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browersr
Member

What should be done with Profile Plagiarists?

For the second time within a week or so, my profile was copied by another freelancer.  The first one I reported had the info removed within 24 hours.  I just reported this second one and I have every confidence that UW will take quick action.

 

What is not clear though is whether it will be just action.  Is simply making the person remove the copied text enough?  Should these people really be allowed to just continue on with nothing more?  I would think at the very least the account should be suspended for a month.  Repeat offenders should be kicked off the platform. 

 

Assuming UW acts quickly like the first time and i will say that I really appreciate them taking these complaints seriously.  However, are the current consequences enough?

 

217 REPLIES 217

Scott, just go ahead and issue a DMCA takedown notice!

 

The text is your property, it has to be removed from the other profile and the server by law upon your request. End of.

 

@Petra R wrote:

Scott, just go ahead and issue a DMCA takedown notice!

 

The text is your property, it has to be removed from the other profile and the server by law upon your request. End of.


Does DMCA takedown apply if the person whose content is plagiarized is not a U.S. citizen? Also, it seems you have to pay quite a bit to issue a notice?? https://www.dmca.com/signup/default.aspx

 

If that's the case, I wouldn't pay for something that's supposed to be Upwork's responsibility to take down. Or am I looking in the wrong place?


@Isabelle Anne A wrote:

 

@Petra R wrote:

Scott, just go ahead and issue a DMCA takedown notice!

 

The text is your property, it has to be removed from the other profile and the server by law upon your request. End of.


Does DMCA takedown apply if the person whose content is plagiarized is not a U.S. citizen? Also, it seems you have to pay quite a bit to issue a notice?? https://www.dmca.com/signup/default.aspx


 It applies worldwide and the violation is in the US anyway as the stolen content is on a US owned (Upwork) server.

 

You do NOT have to pay ANYTHING to issue a DMCA takedown notice, that link is just a company that offers to do what you can do for free.

I always cringe when I think about checking for my profile being copied.  It's been some months and I just thought to check again so I did and of course found my profile copied several times.  One a few words were changed but it's 98% mine.  The other looks to have changed but Google still brings it up so it must have been somewhat recent.  

 

Something else interesting.  The other person I reported is still allowed to be active on UW and has been allowed to get a "Top Rated" badge.  Yes the profile was changed but UW has still allowed this person to transact here and has rewarded him for doing so.  

 

Just thought folks should know.

Name them, shame them, and public floggings!

 

Seriously, though, that is stealing!

When reported, Upwork sends a polite message to offenders asking them to change their overview.

 

This thread illustrates the result of Upwork's softness: Multiple "false" profiles, same frelancer?

 

But hey, 12M freelancers on the platform! Nothing beats the beauty of this figure. Not even client satisfaction.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

My profile hasn't been plagiarized; should I be pleased, or displeased that no one finds it worth plagiarizing? Cat Frustrated (Or maybe it's because my profile isn't public. Cat Very Happy)

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


@John K wrote:

My profile hasn't been plagiarized; should I be pleased, or displeased that no one finds it worth plagiarizing? Cat Frustrated (Or maybe it's because my profile isn't public. Cat Very Happy)


 I have no idea whether or not my profile has been plagiarized. I do think, though, that it should be a "one strike" offense. I'm all for giving people second chances when they start out in a rush and don't read the TOS and get into trouble or whatever, but no one accidentally falsifies his/her whole work history, let alone steals it wholesale from another person.

It is beyond me how Upwork seeks to position itself as the premier marketplace for online work, and allows its inventory to include, if not be dominated by, cheap counterfeit goods.

Hey guess what?  Yup, profile copied yet again.  I guess I am going to have to start doing weekly sweeps.  Already have my template for all the customer service requests.  This one has an enormously fake profile pic as well.  Good times.... 

You're so popular Scott.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless


@Rene K wrote:

You're so popular Scott.


Yes, very popular with those who are English challenged.  Like David Hasselhoff, I have some inexplicable profile allure in far away lands....


@Scott B wrote:

Hey guess what?  Yup, profile copied yet again.  I guess I am going to have to start doing weekly sweeps.  Already have my template for all the customer service requests.  This one has an enormously fake profile pic as well.  Good times.... 


 You're obviously in somebody's network - perhaps somebody who is making money by offering good profiles. You should also check websites devoted to this. Other than Upwork, of course, who is not taking a strong enough line on this.

 

Infuriating for you. 

Hi Scott,

 

I see the team has already taken actions after you submitted the ticket and limited the account you are referring to. I've also shared feedback you and others shared on this thread.

