Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

False Claim Of Plagiarism

Active Member
Jennifer S Member Since: Mar 14, 2017
11 of 61

Hi Joe, 

 

Upwork looked into it and said they found no evidence of plagiarism. They said this to me in the dispute. He already admitted first that he didn't want to pay me. Then he changed it to 35% and then 50%. Yet, no action has been taken against him. 

 

I know I didn't plagiarize it. But, I ran it through copyscape, it was 97%  original it said. 

 

I'm sorry it has happened to you too, it isn't a pleasant experience to go through, especially when there isn't a fair representation. If you were in a court falsely claimed someone plagiarized your work, that person would lose and most likely be demanded to pay reparations. 

Ace Contributor
Amy M Member Since: Jul 3, 2015
12 of 61

I had a similar incident too where I had to refund the client 500 dollars because she claimed I plagiarized in a 11 000 word doc, but the matching was only the names of murder victims and where they were murdered and the universities they attended and the titles of legislation for victims...  there were no complete sentences copied or large sections.  The matching was minimal and all the references were cited in the bibliography and in text.  How can you avoid matching a little bit in those kinds of sentences and info? 

 

I think the accusation of plagiarism is a big problem that is affecting more and more writers now with the software and checkers available.  And it is not fair to steal work and coerce a refund with that accusation. The plagiarism software usually shows some matching in a long document (especially if it is academic and you use citations and quotes and things),  although the matching can also appear for random phrases and things from articles and text on the web you never even looked at.  When I read my own plagiarism checker results, I sometimes get matches for articles and stuff on the web that I know I never looked at (biochemistry papers will match when I am writing about gender or some other thing for example, although short phrases and things). There is no way that phrase is plagiarized, but the client can easily just show the percentage result and claim that it is plagiarized.  What is considered plagiarism?  If 40% of the sentence matches, 60%, a phrase like "evidence supports the claim that x,y,z"?   

 

It seems like the client can easily just make this accusation and there is no way to defend against it if they have their software results, showing 5%, 12% or whatever overall. They get their refund because we feel crushed at the accusation as writers.  My client got her money and the draft of the paper which I am sure she went on to use.  

 

 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
13 of 61

Amy M wrote:

I had a similar incident too where I had to refund the client 500 dollars because she claimed I plagiarized in a 11 000 word doc, but the matching was only the names of murder victims and where they were murdered and the universities they attended and the titles of legislation for victims...  there were no complete sentences copied or large sections.  The matching was minimal and all the references were cited in the bibliography and in text.  How can you avoid matching a little bit in those kinds of sentences and info? 

 

I think the accusation of plagiarism is a big problem that is affecting more and more writers now with the software and checkers available.  And it is not fair to steal work and coerce a refund with that accusation. The plagiarism software usually shows some matching in a long document (especially if it is academic and you use citations and quotes and things),  although the matching can also appear for random phrases and things from articles and text on the web you never even looked at.  When I read my own plagiarism checker results, I sometimes get matches for articles and stuff on the web that I know I never looked at (biochemistry papers will match when I am writing about gender or some other thing for example, although short phrases and things). There is no way that phrase is plagiarized, but the client can easily just show the percentage result and claim that it is plagiarized.  What is considered plagiarism?  If 40% of the sentence matches, 60%, a phrase like "evidence supports the claim that x,y,z"?   

 

It seems like the client can easily just make this accusation and there is no way to defend against it if they have their software results, showing 5%, 12% or whatever overall. They get their refund because we feel crushed at the accusation as writers.  My client got her money and the draft of the paper which I am sure she went on to use.  

 

 


I'm sure there are false claims, and poop-tier clients use all kinds of methods to get weak-minded freelancers to fold. But I have to say a LOT of "writers" really do plagiarize and you can identify it by googling sentences from their content before it's published. You'll see that they just googled the topic and rewrote paragrapsh. I had one writer tell me that I must think it's plagiarism because she didn't use more than one source. /facepalm   They  call this, btw, "research."  LOL

Ace Contributor
Amy M Member Since: Jul 3, 2015
14 of 61

"I'm sure there are false claims, and poop-tier clients use all kinds of methods to get weak-minded freelancers to fold. But I have to say a LOT of "writers" really do plagiarize and you can identify it by googling sentences from their content before it's published. You'll see that they just googled the topic and rewrote paragrapsh. I had one writer tell me that I must think it's plagiarism because she didn't use more than one source. /facepalm   They  call this, btw, "research."  LOL"  



Yeah, I get that, of course,  there are "writers" who do.  But my point is that it is also very easy to make that accusation and defending yourself is costly in this system.  And it may not be true.  Or open to interpretation -- depending on what counts as plagiarism (which hasn't really been legally or ethically revisited now that we have all this software).  Does half a sentence count?  Three words together?    I personally caved because the client also wrote plagiarism in her feedback on my profile.  It cost me 500 dollars to get it off.   And the dispute process was useless. They just let her continue to harass me and insult me for weeks with messages and things until it was worth my peace of mind to just refund her the money and be done with it.  

