I received an invitation yesterday to bid on a ghostwriting job of a healthcare-related paper, and asked the client in an UpWork message whether the paper was for an academic course or for future submission to an academic journal (so as not to cause the client to untruthfully reply). The message received today from this client was that the need for a ghostwriter to write this paper was to receive a good grade in a course. Despite an announcement of new UpWork flags to make it easier to report such fraudulent requests (and my reply to the forum "thread" that this really was not simple), I could find no way to flag the message and/or flag my bid in response to the invitation for anything at all - never mind academic fraud. For this reason, I decided to just withdraw my bid today with "other" chosen as the reason. However, I then located this client's original job post; it was closed as a freelancer had been hired. This student is getting away with committing academic fraud, and - despite suggestions to the contrary by UpWork staff and others on this forum - there was no way for me to flag the message which clearly showed what was not so obvious in the original job post. What can I do (other than post this message to the forum) to alert UpWork to the academic fraud? I tried everything I could think of to find an answer within the various UpWork options and came up with nothing. Thank you.
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Unfortunately this happens a lot and unfortunately there are plenty of people who agree to write these student papers, although I'm sure it's not quite the quality the students want.
Click on the job and under "flag as inappropriate," choose "It's something else," and then desribe how its unethical, at least that's what I do.
Jared, thank you for your reply. However, I clicked on the job and there was no capacity to do this as a message about the job said: "Job is no longer available". However, one person was hired of the many who were interviewed. Perhaps UpWork caught this job post and disabled the ability for others to apply, but my guess based on many years on this platform (and its predecessor, Elance) is that a freelancer is doing the ghostwriting work. Additionally, please do not assume the ghostwriting of the paper will be substandard: I have copy-edited research papers in the past that I later believed to be not written by the student, due to that student's inability to clarify certain complex concepts for me to choose the correct preposition (e.g., injected in the mouse versus injected onto the mouse). I have gotten much more attuned to spotting an attempt at academic fraud over the years, so am very careful not to accept invitations or offers for these jobs. Problematically, UpWork "newbies" may be caught off-guard, accept the job, and be placed in the awkward position of choosing between refusing to aid in academic fraud (and risking negative feedback) or just doing the work to avoid negative feedback. This is why something has to be done from the UpWork staff end about this problem rather than solely from the freelancer end. If I was a professor, I would not accept a single paper from a student these days without requiring an oral exam on the content, as academic fraud in required papers appears to have become the norm rather than the exception to it.
Thank you for reporting this to us. I was able to locate the job post you're referring to and will be sure to escalate it to the correct team for their review and appropriate action will be taken according to our internal processes.
Elizabeth S wrote:
What can I do (other than post this message to the forum) to alert UpWork to the academic fraud?
Simply report the message where the academic fraud was admitted in the messages thread
click on the "gear" icon on the right of the message, next to the time.
Petra, thank you so much! It worked, & I reported the message. It is a good thing that I did not have anything I had to do this afternoon (which is a rarity for me), as I do not normally write such lengthy posts on this forum. I really appreciate the picture you included with the text to teach me!
Same thing happened to me today. I was invited to what looked like a legitimate job post for a company, then the client messaged me with a link to google docs where he explained that, being that it is an academic ghostwriting work and is against Upwork TOS, he wished to be contacted on whatsapp.
I politely informed him that I am unable to help him with tasks against TOS and illegal too. He did not reply.
I flagged the job post immediately (this morning my time), nothing happened, it's still there and he might be recruiting someone else.
I have now reported his message with the link and a clear explanation.
I hope that my report will be taken on board.
I worked hard for my qualifications, as well as many other people, and am against academic fraud.
Thank you for flagging this for us and for helping us keep Upwork a safe and trusted marketplace! I have gathered all the information regarding your report and escalated it to the correct team for their review.
Surprise surprise, the client contacted me today apologising for suggesting to breach TOS, BUT, he is still trying to negotiate an academic ghostwriting job with me by sharing academic documents: two examples of thesis, plus a set of instructions by an University. This is still academic fraud, isn't it? I flagged this to him and informed him that I am not able to assist and reported his message with attachments.
I am baffled by his determination to pursue this. Will he able to recruit freelancers for academic fraud in Upwork?
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