Enabling academic fraud?


#1

Am I allowed to help people cheat by doing their homework for them, writing their essays, etc? And if not, why do all these other people get away with it?



heres why i ask Fragglesrock



Sheriff’s Note: Calling out a user is not allowed.


#2

Reply to @itsyourthing: I think what you’re talking about is a problem that goes far beyond Fiverr and one that has been going on for centuries. Even Shakespeare has been accused of using someone else’s work to bring himself fame and fortune. The fact remains, the student is still responsible for their actions. Sure, it may be unethical and immoral, but both parties know this. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t always take morality into account. Even though you see it as immoral, others may just view it as an easy way to make a grade or a great niche to make some extra money. As long as no laws have been broken, there’s really nothing that can or will be done to a person who provides such services. So, you will have those people who don’t care about it being ‘wrong’ as long as they make money and fulfill a need. Sad, but true.


#3

Reply to @foxella: Yep. :slight_smile:


#4

Academic fraud isn’t illegal everywhere (or maybe anywhere? I’m not a lawyer, haha), so Fiverr allows it, even though it’s against probably every school’s code of ethics–and for good reason, in my opinion. Looking at some of his gigs specifically, he doesn’t offer anything for $5, which actually isn’t allowed…but, yeah.


#5

Reply to @emasonwrites: An accurate, but sad explanation.


#6

I decided in the first week on fiverr, after being asked many times, that I wouldn’t plagiarize, help something pass copyscape, or do anything more than proofreading and light copyediting and making suggestions on academic work. Those three things are, according to professors I’ve spoken with, not considered cheating, but rewriting and anything more is. It’s within fiverr’s guidelines, I’m sure, to do what the buyer wants but we have to decide what we are willing to personally do.


#7

It might be unethical but not illegal in most cases. Since you are giving up your ownership of the material by allowing the person to claim it as their work, then it isn’t plagiarism. If you’re doing someone else’s homework, then that’s essentially cheating, however, there is a thin line there as well. Ultimately, the risk and the fault lies with the buyer, not the seller. If the buyer requests certain services knowing full well that what the seller offers goes against the rules of their academic establishment, then they assume full risk and will be held accountable for their decisions. There won’t be much that can be done in regards to the seller’s involvement.


#8

It’s a difficult line to draw as obviously most schools/universities wouldn’t frown on a student having additional tuition outside of the course which might involve a high level of support with homework. Technically, at a lot of universities working as a group on projects comes dangerously close to the plagiarism line, you just have to use a bit of common sense when applying the rules.



I agree with @foxella though, ultimately it is the student that signs the honour code and therefore their responsibility to abide by it. Essay writing services have been around a long time now and, as someone who marks work, it is normally pretty obvious when it is not a student’s own work.


#9
foxella said: If the buyer requests certain services knowing full well that what the seller offers goes against the rules of their academic establishment, then they assume full risk and will be held accountable for their decisions. There won't be much that can be done in regards to the seller's involvement.

academictext said: I agree with @foxella though, ultimately it is the student that signs the honour code and therefore their responsibility to abide by it.
I'm not the judge of anyone's choice as to what services they sell here (or anywhere), and I certainly agree that schools have different 'rules' as to what they consider fraudulent activity - in fact, I'm sure there are plenty of them that unofficially welcome work completed by non-students, as long as it's good enough to contribute to the reputation and high graduation stats of the school. However, placing the burden of responsibility on the buyer to validate selling what may be unethical or illegal, doesn't remove the burden of ethical responsibility of the person providing the work.

Knowingly buying a stolen car because it was cheap, does not make it morally (or legally, in most cases,) OK. Willingly selling a gun to someone, knowing that they intend to use it in a crime also has consequences; again, ethically and/or legally.

The point is, sell what you want to sell, but stand behind your decision instead of hiding behind the buyers'. :)

#10

Reply to @itsyourthing:



I’d be surprised if a school would knowingly or willingly accept work they suspected wasn’t the student’s own. Well, I know mine certainly wouldn’t and I hope other schools would be the same. It would be quite difficult to get away with cheating like this in science subjects though as they are typically heavily exam/lab based so even if you got amazing marks in coursework, you’d still fall down at the exams if you were a poor student.



I’m not sure I quite agree with your analogy here, mostly because academic fraud at a student level generally achieves so little as students who attempt to cheat tend to fail anyway. People cheating tends to have little knock on impact on other students, other than just being downright unfair, as the students who cheat rarely do very well at all.



Much as in my experience cheating achieves very little, I definitely wouldn’t sell any services that I think encourage it, partly because I feel it goes against the ethics of my day job and I do feel it’s just irritating for students who work hard.


#11
academictext said: I'm not sure I quite agree with your analogy here

I'm not sure I agree with it either - totally unnecessary. Unfortunately, unethical behavior is rampant enough; that's why laws came into being. I just get irritated when people pass on responsibility. I'm a firm believer in the adage that if a person feels the need to exaggerate, minimize or fictionalize to defend their reasons for taking a particular action, they shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

But alas, who am I to go around spewing my opinions? :)

#12

Reply to @itsyourthing: In all honesty, it’s not passing on responsibility at all. I don’t condone doing someone else’s essays or homework, but ghostwriting is a legal thing, and if someone uses a ghostwriter to write their book, then that is not considered plagiarism because the author passed on ownership of the material; the same would apply if a student used a gig to get an essay written and passed it off as their own work. There would be no act of legal plagiarism taking place because the original writer has allowed the work to be used by the student. The thing that comes into question now is whether or not this violates the school’s academic policy concerning a student and their work. It could be considered cheating, but the responsibility would be solely on the student for having violated the rules. There would be no action that could be taken against the person who did the gig.


#13

Reply to @itsyourthing: And it’s not just sites like Fiverr where this can be found and where nothing can or will be done about it. There are plenty of sites out there that create essays for students who are willing to pay and for much more than a mere five dollars.


#14
foxella said: There would be no action that could be taken against the person who did the gig.
What I'm saying is that the decision to produce work for a student - that is presumed to be presented as the work of the student - should be a moral/ethical decision of the person producing it; it shouldn't be down to "I won't get in trouble for it".

foxella said: There are plenty of sites out there that create essays for students who are willing to pay and for much more than a mere five dollars.
I used to be signed up with another 'micro job' agency that offered essays (and other services) for as little as $0.15 USD. And another site that literally had workers who would 'contract' to perform all possible coursework. Amazingly they both do plenty of business. So yes indeed, there is a huge market for academic 'assistance'.

My big concern with purchased academic work is that it's entirely possible to end up with someone degreed and practicing in an important professional capacity, e.g., a doctor, who knows very little.