Click farm platforms and informal work in Brazil

Grohmann, Rafael
Govari, Caroline
Amaral, Adriana
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Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS)
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
This paper analyses work on click farm platforms in Brazil and argues that work on these platforms updates and reproduce traditional informal work in the country. The methods involve digital ethnography on click farm platforms, WhatsApp and Facebook groups and YouTube channels, and worker interviews. The findings present relationships between informal work and work for click farm platforms in these dimensions: a) culture and language, especially from WhatsApp groups, functioning as an extension of click farms; b) vocabularies and practices around “resale” as a sign of informal work in the country; c) the role of YouTubers in spreading neoliberal discourses; and d) boundaries around the piracy market and illegality. The paper contributes to debates on the taskification of work through digital labour platforms and the widespread neoliberal discourse and identity. First, the click farm platform deepens the mechanisms of micro-work platforms by presenting new layers of “fauxtomation” and “ghost work”, in a platform labour circuit marked only by Brazilians – consumers and workers. Second, it reveals the articulation among discourses of neoliberalism, entrepreneurship, and informal work in the context of the global South.
Inequality, Digital Labor Platforms, Gig Economy, Brazil, Neoliberal identity, Click farms, Micro-work, Platform labour
Grohmann R., Govari C., Amaral A. and Aquino M.C. 2022. Click farm platforms and informal work in Brazil. Future of Work(ers) SCIS Working Paper Number 34, Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, University Of The Witwatersrand.