Frank, who had made about $80 on Prolific surveys before “his” video, told The Verge that “he” also noticed a difference in the platform. Scientists conducting such research in the U.S. usually require a group of subjects whose first language is English, who are not well versed in psychological research, and who together constitute a fairly representative demographic sample of the U.S. population. Prolific, a tool for behavioral scientists, did not have screening tools to provide representative samples of the population for each study. Suddenly, scientists accustomed to getting a wide range of subjects for their Prolific studies were inundated with responses from young women Franks’ age. Prolific compensated researchers whose studies were significantly affected by the influx of female respondents and introduced a new set of demographic screening tools. The small platform offers more transparency, promises more ethical treatment of survey participants, and higher quality survey subjects than alternative platforms such as Mechanical Turk. Currently, the Stanford Behavioral Laboratory mainly uses the newer and smaller Prolific platform for online surveys, Hall said. A Stanford Behavioral Lab employee wrote on the Prolific forum, “We’ve noticed a big jump in the number of platform participants in the U.S. pool, from 40,000 to 80,000. According to Vlad Chituk, a psychology student at Yale University who was conducting several pilot studies on Prolific when the surge began, updating the pool of research participants should have long-term benefits. Within a month of publication, the video had been viewed 4.1 million times, leading to tens of thousands of new users joining the Prolific platform. Longtime Prolific users complained on Reddit that Frank had discouraged paid search on the crowdsourced platform. While most Turkish mechanical customers are large corporations doing corporate research, Prolific is targeting academia. The first and largest of these research platforms is Amazons Mechanical Turk, which was launched in 2005 as a general platform for repetitive crowdsourcing tasks. Although not as widely known, Prolific is part of a small collection of online tools that have changed the way business and academia learn how people think and act. For days and weeks after Franks’ video was published, researchers tried to figure out what happened to their research. According to Bradley, about 4,600 studies were thwarted by Franks TikTok, or about a third of all active research on the platform during the surge.