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Upwork: a Modern "Court of Miracles"?

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Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
1 of 19

If you are a regular on this forum, you may have already noticed that many come here to seek help, and their profiles are full of proofs that they are just liars and more generally dishonest people: stolen profiles, stolen portfolios and cheating on tests.

 

Stolen portfolio is an easy thing to spot if you run text or images in Google, more often than not you’ll find a design on a stock repository website or even worse, on the original designer’s website. The same goes for texts, beautifully written by people who suddenly lose all command of the English language when they write their post on the forums.

 

Not speaking of the designs of websites in portfolios which, if we believe all those fraudsters, have 100+ authors.

 

Cheating on tests is rampant, it is sometimes very easy to spot just because the person finished it so rapidly that it would not be possible for an expert in the field to achieve the same result. This is especially true when the discrepancy in their English and their English tests is so blatant.

 

My point is that you definitely cannot trust any profile, any portfolio item nor any test anymore. Last time I hired someone here, it took me a ridiculous amount of time to just check the selected applicants' portfolios for stolen content, because I definitely wouldn’t want to pay someone who is lying from the beginning.

 

Which leads me to ask, what Upwork can do and what Upwork actually does to address this issue which is, in my opinion, a serious one for it may have a serious impact on the whole platform. And thus, on all of us.

 

I know Upwork cannot sleuth extensively on each profile submission. But there are some emerging patterns here, maybe they could be exploited to refine the processes that Upwork uses to detect such fraud. If nothing is done, Upwork may rapidly turn into a new version of the old Paris' court of miracles.

 

I wonder what is everyone's take on this, and more important, what is Upwork’s take.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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Community Guru
Katrina B Member Since: Jan 9, 2011
2 of 19

I agree and I believe this is one of the things that should be zero tolerance.  Just like the saying goes, "Once a cheater, always a cheater".  I believe it would be beneficial to Upwork to get rid of these cheaters. There seems to be a lot of them.  

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
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Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
3 of 19

Bravo Rene -well said and more than justified. Elance had similar problems in these areas but nothing like the number and blatancy of what I’ve seen on Upwork.

 

Are ethics being tossed aside for head count?   I truly don’t believe that is the intent. However, I do feel that Upwork’s staff is stretched too thin; the processes and procedures for running a professional site are not yet in place and it doesn’t look like changing either are on the immediate horizon.

 

Moderators do their level best to respond honestly but their hands on tied on issues like these.

 

And it is a shame -

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Community Leader
Bogdan-Mihai R Member Since: Sep 6, 2010
4 of 19

@Katrina B wrote:

I agree and I believe this is one of the things that should be zero tolerance.  Just like the saying goes, "Once a cheater, always a cheater".  I believe it would be beneficial to Upwork to get rid of these cheaters. There seems to be a lot of them.  


 I completely agree with the zero tolerance. Upwork shoud have have a big red warning before creating the profile, modifying it, taking the tests, etc, to be politically correct:

 

CHEATHERS WILL BE PERMANENTLY BANNED.

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
5 of 19

You mean instead of what basically at the moment amounts to "whenever you get a minute, please remove all the untrue and stolen stuff from your profile and portfolio, and we'll have a look at it again. Sorry for the inconvenience but I'm sure you'll understand this is just a blip - political correctness and all that! We'll soon have you up and running again.."

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 19

plz review my profile sir

 

i get job

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 19

@Stephen B wrote:

You mean instead of what basically at the moment amounts to "whenever you get a minute, please remove all the untrue and stolen stuff from your profile and portfolio, and we'll have a look at it again. Sorry for the inconvenience but I'm sure you'll understand this is just a blip - political correctness and all that! We'll soon have you up and running again.."


They are valuable freelancers that need a second chance to steal some money from a naive customer when the customer gets stolen content, code, whatever when they do it again. Errrybody wins. Well except customer....

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
8 of 19

@Bogdan-Mihai R wrote:

@Katrina B wrote:

I agree and I believe this is one of the things that should be zero tolerance.  Just like the saying goes, "Once a cheater, always a cheater".  I believe it would be beneficial to Upwork to get rid of these cheaters. There seems to be a lot of them.  


 I completely agree with the zero tolerance. Upwork shoud have have a big red warning before creating the profile, modifying it, taking the tests, etc, to be politically correct:

 

CHEATHERS WILL BE PERMANENTLY BANNED.

 

 

 



@Bogdan-Mihai R wrote:

@Katrina B wrote:

I agree and I believe this is one of the things that should be zero tolerance.  Just like the saying goes, "Once a cheater, always a cheater".  I believe it would be beneficial to Upwork to get rid of these cheaters. There seems to be a lot of them.  


 I completely agree with the zero tolerance. Upwork shoud have have a big red warning before creating the profile, modifying it, taking the tests, etc, to be politically correct:

 

CHEATHERS WILL BE PERMANENTLY BANNED.

 

 

 


They'd have to come up with a much more reliable method of determining cheating, since it currently seems to be tied simply to speed of performance, and several experts have previously reported in these forums that they've been penalized for "cheating" for no reason other than that they knew the material cold and answered the questions very quickly.
 

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Community Leader
Loredana B Member Since: Feb 26, 2016
9 of 19

I completely agree with everything said in this thread, but unfortunately I just don't see how the users can be constantly checked when it comes to overview, past work experience, and portfolio items.

 

Think about it this way - they run a scan and check every single word written and every single item uploaded upon registration. That would definitely leave out some fraud-freelancers.

 

But what can they do about the ones already on the platform or the ones that register with an honest presentation and add stolen items afterwards? They can't possibly check every item uploaded or word changed by a freelancer that already has an approved profile.

 

A couple of years ago my Curriculum Vitae was plagiarized by someone that applied to my open job (when I was looking for an assistant). I found it funny at the time, but on a platform like Upwork I wouldn't find it funny. Not only it can make the original writer / creator of items look like a fraud, but it's terrible to land jobs on someone else's work.

 

This is one of the reasons my CV on Upwork is merely 10% of the original and I still haven't uploaded any portfolio items. I add a portfolio item to my job applications to prove / highlight that I do have experience in similar jobs and I offer to send the employer a nice PDF that contains detailed information about all my past jobs and projects.

 

This worked for me until now, but I'm aware that I might miss on good job opportunities from clients that go for "invite-only" job announcements. I just don't know if it's worth the risk yet. Not convinced it does.

 

The tests are ridiculous. It doesn't take a genius to cheat on them, but apparently it does take a genius to realize that the users cheated. 4,90 English Vocabulary score, Native English level self-assesed, and you can't even write a sentence? Please.

 

"Fake" test results should have the option to be flagged, and maybe users should be at least suspended for cheating.

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Community Guru
Ashish K Member Since: Mar 1, 2016
10 of 19

@Rene K wrote:

 

Cheating on tests is rampant, it is sometimes very easy to spot just because the person finished it so rapidly that it would not be possible for an expert in the field to achieve the same result. This is especially true when the discrepancy in their English and their English tests is so blatant.

 


The intelligence tests are seriously pro-level; one of the hardest I've attempted. At least those I am pretty sure cannot be cheated on. The English (UK and US) tests are ridiculously easy in my opinion. The easiest of all the others that I have attempted, especially because time limits play no major role.

 

I agree that stolen portfolios and profiles should somehow be eliminated.  But I see UW mods working very hard too, they have too much on their plate.

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