Question for Upwork about plagiarism

I have now reported two separate users for plagiarism, and on both occassions they were not banned from the site. In the first instance the user was apparently told to remove the content from her portfolio, then allowed to continue working. I can see NO difference in the second user's porfolio however.


WHY does Upwork not ban them? They are a stain on the reputation of Upwork and its legitimate users, and I can see no reason other than selfish profit that Upwork would keep them on board.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Aaron,


I have followed up with the team and found that they received proof that the freelancer has permission to use the material in her portfolio. Therefore, her profile is public again.


Thank you.

~ Valeria

Did they recieve proof from the freelancer or from the person she lifted her portfolio from? I'm going to follow up with them because that sounds ultra fishy.

While I agree that just totally lifting a profile from someone should get you banned, I think Upwork might be lenient because they don't really know if something is copied unless the freelancer copied a profile from another Upwork person. Or the original profile freelancer makes the complaint.


You are a third party I assume? So you are saying "so and so has a copied profile" but you have no idea about the circumstances and neither does Upwork. Without there being clear, undeniable theft, I think it's fair that they don't swing the banhammer so quickly.


It's not worth policing this place. Remove 1 profile and 1000 others are uploaded. Unless it's your profile stolen, let the people who get paid to police the platform worry about it.

I understand what you're saying, but it's not like Upwork has to do anything other than make a judgment call here. If the freelancer in question is legitimate they will have no problem proving it. I guess it just irks me that people are getting away with this and taking work away from people who actually put in the hard work to build a respectable portfolio.

I'm in the writing section, so this is just my take on it. If some lamer has to copy a profile to fool the system, their proposal will probably suck because they have 0 imagination and skills to come up with their own profile text. They will also likely do completely shoddy work, which will reflect on their scores and job history. So, they will get theirs sooner or later.


If you really feel strongly about it, you could always just ping the original owner of the work.

One more thing.. even if she got permission to use someone else's work, how is that a satisfactory result? She is representing Upwork with a fraudulent portfolio. How can the leadership at Upwork be okay with that?


I'm actually astonished at your answer Valeria.

And here it is. I emailed the originator of the content and their response is





No I did not give them permission, please block her account."



If she produced something contradictory, I would have to guess that she forged it.


I wont post it here for privacy reasons, but I do have a screenshot if you can advise me where to post it.

Pm a mod with a screenshot.


My profile (and part of someone else's) was copied not so long ago, and not unnaturally, I kicked up a big fuss! The person has since been suspended but not banned. What can one say?


The damaging part of it is that if two people with identical profiles bid for a job it is more than likely that a client will bin the proposals without even looking at them. So the person to whom the profile belongs, loses out on a potential job.


if I really know something is true and other people thinking I'm wigging out unnecessarily I will get the information to prove I'm right just to show them. Glad you kept your sleuth hat on!


Okay I sent the screenshot to Valeria. 


I wouldn't really care about this person because most people who do this are usually small fish anyway, but this one is actually working jobs that I remember bidding for. 


What really concerns me is Upwork's stance on this. Even IF they had permission (they didn't), how is it okay to continue using the work in their portfolio. Would it be okay for me to post all kinds of high quality royalty free work to my portfolio and pass it off as my own? Why do we even have portfolios if it's okay to use other people's work? It just makes no sense to me.


IMO the only responsible action to take for people like this is to ban them, but I guess that's not my decision to make.

I totally agree with you Aaron, glad you are not letting this slide by.