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Contract cheating just made the New York Times

Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
1 of 15

NYT recently published article that discusses the complexity of the issue:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/07/us/college-cheating-papers.html

 

Unfortunately, some of the details of this aren't really news to anyone who works in writing or editing on UpWork. Two years ago, I found the profile of an FL (or most likely a farmer) who had made 20K taking care of other people's homework. I've seen client pages that clearly show people initiating multiple contracts for school assignments, complete with rubrics and assignment sheets. 


Ace Contributor
Sheila F Member Since: Apr 6, 2017
2 of 15

I've seen programming assignments posted, and flagged them.I haven't seen any lately but then I don't read as many job posts as when I first started on Upwork.

 

Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
3 of 15

Sheila F wrote:

I've seen programming assignments posted, and flagged them.I haven't seen any lately but then I don't read as many job posts as when I first started on Upwork.

 


I've also seen clients looking to hire freelancers to handle aeronautics engineering problem sets, prepare papers on architectural safety assessment methods (this one included a course rubric), and complete nursing assignments. I've also received invites for homework assignments.

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
4 of 15

I always flag academic fraud when I see it, which is pretty much every time I look at job posts. Often, I find more than one in a single session. If it's so easy for us to recognize these frauds, why is it so difficult for UW?

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
5 of 15

I hope UW takes action when you flag this type of offers?

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
6 of 15

Luce N wrote:

I hope UW takes action when you flag this type of offers?


Luce, I don't know whether or not they do. I get an automated message thanking me for flagging it. I don't follow up to see because I'm not willing to spend my time and energy that way AND it's not a problem that will ever be resolved by following up individual instances. They need a systemic remedy. I flag individual instances as a civic duty.

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
7 of 15

I know all about the "thanks for flagging" message, I regularly do my civic duty too!

Ace Contributor
Sheila F Member Since: Apr 6, 2017
8 of 15

Upwork could offer a bounty for reporting fraud. Payment could be in connects. The first person to flag a post gets the bounty. New freelancers would learn to spot fraud, earning a few connects and it wouldn't cost Upwork anything beyond the time it takes to review the post. But then there needs to be something in place to keep people from reporting posts just for the connects and wasting Upwork employee time. What do they do now? Do they review every report or wait for multiple reports for a given post?

 

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
9 of 15

Sheila F wrote:

Upwork could offer a bounty for reporting fraud. Payment could be in connects. The first person to flag a post gets the bounty. New freelancers would learn to spot fraud, earning a few connects and it wouldn't cost Upwork anything beyond the time it takes to review the post. But then there needs to be something in place to keep people from reporting posts just for the connects and wasting Upwork employee time. What do they do now? Do they review every report or wait for multiple reports for a given post?

 


Sheila, at first the connects bounty sounds fine, but some smart scammer would organise some system by which a "client" would offer a "job" just for his friend to flag it and get free connects!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 15

re: "If it's so easy for us to recognize these frauds, why is it so difficult for UW?"

 

Don't underestimate the superiority of human intelligence relative to computers.

 

Ultimately, the only thing inside a computer is zeros and ones.

What you may think is easy can be quite difficult to do using only zeroes and ones.

 

Just look at how difficult it is for Upwork to implement automated systems that identify the locations of users, or automatically recognize information on driver's licenses.

 

And that is if we assume that significant effort is being put into this.

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