeaning.
Your stupid policy cost you a quality programmer, one who's been here for years, and on Odesk before this. Your fees would have caused it alone, but not so soon.
While I respect your decision about your privacy concerns, I see no specific reason for not uploading your real photo. What Upwork is attempting to do here, is to make the client's experience as seamless as possible, and by revealing someone's real identity this has proved to bring more trust among professional relationships.
So supposing that you have a local client in Finland there where you are, and the client requested a meeting. You can't go to that meeting with a mask on your face and expect the client to take on your proposal because you don't want to reveal your personality. This is how business goes. Face and body language play an important role in interviews and meetings.
As for the privacy matter, one can't expect to work online with a full privacy. You're a computer engineer, right? We're in the same boat, and both of us know we can't hide online. No matter how conservative people are about their online privacy, websites and services are storing many of our actions around the clock. You know someone said once that if you don't want anyone to reveal a piece of information about you online, then don't put that info online in the first place. And if such a thing is a big concern for you, chances are you're not going to be able to do any freelancing work online anywhere else. You just can't expect to work online as a ghost. You need to have an identity. If you don't want that, then it's fine and I can respect it, but if that's the case then working online is simply not for you, so the problem isn't with Upwork's ToS, but with your own personal decisions instead.
Aside of that, I think it's fair to discuss the fees side of things, but the other topic you covered don't make much sense to a lot of us out of fairness.
Best of luck.
This platform is plagued with fake profiles. Video identity verification is definitely something that Upwork had to do, it's one of their best decisions. The credibility of the platform depends on it. They have already closed many fake accounts thanks to this.
To most of the freelancers it's merely an inconvenience. For some reason, few ones are really angry about this. Makes me wonder why...
I'm sorry you feel this way but please note that all freelancers are required to use a real photo of themselves on their profile. I'm afraid you won't be able to verify your profile and continue using your account unless you comply with this requirement, which is part of our effort to maintain Upwork as the trusted environment and professional marketplace.
I hope you reconsider your decision and continue building your success on Upwork.
Vladimir, I see you removed my proposed workaround. Everything I suggested was within Upwork ToS I thought so I'm puzzled why. Has Upwork policy now changed to make photos mandatory? Because my understanding was that ToS permitted profiles with no image whatsoever, although you recommend against that practice.
ETA: Vladimir, I just read your PM and I can only say I wasn't aware that removing a profile photo is not permitted. Or perhaps there's no feature for doing so, in which case my suggestion was worthless anyway , but in any event, my intention was to balance a need for security with personal privacy.
ETA: I got around to checking my own profile, and it appears that once you upload a photo, you can only replace it, not remove it, so my suggestion wouldn't have worked anyway.
Upwork has a website. It's their website. So they set their policies.
If you are unable to find specific language relating to that policy in a specific user agreement document, it doesn't negate the fact that this is their policy.
If the policy isn't stated anywhere at all on their website (which is unlikely), then this doesn't negate the fact that this is their policy.
When you come to my home, I have certain rules. They're not all written down. Nor are all the rules you must follow when you go to any business or country.