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Is it within Upwork ToS..?

Active Member
Konstantinos F Member Since: Jun 26, 2018
1 of 19

Hello Upwork community,

 

I just wanted to ask a question on a subject that has been bugging me for a while.

 

I have seen, and I am sure you have too on many occasions, job ads that look for a freelancer to do an academic report, weekly report, Final Term Paper and many other academic types of work.

 

The issue here is that it is clearly against the regulation of every academic institution on the planet to submit work with your name on it when you are not the one that did it. However, I see a lot of these ads and I have seen them increasing in my time on this platform. This clearly means that Upwork is a platform that has been making a name for the go-to place for academic fraud, which is unfortunate.

 

My questions are:

Is this actually against Upwork's Terms of Service?

Is Upwork in agreement with this practice (i.e. am I just being weird here)?

And is this an issue that is actively being addressed or planned against?

 

Obviously, this is more of a question for Upwork themselves but I would also like the input of my fellow freelancers.

 

Please, discuss!

Moderator
Aleksandar D Moderator Member Since: Mar 23, 2019
2 of 19

Hi Konstantinos,

 

Requesting the creation of content that violates academic integrity and academic policies of any educational institution are prohibited on Upwork. For more information please refer to article 4.1. Prohibited Site Uses of Upwork TOS. 

 

If you do see this kind of job posts, or if a client offers you a job that you suspect is a case of academic integrity, please report it using the flagging option found on every job post so that our team can review and take appropriate actions. 

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Untitled
Active Member
Konstantinos F Member Since: Jun 26, 2018
3 of 19

I have been flagging them vigorously!!! It's just that I think they are increasing in number and it seems that it has been circulating from mouth to mouth.

 

I saw that you added a flag option saying that it's a freelancer ad not a job ad. But I really think this should have it's own unique flag option instead of just selecting the Other option and describing it.

 

I think this would encourage more people to flag for this particular reason and also make it more obvious that it's not acceptable as a practice.

Ace Contributor
Richard F Member Since: Sep 9, 2009
4 of 19

I agree. Action this please Upwork!

Community Guru
Aleksandr S Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
5 of 19

I flagged several such jobs in the past. Got emails saying, we took actions. Jobs were still there.

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
6 of 19

Over the weekend, I flagged two profiles of graphic designers (with details) whose portfolios and jobs featured stock images and/or were copied from other websites/ organizations.  Although the threads were drastically edited and one closed, the profiles remain active and untouched.  What the heck is going on here??  Seems backwards to me.

 

Academic fraud - I have successfully gotten a few taken down but my opinion is that the UW people who  review the ads don't understand/ have no training in academic fraud.  One freelancer has actually replied to the jobs, uncovered the university involved, and reported the students.  That's a lot of unpaid work which should have been taken care of before she had to go to such lengths.

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
7 of 19

Mary W wrote:

 

Academic fraud - I have successfully gotten a few taken down but my opinion is that the UW people who  review the ads don't understand/ have no training in academic fraud.  One freelancer has actually replied to the jobs, uncovered the university involved, and reported the students.  That's a lot of unpaid work which should have been taken care of before she had to go to such lengths.


That's an interesting point of view. I agree with you, not everyone can spot academic fraud. Maybe we should all try to get the jobs and play detectives, students would end up hearing about the horrible, heartless Upwork freelancer police brigade????

 

I try to do my bit, particularly when free work is asked in French. I'm not sure what happens next.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
8 of 19

Luce N wrote:

I try to do my bit, particularly when free work is asked in French. I'm not sure what happens next.


The answer is "not much" happens next.

 

If dishonest freelancers weren't so willing to do these types of projects - and if Upwork actually enforced their TOS - then this type of client would be out of luck. You don't even need to play detective and go looking for freelancers who break the rules - they regularly show up in the forum ASKING people to look at their profiles and give them advice. Then you check the profile and it's painfully obvious that they're frauds and con artists who bring absolutely no value to Upwork; on the contrary, they undoubtedly scare good clients away from hiring here. Why Upwork wants to keep them around is a complete and utter mystery to me. 

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
9 of 19

Christine A wrote:

Luce N wrote:

I try to do my bit, particularly when free work is asked in French. I'm not sure what happens next.


The answer is "not much" happens next.

 

If dishonest freelancers weren't so willing to do these types of projects - and if Upwork actually enforced their TOS - then this type of client would be out of luck. You don't even need to play detective and go looking for freelancers who break the rules - they regularly show up in the forum ASKING people to look at their profiles and give them advice. Then you check the profile and it's painfully obvious that they're frauds and con artists who bring absolutely no value to Upwork; on the contrary, they undoubtedly scare good clients away from hiring here. Why Upwork wants to keep them around is a complete and utter mystery to me. 


I don't really think these freelancers are dishonest, just plain foolish. When you accept to work for nearly nothing, then pay 20% to Upwork, plus exchange rate and taxes on this small amount of money, you are a real fool. Yet, with the Covid situation, I have noticed that loads of "freelancers" are trying to underbid each other, the result being that any client is now able to get jobs done for peanuts.

 

Yesterday, I had to flag a job where some "client" was asking for the translation of 2 documents, maybe a total of 2000 words for 17 dollars and a hint that there would be other jobs in the future. I'm glad I haven't got the Upwork Plus membership plan, or I would have been tempted to see how lower than $17 the bids would go.

 

As a matter of fact, I'm even getting worried for Upwork, as they are making 20 percent of nearly nothing with these new type of deals.

 

My only hope is that the client offering $17 for his two translations got a terrible machine translation that he won't really be able to use.

Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
10 of 19

Luce N wrote:


I don't really think these freelancers are dishonest, just plain foolish. When you accept to work for nearly nothing, then pay 20% to Upwork, plus exchange rate and taxes on this small amount of money, you are a real fool. 

 


I disagree - most of them know exactly what they're doing. It only takes a minute to steal a logo or machine translate an article, so $10 is quite a good payment for the effort involved. I wonder why the rest of us waste our time learning skills and doing actual work - maybe we're the fools.

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