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

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

For example, if you and a friend or business partner worked with each other on fake jobs on Upwork just to give each other positive fake 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 not represent a conflict of interest. Close connections could lead to conflicts of interest and biased feedback. An example would be if an administrator or hiring manager from your company completed a contract for your company and left feedback. We may ask you to clarify the work or remove the feedback in such cases.

You also can’t hire yourself as a freelancer from your own client account, especially not to give yourself positive feedback.

Paying for good feedback or threats of negative action to get good feedback are against Terms of Service and considered forms of bribery and extortion. You can’t ask freelancers for free work in exchange for positive feedback, offer to pay them for positive feedback, or threaten to give them bad feedback unless they give you positive feedback. 

You also don’t have to tolerate these behaviors. If anyone offers you payment, a refund, free work, or anything besides legitimate paid work on the contract to get feedback, don’t accept. If they say they’ll withhold work or give you negative feedback unless you promise positive feedback, don’t worry. You can report these behaviors to Upwork, and we’ll follow up. 

While it’s okay to request honest feedback about a collaboration, it’s never okay to pressure others or to ask them to be dishonest. Sometimes people may forget, but they may also choose not to leave any feedback. Asking from a place of appreciation and respecting the choice is a better approach for building a good relationship.

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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