And CrowdSource Unfairly Banned Kenya – Should We Be Worried?

CrowdSource Bans Kenya

Crowdsource (now rebranding to OneSpace) suspended Kenya a few months ago due to buying and selling of accounts. Reports stated that Kenyans could still sign up but when it came to adding their PayPal accounts, the Kenyan PayPal accounts will not go through and their CrowdSource accounts would be deactivated or suspended.

Others just woke up early September 2015 to log in to their highly rated CrowdSource accounts but they got the errors below:

  • Some accounts would redirect to a page showing that workstations were invite only
  • Others would simply get an error stating that no account linked to their email existed

In short, it’s like today you log in to your account, work, submit etc but tomorrow you try logging in and your account has suddenly disappeared. It was established that it wasn’t the account rating that was a problem, since even those with 99.5% ratings had their accounts banned.

For those who don’t know it, CrowdSource is a site that deals with copywriting, data, moderation and transcription. It pays very well compared to other sites for example you would be paid $6 per 200 words for article writing.

It is best for seasoned article writers since their editors are very strict thus their rejection rate is extremely high.

What led to the suspension?

As stated above, the reason for the suspension was simply because of buying and selling of accounts. Allegedly, a lady called Catherine Faith (not established if that’s her real name or just a Facebook and CrowdSource forum alias) leaked information to the CrowdSource support team that Kenyans were buying and selling CrowdSource accounts. She sent them a few social media posts from purported buyers and sellers and baam! Kenya was suspended from CrowdSource.

Was this fair?

I don’t think the suspension was fair and I do not support country bans at all.

I usually say that when it comes to spamming, account selling, fraud and alike, sites and/or companies need to create measures to detect and handle them. Screenshots of 4 or 5 Kenyans selling accounts should not make the whole country get banned! That sample size does not, in any way, represent the whole country.

I strongly think that had those few screenshots come from US or UK, it would have been a different ball game. If I’m wrong feel free to correct me on the comments.

I have spoken many times in this blog that discrimination should not be tolerated at all. I often ask myself why PayPal doesn’t directly work with Kenyan banks while Skrill does (both are reputable online transaction processors). Why CrowdSource bans the whole country while bigger sites like Upwork and Freelancer “adore” Kenyans. It all boils down to some sort of modern day discrimination.

Way forward

Below are my suggestions on the way forward:

  1. Avoid buying and selling of accounts – This is against the terms of almost all sorts of accounts online and offline. I agree some people buy accounts and succeed. However, in any black market, you should know that one day that account you bought will be closed for some reason. It’s always best to have your own account.
  2. When one site discriminates against you, just dust yourself and move to the next one. Kenyans are awesome and we can make it despite any sort of efforts to pull us down.
  3. Should you decide to buy an account (not-recommended), make sure you’re an expert in the field. Buying an academic, article or transcription account while you don’t have the skill will just get you banned and bring down the perception of the country in that site. Never forget that buying and selling of accounts is not allowed, so you’ll be at the risk of having your account closed anyway.
  4. Promote our own sites. We actually do have some Kenyan sites that give jobs to all. Some examples include GlobeSkill and Kuhustle. They may not yet be at the standards of the foreign ones, but they are ours and we should strive to register, post jobs and make applications there. One day, they’ll be as big as the rest!
  5. We can still decide to fight to have it restored just as we did with iWriter.

It is still my prayer that CrowdSource will allow Kenyans back to their site since most Kenyans are good, law abiding citizens working hard to make ends meet. They should then only ban those who are guilty of violation of their terms, from any country in the globe. Even iWriter restored Kenya after we fought here and elsewhere to have it back.

Do you agree with the above? Should we fight to have CrowdSource back? What do you think should be the way forward? Any clarifications on the position of the site at the time you’re reading this post? As usual, let’s have some meaningful discussion on the comments.