What is Feedback Building and Why Isn’t It Allowed? (for Freelancers)

For feedback to be trusted and meaningful, it must be genuine. Feedback building is intentional manipulation of feedback for yourself or someone else. It violates Upwork’s Terms of Service and can result in suspension of your account.

For example, if you and a friend or business colleague hire each other on Upwork just to give each other fake positive feedback, that would be feedback building. While you’re allowed to work with people you know, the job and the feedback must be real and avoid conflicts of interest or bias. In cases of close connections that could lead to conflicts of interest and biased feedback, we may ask you to clarify the work or remove the feedback.

Similarly, to prevent feedback building and other types of fraud, you can’t hire yourself as a freelancer from your own client account.

Paying for good feedback or threatening negative action to get good feedback are also against Terms of Service and considered forms of bribery and extortion. You can’t offer to pay clients or give free work in exchange for positive feedback, and you can’t accept payment for feedback. You can’t threaten to give negative feedback or withhold work unless the other person gives positive feedback. You also don’t have to tolerate these behaviors from others. You can report their actions to Upwork, and we’ll follow up.

While it’s a good idea to politely ask your clients for honest feedback, it’s not okay to pressure others or to ask them to be dishonest. Sometimes people may forget to leave feedback, but they may also choose not to leave any. Asking from a place of appreciation and respecting their choice is a better approach for building a good relationship.

To learn more about best practices for approaching your client for feedback go here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if my account is suspended for feedback building?

We’ll let you know in several ways. We’ll send you an email notification and put a notification at the top of every page you see in Upwork with a link to more information in your My Requests inbox. You can also access your My Requests inbox under Help > My Requests. As a result of the block, some actions on the website will no longer be available to you. The buttons for these actions will be grayed out, made invisible, or redirect you to an error page.

What happens if I participated in feedback building without realizing it was wrong and accidentally violated Upwork’s Terms of Service?

To find out more and provide details about your specific situation, reply to the email notification we sent you about the suspension. Your reply will go straight to the team that is reviewing your case.

If this is your first violation, we may provide education about how you violated Upwork’s Terms of Service or ask you for more information about your activity. We may leave your account active or suspend your account until we can resolve this with you, depending on how serious the issue is. If you’ve had serious or repeated violations, we may block your Upwork account permanently. You can learn more about what happens when you violate Terms of Service here.

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