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Curious about the difference...

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
1 of 7

We have at least two threads going about unethical requests for academic work, and the vast majority of freelancers seem to feel that this is shady enough that these jobs should be reported. I completely agree, but...

 

one of my earliest posts in this forum questioned requests for unlicensed legal work--something that actually violates criminal statutes in many states, not just an honor code, and the vast majority of freelancers responding felt that was none of our business.

 

I've been watching the academic threads and trying to figure out why so many people are in favor of reporting academic violations, but against reporting criminal requests that also violate consumer protection statutes. I'd love for someone to explain this rationale.

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Community Leader
Teri S Member Since: Oct 17, 2011
2 of 7

It's easier to spot academic violations. Most people know what cheating looks like. It's not easy for the layperson to spot the types of criminal violations you are talking about. Most people aren't laywers and don't know what is a legal request and what isn't.

 

I don't think anyone is actively against reporting the violations you've noted. Speaking for myself, I just don't know which requests should be reported and which ones are okay.

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 7

That makes sense, Teri. Thank you.

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Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
4 of 7

Tiffany


"We have at least two threads going about unethical requests for academic work, and the vast majority of freelancers seem to feel that this is shady enough that these jobs should be reported. I completely agree, but..."

 

I'd say ten or twenty contributors to a forum, linked to a site that has hundreds of thousands of freelancers working on it, is hardly generalisable to the wider population. Poetic/scientific licence is OK, but this is stretching it more than a little bit..

 

If you meant to say, as you do in your next part, the vast majority of freelancers responding, then that's fine )or better at least), except that it's pushing the language and the science to suggest there can be a vast majority of around 20.

 

"one of my earliest posts in this forum questioned requests for unlicensed legal work--something that actually violates criminal statutes in many states, not just an honor code, and the vast majority of freelancers responding felt that was none of our business."

 

By this, do you mean that  the majority of those responding (how many?) felt it wasn't their business? How representative are the tiny number of people responding to your thread of the general Upwork freelancing public?

 

I've been watching the academic threads and trying to figure out why so many people are in favor of reporting academic violations, but against reporting criminal requests that also violate consumer protection statutes.

 

Of the small number of combined responders to either or both of the threads, can you identify any individuals who were concerned about academic, but not legal, integrity? Who are these "so many people" who are in favour of reporting academic, but not criminal, violations? How do you know they're the same people?

 

Sorry to burst your bubble, but generalising from forum responders to the population that the forum is about is always dodgy. Trying to link two such tiny sample populations as being one and the same is even dodgier.

 

So bearing the above in mind, I''ll atempt to answer (on a trajectory) your question:

 

There are more people concerned with academic rather than legal abuses because there are more freelancers with specific experience of academia than there are freelancers with specific (professional) experience of legal matters.

 

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
5 of 7

Of course, it was not my intention to generalize. I was making a comparison between the responses in the academic threads versus the legal one. (I'm pretty sure you knew that.)

 

That's a lot of writing to say "I have nothing to offer that helps to answer your question, but here's my critique of your question." 

 

Teri's answer was helpful, but it still seems, given the nature of the responses and the fact that some of the same people responded in both threads. I'm still hoping to learn something about the perceived difference.

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Community Guru
Jessica S Member Since: Dec 4, 2015
6 of 7

@Tiffany S wrote:

Of course, it was not my intention to generalize. I was making a comparison between the responses in the academic threads versus the legal one. (I'm pretty sure you knew that.)

 

That's a lot of writing to say "I have nothing to offer that helps to answer your question, but here's my critique of your question." 

 

Teri's answer was helpful, but it still seems, given the nature of the responses and the fact that some of the same people responded in both threads. I'm still hoping to learn something about the perceived difference.


My guess would be that cheating in academic work often shows up in the writing category where so many freelancers live and many on this forum. And everyone knows it's ethically wrong to do academic work for someone else.  I have even seen requests for it even in my category. But there aren't even remotely as many people in the legal category (although I think there are a few on the forum).  

 

I have never seen any posts like you mentioned. I would say most people didn't really have an opinion on it, when you raised it, since they may not run into it. Because many people haven't really seen such a job posting, they just provided an educated guess/response.  Even if they had seen one, it wouldn't be glaring that what is being asked to do is actually illegal - especially since many don't even live in the United States. The legal field is a much more specialized field and you would need some knowledge in that area to know what is illegal there and what isn't. 

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Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
7 of 7

I read your original thread on this subject and I didn't come away with the same impression.  No one inferred that it was "none of our business", that I could see.  Rather, many of the responses came from writers/editors who had actually done legal work and their solutions to the challenges that face such writers.

 

I agree with Jessica that it's likely not many people have experienced the jobs you're describing.  Academic fraud, however, is quick to catch my eye.  That could explain why you view a discrepancy between the two areas.

 

Ultimately, it is the job of the freelancer to ensure that we are not stepping out of bounds.  That is the nature of the business.   We cannot be responsible for the work of others.  I realize that this does not address your secondary concern regarding specific UW policies regarding this issue, but I suspect that there is an umbrella rule that addresses all types of fraud.

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