I actually was interested in applying to be a KGB “Knowledge agent,” and here’s my take on the situation:
They collect $1 per answer, over texting rates. 5-10 cents goes to the person who actually answers the question. Another 5 cents goes to a group of answer vetters, usually senior answerers. I think rates will increase if you are especially quick and/or a good answerer.
They have a test you can take to see if you qualify. Basically, the main skill is doing internet research quickly and writing comprehensible answers with a high degree of accuracy. Usually, the answer is given in less than 3 minutes. However, part of the test reveals their actual, sinister, revenue model: cheating on tests.
One section of the agent test is math skills, the ability to work out and give the correct answer to a variety of math questions. When I took the test, I thought, how odd, why would two people arguing over whether Bruce Lee could beat Chuck Norris need to solve word problems?
And then it hit me (quite quickly and accurately, ho ho!) that they get most of their money from students cheating at tests. Who else would need answers in under 5 minutes and be willing to pay $1 each for them?
Being a somewhat ethical teacher, I decided not to apply.