What Actually Constitutes Academic Work on Fiverr? - Official Clarification / Commonsense Needed


So, today I received a nice $35 order with the below requirements:

Hey there, this is the site I’m currently operating http://xxxxxxx.com/, My class assignment is to try to use seo to get my site ranked. Its a website on kayaking necessities and accessories. If possible could you write a blog post on the health benefits of kayaking. Please let me know if you need anymore info. Appreciate your hard work.

Because of thee mention of a class assignment, I had to immediately cancel this order.

I was also then hit with a unique to Fiverr sense of paranoia. Yes, I am 100% sure I have done the right thing concerning TOS. However, what happens if a low IQ bot now comes along and flags my gig because a buyer just happened to use the words “school assignment” or I the word "academic?"

Now though, I’m also very annoyed. This was the second order which (through no fault of my own) I have had to cancel this week. Moreover, I don’t think that completing this order would have been a legitimate breach of TOS.

Let me explain.

Years ago I took a disastrous online course concerning ebook formatting. The aim of the course was to learn the ins and outs of HTML when used in ebook concepts. To complete this course, I had to create (but not write) an ebook. What this wasn’t, though, was a graphic design course. When it came to cover creation, I had free reign to create or outsource the creation of a cover.

In mind of the present context, if my buyer is being marked on the technical SEO side of building a website, they will likely not be expected to self-train as a master SEO copywriter. Web design and copywriting/content writing are two completely separate disciplines.

My guess is that a course curator would give points for the inclusion of SEO friendly content, but not care where that content originated from. Sadly, because words like ‘school assignment’ are Fiverr trigger warnings, I am prohibited from even discussing this matter with my buyer.

Given the above, I think it would benefit seller and buyer experiences on Fiverr, if full guidelines could be issued detailing exactly what constitutes academic work.

EDIT: Also, it is despicable how a year after St. Levels, sellers are still being punished for cancellations like this. But I’m pretty sure no one needs reminding of this.


There is no question that he was asking for help with an academic assignment. Any mention of school at all should cause a seller to immediately cancel as you wisely did.

Those red flags seem basically to be a harmless warning triggered by certain words, but they are definitely looked at before anything is done about them.


I’ve had exactly the same as this from a lot of people trying to place orders for SEO related coursework and Google analytics related course work. They know its not allowed as well as they try to black out anything stating coursework or identifying it as such but its obvious from the brief what it is. Luckily so far I’ve been sent the instructions they were given before they have placed an order and told them no. They are given points for specific things and the briefs are usually divided into columns with the more technical parts worth more. I’ve even had people asking me to do answer job interview questions for SEO related jobs. some interviews are conducted remotely and people will go to extreme lengths to get help and have turned those down as well.


See, I’m not so sure. People in the U.S. seem to use the phrase ’school work’ as a blanket term for everything from university work to Udemy courses. Neither will most higher education institutions ask students to buy their own domain name and arrange web hosting. Usually, courses like this would provide essentials like this.

I also don’t like cancelling orders like this when buyers are obviously being honest and attempting to provide detailed briefs, despite being new to Fiverr. If they were a student trying to sidestep TOS rules concerning academic work, they wouldn’t say, "hey, I need school work."


The first thing he mentioned was his school assignment about getting his site ranked with SEO. That should trigger a full stop as it did for you. Nothing after that matters.

That was a boundary line. :no_entry_sign:


After turning down many projects and several in a week, I got frustrated enough to try and get Support to define what was ok and not ok. I got a definitive answer and I am posting the full request with the Request number should anyone ever need to quote it.


Note: I would suggest going to CS for anything else.
Note: This is specifically about proofreading and editing - I imagine writing someone’s thesis would not be allowed for instance.


Well, maybe I’m just a sucker for always trying to see the possible best in people.

That said, I cancelled as I knew those words alone were a red flag, regardless of the context.


It’s unfortunate that we always have to remain wary, not just here but in general and have strict boundaries.


My brother-in-law is a college professor. He had told me proofreading thesis and dissertations for students was an excellent service to offer because as it is the professors that end up performing this service for free for their students who are not fluent in English.

Also, I noticed there were many gigs for proofing thesis and dissertations, and I have been approached by many buyers to proofread these. Therefore, I too wrote to CS about this issue late in the summer or early in the fall and got the same answer you did, @eoinfinnegan.


The last time I asked, around a year ago, I was told that these couldn’t be done…


Nothing can be taken for granted, I guess it pays to keep an eye on the forum to spot or guess any new developments as early as possible. This is an excerpt from a support mail I received on some other topic:

We are a growing company and things that were permitted last year may not be permitted today. That is just the nature of the Marketplace.

Or things that were not permitted last year may be permitted today, too, it seems, according to Eoin’s post. Could be your chance to have a unique gig for a short while, before others catch up, if you can identify something that’s not permitted now but may be next year if you’re prepared and react as soon as it becomes permitted. :wink:


It would help if the changes were sent out in notices or posted somewhere as soon as they are made so there is no guessing about what’s allowed. I want to follow all the rules but need to know what they are as the changes in them happen.

Is there already a place where rule updates are posted? The Learning Center? I didn’t realize new rules were posted there until I learned we aren’t supposed to put our badges in our images.


That would be helpful indeed, I’d prefer per email.