Upwork, the largest centralized freelancing platform, recently went offline for several hours and placed their millions of freelances with a “503 error” and nowhere to turn.
The California-based freelance platform, which has a reputation for being notoriously difficult to gain approval on, is responsible for holding its users money when they’re paid for completing assigned jobs advertised by one of the platform’s five million registered clients. With the service now temporarily unavailable and so many reliant on Upwork to generate an income, it spells doom for the many millions of users who are now unable to access to their earnings.
This overbearing dependency highlights a serious flaw in centralised platforms like Upwork, which take all control away from the individual and leaves them at the mercy of website developers and technical support teams when things go wrong.
The centralised control (albeit lack off) doesn’t stop there. In 2016 the platform was heavily scrutinized when it decided to double its withdrawal fees from 8-10% to 20% on the first $500 each user makes, to cover the company’s falling valuation at the time. Also, if you’re one of the platform’s registered clients you are also expected to fork out a ‘standard processing fee’ of 2.75% on top of what you pay a freelancer, for every single job assignment that they complete.
Read more here.
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