~ Valeria
Upwork


@Valeria K wrote:

Hi Scott,

 

I see the team has already taken actions after you submitted the ticket and limited the account you are referring to. I've also shared feedback you and others shared on this thread.


 As always, thanks Valeria!  

Profile copied again by two other freelancers one of which is currently working on a job.  Of course I reported them to CS.

 

One thing everyone should be aware of.  One of the original feelancer's to copy my profile is still being allowed to operate on this platform.  He has changed his profile but he continues to work with clients and make money here. Take away from that what you will....

Scott, I think you are going to have to get legal advice. Upwork is seriously, seriously out of line on this.


@Nichola L wrote:

Scott, I think you are going to have to get legal advice. Upwork is seriously, seriously out of line on this.


Not there yet.  It irritates me yes, but I don't think I've lost even $.01 to these clowns.  I'd prefer to see if UW can handle this and from Valeria's post it seems they are working on it.  After having it happen this often though and I'd prefer if they banned these people upon being found guilty.  It does bother me that the one guy is allowed to continue to make money here.  That does not speak to "taking it seriously".  I'm willing to let this play out and perhaps while we await better automation, UW will take a tougher stand when it's reported...


@Scott B wrote:

Profile copied again by two other freelancers one of which is currently working on a job.  Of course I reported them to CS.

 

One thing everyone should be aware of.  One of the original feelancer's to copy my profile is still being allowed to operate on this platform.  He has changed his profile but he continues to work with clients and make money here. Take away from that what you will....


 bro I'm waiting for it to happen to me... well it kinda already did and the guy kept coming back to the forum. I dont' know why they think it's a good idea to let them back.

 

Sorry man this i shappening to you

Hi Scott and others,

 

We understand your frustration with copied profiles and we taking this issue seriously. In the upcoming weeks we are planning to change our internal processes so stricter actions will be taken against freelancers who copy their profiles from elsewhere. Additionally, we are working on automated system that would detect duplicate profiles and flag them.

 

Unfortunately, since this changes require some pretty significant reorganization and involvement of several teams, it's taking longer than we wish it did.

~ Valeria
Upwork

This is awesome news. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"


@Katrina B wrote:

This is awesome news. 


Fully concur.  Thanks for letting us know, Valeria!  

 

It seems I could be a good test case to see if the new process actually works.  Anxiously awaiting word of the roll out.

 

lysis10
Member

I like what that medium writer said about profiles. If your freelancer is too pretty it's prolly a fake profile.


@Jennifer M wrote:
If your freelancer is too pretty it's prolly a fake profile.

That's why my profile picture is sooooo ugly. I'm actually prettier than that u.u

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.”
―Stephen King, The Gunslinger


@Mattia G wrote:

That's why my profile picture is sooooo ugly. I'm actually prettier than that u.u



 

You should see me in the morning. That's when I should take a photo of myself and use it in my profile cuz it's prolly more real.

I'm with Michael on this - "It is beyond me how Upwork seeks to position itself as the premier marketplace for online work, and allows its inventory to include, if not be dominated by, cheap counterfeit goods."

 

Theft is theft. As such, it connotes:

1. the individual is too lazy to do his/her own work. 

2. the individual is too lazy (or stupid) to think for his/her self.

3. the individual has no sense of ethics - and def. no respect for others - first and foremost clients.

4. the individual has no desire to do a proper job ... let alone a good job.

 

Anyone care to add some more reasons?

 


@Wendy C wrote:

I'm with Michael on this - "It is beyond me how Upwork seeks to position itself as the premier marketplace for online work, and allows its inventory to include, if not be dominated by, cheap counterfeit goods."

 

Theft is theft. As such, it connotes:

1. the individual is too lazy to do his/her own work. 

2. the individual is too lazy (or stupid) to think for his/her self.

3. the individual has no sense of ethics - and def. no respect for others - first and foremost clients.

4. the individual has no desire to do a proper job ... let alone a good job.

 

Anyone care to add some more reasons?

 


 5. the individual is a bad person

yes, when Upwork makes it impossible for freelancers to submit a ticket when they see a scam job. No link is provided. (I've stopped reporting jobs because of that)

I'd really like them to DIAF, but that's probably not an option.

 

The reason they do it is because it's not like they lose their accounts. You just change the wording or remove the stolen content when you're flagged. Some of them just put it back after the flag is lifted. Lame.

Hi Scott, I am new to upwork and want to be prepared for this issue. I have only been on here 3 weeks and already I have met with 1 law student who is using Upwork to get pay actual lawyers to do his university work (which is dishonest and illegal at all law schools in my country - and by virtue of his behaviour he should not be admitted to the legal profession to bring us into further disrepute). Anyway... I am a bit paranoid that this behaviour is unfortunately common. I would like to know how you can keep a tab on false profiles in future? I am really saddened to read what you have been through. Cheers, Noeme. 

iaabraham
Member

Well now that this thread's revived, I might as well reiterate: BAN THEM.

