‘Ghost Accounts’, ‘Joki Accounts’ and ‘Account Therapy’
Everyday Resistance Among Ride-hailing Motorcycle Drivers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Keywords:app-based workers, gamification, gig work, platform economy, politics of algorithm
This article shows how motorcycle taxi drivers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia deal with labour insecurity, tighter competition, minimum social welfare, decreased tariff and bonuses and longer working hours. The article finds that drivers employ diverse strategies to obtain more orders and therefore also more income. Drivers use prohibited mobile application-based technologies, which resemble those of their platforms, as well as non-technological strategies to boost their account’s performance. The article argues that whereas these prohibited practices can be understood as everyday resistance (Scott 1985), as oppositional acts against the holders of power and capital, they are also pragmatic survival tactics. Furthermore, the article shows that although the drivers’ resistance is individual, their knowledge and strategies are sourced and shared collectively through social media platforms. Being widely distributed between drivers and commonly applied by drivers, these strategies have nonetheless not been able to transform driver-company relationships in any significant way.
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