The issue of Freelance exploitation is something that is a rather passionate topic for me personally, as I have experienced it in one way or another myself.
The main issue with freelance work, more-so freelance writing, is as stated by Lobato and Thomas I would say is that there are no formal protections. Compared to a ‘secure’ job with a company, where you have constant income and protections that aid you such as work cover or even minimum wages, you don’t have this when working for institutions that are based on the content farm philosophy.
As people are able to charge what they want for this type of content, it brings to question many ethical issues, however there is not enough room to talk about this here.
I feel the main issue with this system is that there is always going to be the manpower to do this work for content farms, and this competition may in fact create even lesser value monetarily. Pushing this most I feel is the concept of experience, and idea that ‘that you can’t have too much’, and ‘you never have enough’.
This stigma means that these people are going to go through being paid below minimum wage, in the hopes that it will lead to a more lustrous career in the industry. The model however, does not take into account that writing low value (quality wise) articles for companies that farm your content doesn’t really go the places that it is expected to lead.
It is hard to think of a way around this industry practice, as there is nothing governing what is right and wrong. Ethically this type of practice is not ideal, but for most organisations in this situation the ethics do not make a difference to the outcome. As an individual I don’t think there will be much that can be done, or if something can be done it won’t very influential. I think that as a group change could be made, but it is still going to be a long road from where we have come to at this moment in history before we can bring journalism back to what it once was.