 

As I posted elsewhere, just look how absurd this freelancer is, who copied my entire overview and even my employment history: **Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

I have opened a ticket for her, but not sure whether anything will be done. And it's extremely annoying that she has been hired!!

I completely agree.  No warnings, no second chances.  Bogus profile = banned forever.

 

I flagged the profile as well, before the link is removed.

All,

 

Please see my most recent reply on this thread.

~ Valeria
Upwork
iaabraham
Member

Question for Upwork:

 

If the plagiarizing profile does not get removed / changed to remove the copied content, am I free to file a DMCA takedown notice like Petra suggested? Will this have any repercussions for my own profile? (Will Upwork take action against my account?)


@Isabelle Anne A wrote:

Question for Upwork:

 

If the plagiarizing profile does not get removed / changed to remove the copied content, am I free to file a DMCA takedown notice like Petra suggested? Will this have any repercussions for my own profile? (Will Upwork take action against my account?)


 

Isabelle, you are playing with fire! You just saw what happens when Upwork tries to get rid of plagiarized profiles!

DOOM.


@Ela K wrote:

@Isabelle Anne A wrote:

Question for Upwork:

 

If the plagiarizing profile does not get removed / changed to remove the copied content, am I free to file a DMCA takedown notice like Petra suggested? Will this have any repercussions for my own profile? (Will Upwork take action against my account?)


 

Isabelle, you are playing with fire! You just saw what happens when Upwork tries to get rid of plagiarized profiles!

DOOM.


@ Earlier in this thread, Valeria wrote:

 

" In the upcoming weeks we are planning to change our internal processes so stricter actions will be taken against freelancers who copy their profiles from elsewhere. Additionally, we are working on automated system that would detect duplicate profiles and flag them."

 

This was two months ago - what has been done about it? 

 

When is Upwork going to take a serious stand against freelancers who steal and cheat. It is unacceptable. They should be publicly named, shamed and banned.

 

Also the freelancer has stolen a photograph of a respected scientist.

 

 So much for the algorithm detecting fraud!

 

Nichola, see Garnor's response on this thread: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Not-a-single-invite-since-migration/m-p/334962/highlight...

It looks like something is in the works but hiding profiles in search with a faulty system is not good enough. ACTION needs to be taken against the plagiarists!!

Agreed!!!! Site is already way overcrowded.  No chances, ban them!!

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
iaabraham
Member

So, after flagging, submitting a ticket and sending numerous messages to CS regarding two freelancers that plagiarized my profile, this is what happened:

 

- One freelancer’s plagiarized Overview was deleted (I had to ask twice for this to happen). Her fake photo, which belongs to the dean of a U.S. university, is still up. She also still has my copied Employment History on her profile.

 

- The second freelancer still has a quarter of my copied Overview on his profile.

 

- Neither seems to be searchable on Upwork anymore, but both profiles can still be found on Google.

 

- CS has gone ahead and marked my ticket as solved, even though it’s clearly not.

 

Upwork doesn’t want to suspend or ban the freelancers – fine. This only harms the site’s reputation, and if they want to give frauds 100 chances, then there’s nothing I can do about that. Upwork doesn’t want to tell us what actions they take against plagiarists – fine; that’s their rules.

 

But, I believe Upwork does have the obligation to remove the plagiarized content from the fraudster’s profile. So can I go ahead and send a DMCA takedown notice like another freelancer has done? Can the Mods advise me if this will have repercussions for my profile (because I wouldn’t put that past Upwork)? And will issuing such a notice have any effect?

 

These questions genuinely concern me – it is an unnecessary hassle, but one thing I can’t bear is seeing my original content on another person’s profile. It is mind-boggling that Upwork thinks it’s acceptable to leave it up there. (And how difficult is it to simply delete the content??) Not sure what kind of planet this policy comes from.

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Isabelle Anne,

 

I've checked and see our team took immediate action following the request you submitted. I do see one of the users copied one item from your Employment History and will ask our team to address that detail as well. Our team will follow up on the latest message you posted and share more details.

 

Unfortunately, it will take a few days to remove the reported profiles from search results on Google as they have already been sanctioned on Upwork.

 

 

As you already must be aware by now, tickets marked as solved are not closed and you can respond to them to continue the conversation. You don't need to take additional action since our team is already processing your reports and will update your ticket soon.

 

Thank you for reporting.

 

 

~ Vladimir
Upwork