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UpWork won't do anything about academic fraud

lizklein
Ace Contributor

At least twice a week, I get clients requesting that I write their academic coursework. Whenever they admit to this, I screenshot and report them. The vast majority of the time, I can see from their job history that they've successfully hired other freelancers to write other essays for them.

And the vast majority of the time, UpWork does absolutely nothing about it. 

 

For those unfamiliar with the site's official stance on academic dishonesty, here it is: 

"Examples of prohibited uses of the Site or Site Services include: Seeking, offering, or endorsing any services that violate the academic policies of any educational institution..."

Every academic institution has a policy against turning in someone else's work as your own. Yet, every report I've made has gone unanswered. The client simply hires someone else (and that person is also in violation of the Terms of Use), often repeatedly, and UpWork continues to cement its reputation as a great place for students to buy their essays.

I also reported an essay mill for "endorsing any services that violate the academic policies" by requesting that I edit their advertising material, and was told that UpWork would only do something about it if they were reported again. I do hope a mod can hop on here and explain that logic to me. 

Why have this section of the Terms of Use at all if you're not going to enforce it?

10 REPLIES 10
rleviton
Active Member

Same. I don't report because I don't see any point. UpWork doesn't care.

Elizabeth, the Enforcement section of the ToS states, "We reserve the right, but do not assume the obligation, to investigate any violation of these Terms. We may investigate violations and may remove, disable access to, or modify any content that violates these Terms." So evidently Upwork chooses not to enforce its prohibition of academic fraud every time it's reported.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

@John K wrote:

So evidently Upwork chooses not to enforce its prohibition of academic fraud every time it's reported.


 Evidently. Smiley Indifferent

It is time Upwork stopped sitting on the fence and came down on one side or the other. Compared with oDesk, Upwork's terms of service on most things (such as free tests) are ambiguous at best.

colettelewis
Community Guru

@Elizabeth B wrote:


Why have this section of the Terms of Use at all if you're not going to enforce it?


This is an ongoing issue for many of us. Have a look here among many threads on the subject. https://community.upwork.com/t5/Coffee-Break/Academic-cheating-2/m-p/290151#U290151

 

Some hours ago, I flagged and submitted a request to CS reporting a blatant offer for a dissertation of 13,000 words to be written. The budget is $500.  The job is still up (although unawarded).

 

 


This is an ongoing issue for many of us. Have a look here among many threads on the subject. https://community.upwork.com/t5/Coffee-Break/Academic-cheating-2/m-p/290151#U290151


 Thank you, Nichola. I wasn't aware there was a larger thread. 

Still, I think there's a benefit to continually bringing this up until they answer meaningfully - particularly about plagiarism-adjacent problems, like the one I mentioned with the essay mill. 

Elizabeth, there is not only a thread - there is a full orchestral chorus of complaints and threads on this issue.  A few tenacious providers have gotten hold of the academic institutions and deans of the impacted departments. Needless to say - the idiot student was either reprimanded or ousted.  Every time someone has been able to ferret out the school, the thank yous have been profuse.

 

Upwork is lax - and that is putting it mildly.  The focus is on picking up the 20%; not on reigning in student misbehavior.  Upwork can't possibly pull all the 'write my schooolwork' jobs ... but they can and should punish providers who regularly take on these gigs.  We know who the offenders are; if we know .... so does Upwork.

 

Frankly, if Upwork managed to put an end to the agencies that recruit for this garbage we would all be elated.

 

There are certain words in profiles that trigger the search engine and 'recommend' writers for this type of job; your profile is marked private and b/c we can't see it - we can't tell you if you happen to be using the terms.

 


@Wendy C wrote:

 

 

There are certain words in profiles that trigger the search engine and 'recommend' writers for this type of job; your profile is marked private and b/c we can't see it - we can't tell you if you happen to be using the terms.

 


It's probably because I have academic editing-centric keywords, but I'm an academic editor so that's not changing. In any case, my problem isn't that I get these requests, it's that UpWork is actively refusing to do anything about them.

Every time there's a problem with this site, so many chime in with "Well they just want the $$$." That's not good enough. They have Terms of Use for a reason, and the message needs to be drilled into them that freelancers aren't becoming complacent about it. 

That chorus I referred to is lead by all the reputable academic editors on platform.  😉

 

As to the rest of your post - we all wholeheartedly agree.  But don't hold your breathe.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Elizabeth,

 

Thank you for sharing your feedback and reporting those jobs. We have been sharing feedback we've heard in the Community about the the number of jobs that violate academic integrity and actions that are taken against them with the team. We have plans to revisit the way this issue is handled on the platform.

~ Valeria
Upwork
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