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
15 of 61

Amy M wrote:

"I'm sure there are false claims, and poop-tier clients use all kinds of methods to get weak-minded freelancers to fold. But I have to say a LOT of "writers" really do plagiarize and you can identify it by googling sentences from their content before it's published. You'll see that they just googled the topic and rewrote paragrapsh. I had one writer tell me that I must think it's plagiarism because she didn't use more than one source. /facepalm   They  call this, btw, "research."  LOL"  



Yeah, I get that, of course,  there are "writers" who do.  But my point is that it is also very easy to make that accusation and defending yourself is costly in this system.  And it may not be true.  Or open to interpretation -- depending on what counts as plagiarism (which hasn't really been legally or ethically revisited now that we have all this software).  Does half a sentence count?  Three words together?    I personally caved because the client also wrote plagiarism in her feedback on my profile.  It cost me 500 dollars to get it off.   And the dispute process was useless. They just let her continue to harass me and insult me for weeks with messages and things until it was worth my peace of mind to just refund her the money and be done with it.  


Plagiarism isn't really about number of words. It's about ideas. In this case, yes, it's a scammer trying to get work for free, but plagiarism is taking ideas from someone else's content and not attributing the original creator. So, for example, I just wrote about the latest malware embedded in GoT downloads. This is not something I researched. Someone else did. So I attributed the theories/ideas/research to the creator. However, saying something like "don't download illegal movies, you idiots, or you migt get a virus but if you do, at least use a VM or something" is my own ideas and thoughts and somewhat common knowledge.

Active Member
Melinda S Member Since: Nov 22, 2017
16 of 61

Jennifer S, so this client is still posting jobs? The vultures always seem to find me. I suppose you're not allowed to say who it is. I am better than I used to be at spotting predators, but I haven't honed my skills that well. I hope  this never happens again to you. It is very unsettling.

Melinda

Active Member
Jennifer S Member Since: Mar 14, 2017
17 of 61

Hi Melinda, 

 

Thank you. Usually I look into peoples feedback, I won't just take any job. Which is concerning. He is still active on Upwork. His profile is anyway. So, to me that sends a message that Upwork is okay with clients lying about freelancers and let them get away with it. 

 

My advice would be to look for another freelancing platform. That's what I aim to do now, once and if I can wrap up existing contracts. There's no point in working for a company who won't act fairly or protect freelancers. It's something I've been thinking about anyway since the high fees came in. 

 

Best Wishes, 

 

Jennifer

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
18 of 61

As I understand it, Upwork has no legal right to pay you money from escrow without the client's permission. Only the abitrator can do that. Effectively that means that the escrow system offers you little or no protection if you can't afford the arbitration fee.

 

It's a pity that you couldn't afford to at least put up the arbitration fee temporarily. It seems that the client was just trying it on, and would have known that he had no chance of winning arbitration, so would not have paid for arbitration. In that case you would have received the full amount of escrow and got your arbitration fee back (as I understand it).

 

 

I don't know what more Upwork could do, apart from paying you out of its own pocket. Maybe it could hold onto the money itself and act as arbitrator, instead of using a formal escrow system. But I can't see that happening.

Active Member
Jennifer S Member Since: Mar 14, 2017
19 of 61

Hi Richard, 

 

Thanks for your comment. To me it's not just about the money, it's about the principle of it as well.  The principle of getting away with false accusations about someone, to get away with not paying. That's clearly what he was doing, and yes, he was trying it on. 

 

Basically, Upwork is facilitating, enabling and allowing clients to get away with questionable behaviour. If you acted like this in any other workplace, you'd probably be fired on the spot. 

 

I don't think it's true that Upwork can't do anything, or can't pay the Escrow. That's why it was there. At first, he was unwilling to pay anything. Then, when he got caught out lying, he was forced to pay something (which wasn't the full about). If Escrow doesn't offer protection, then what is the point of it? It would then give the false illusion of protection, while really only protecting the client. 

 

They could also suspend or close clients accounts if they acted this way. When the issue of plagiarism was first risen in the dispute, Upwork said they take these issues very seriously. But they don't when it comes the freelancer. Basically, Upwork is as bad as the client, as they are allowing and turning a blind eye to the behaviour. 

 

Best wishes, 

 

Jennifer

Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
20 of 61

Did you leave a review for this person?

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS