Upwork video chat new verification program
Upwork came up with a very Controversial way to detect “fraudulent profiles“, since the end of 2016.
“Unfortunately, sometimes we see fraudulent profiles, and to prevent this, on occasion we need to verify the information a freelancer has included in their profile. With this new program, some freelancers may be asked to join a brief video chat with an Upwork representative. During this video call, which should take less than three minutes, our representative will ask a few questions to confirm some of the information entered by the freelancer on his/her profile.” said the community manager Garnor M .
“Guys… If you’re going to place accounts on hold for video verification. it’s probably a good idea to make sure your CS knows how to go through the process?”, said Kat C, Negative opinion
“I just got the same email. And I am still waiting to chat with someone. This isn’t making me feel very confident”, Said Amy T, Negative opinion
“Vlad (or other moderator), are you able to explain why this process is being rolled out in a way that cripples freelancer’s ability to submit proposals without warning. rather than in an orderly manner that would allow time to schedule the verification before the ability to submit proposals was frozen?” said Tiffany S, Negative opinion
“As asked before: What does this actually entail? So I have to go out and buy a webcam now?” said Kim F, Negative opinion
“What video verification would do (assuming someone doesn’t use a stand-in) would verify someone’s gender, age, race, and physical capabilities. All of which are protected categories here in California (where Upwork is also based). I don’t have or want a profile photo: my work speaks for itself. Requiring people to in effect verify their gender, race, age, and physical capabilities is huge invitation to discrimination. Both by Upwork and by clients. Further, the idea of picking people out at random for punishment is also how cults and dictatorial regimes operate.” said Chris K, Negative opinion
Although Upwork officials said that this program is a part of their ongoing efforts to protect all users. It is too difficult for any reasonable adult to understand how can a three minutes video chat verifies his skills as a freelancer. While the official documentation provided in the profile can’t.
We think that this program is not doing what it supposed to do. On the other hand it is making freelancers frustrated. As seen in the sample opinions collected from Upwork community. Upwork forced some freelancers to buy cameras making them so upset. This makes Upwork verification system is the worst among other freelance platforms. It’s actually leading many freelancers to move to another platforms such as Fiverr, and freelancer.com.