The rise of the voluntariat: How companies like Coursera extract profits from volunteer labor

The Rise of the Voluntariat: How companies like Coursera extract profits from volunteer labor

Coursera, a for-profit company, is using volunteers to translate online classes. Geoff Shullenberger, writing at Jacobin magazine, compares the “voluntariat” to social media companies, which also profit from unpaid labor (all those like and updates — indeed, some idiots pay companies like WordPress for the privilege of working for them — oh, wait, I do that).

The voluntariat is also like unpaid internships.

These trends depress wages for people — like professional translators — who can’t afford to work for free.

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