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Assassination by Upload

Discussion in 'Café Life' started by AgentPete, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. AgentPete

    AgentPete Capo Famiglia Staff Member

    Had an interesting thing happen recently. Some nutter, either motivated by spite or possibly a weird sense of fun, uploaded an illiterate (truly) manuscript to Amazon Kindle and published it under the name of one of my clients. I didn’t know you could do this, but there it was – first (most recent) title in their bibliography. Make it looks as if they’ve lost their writing mind, marbles, everything. Creative vandalism?

    Anyhow, Amazon reacted with commendable swiftness, and pulled it. But even so – what a weird thing to do!
    • Scary Scary x 2
  2. Carol Rose

    Carol Rose Venerated Member Founding Member

    What the hell is wrong with people that they do stuff like this in the first place??? It is truly unnerving what people are able to do with a computer and a keyboard.

    I'm glad Amazon was quick to pull it. They really need a better vetting process for people to prove who they are, or that they own a book they're trying to publish, etc., because nonsense similar to this happens way too often.

    I've heard of people taking an author's book, changing the title and cover, and then "publishing" it as their own, under their name - real or not. And it takes a lot of jumping through hoops on the author's part, and the publisher's, before Amazon pulls it.
  3. Jimithyh

    Jimithyh Respected Member

    Perhaps it was a deluded wannabe who thought "borrowing" another author's name would be a useful method of testing public reaction to his work ... without besmirching his own, and failing to appreciate the consequences of their actions?
  4. AgentPete

    AgentPete Capo Famiglia Staff Member

    Actually, I was very impressed with Amazon for pulling it so quickly. Literally within hours of our complaint.

    I’ve heard of people doing what Carol mentioned – copying entire books by a well-known author, but changing the name to their own! Think we covered this on the Debriefer some time ago. Nowt so queer as folk...
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. 1408

    1408 Venerated Member

    Ruddy 'ell. I didn't know any of these things could be done. Thanks for the info.
  6. Bernard Stacey

    Bernard Stacey Venerated Member Founding Member

    Are Amazon able to identify the culprit - presumably the account from which it was uploaded can be traced? If this isn't actually illegal, it is clearly the sort of thing that should merit an investigation and life ban.
  7. AgentPete

    AgentPete Capo Famiglia Staff Member

    I don't know. I guess just about anyone can grab a fake email address and start merrily uploading stuff to Amazon/Kindle. It's yet another way to troll someone, I suppose... Isn't progress wonderful!
  8. Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

    Katie-Ellen Hazeldine Venerated Member Founding Member

    Better news. Speaking of your clients, I just saw THIS
    • Like Like x 1
  9. David Newrick

    David Newrick Well-Known Member

    Absolutely shocking Pete! Someone from Bangladesh was telling me yesterday how there is a lucrative industry in India, Pakistan and other countries involving highly educated students. Using some on-line portal or referral network Western students, including the UK and US, order an assignment which is specifically written for them to the specification laid down by the lecturer. This new work is then emailed to the Western student who submits it as their own work. Apparently this is paid at around £1,000 to £1,500 and is used by quite wealthy students throughout their academic career.

    When I took my degree less than 2% of the UK population had a degree and it was prior to the internet age. So endless trips down to the University library then, or waiting weeks for books I had ordered - some of which I never ever received. A world away from today's instant download or googling for instant facts.

    My point, thank you for bearing with me dear reader, is that this is yet another aspect of how fake work is available via the internet which previously would have been logistically impossible to achieve due to time and distance. It also makes me wonder if the person who made the submission to Amazon for your client comes from this type of world and is so steeped in its corrupting influence that they think that just as you can get your degree using fake work, you can also get into publishing by using fake names, fake attribution etc. This time they were caught out, but that may not always be the case...
    • Like Like x 1
  10. AgentPete

    AgentPete Capo Famiglia Staff Member

    Yes, it’s entirely possible – simply can’t know what goes on inside their minds.

    The fake dissertation thing is pretty widespread. I think many colleges now employ anti-plagiarism software, but of course that wouldn’t detect a custom-written essay.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

    Katie-Ellen Hazeldine Venerated Member Founding Member

    Marking A level homework one weekend, I noticed that three students had made exactly the same typo in the same place. Hand written. Consequence? They had to write a new assignment. And I had to design a whole new assignment for them, the little cheats, and I was paid hourly, but was not paid for the extra work of designing a new assignment for cheating students. It was all in the noise. College was paid for bums on seats, wasn't it?
    Standards, standards.
  12. AgentPete

    AgentPete Capo Famiglia Staff Member

    As a kid, there were no other children in my tiny Norfolk village, so books somewhat replaced people as my intimate companions.

    What rubbed off was a rather precocious, somewhat Edwardian writing style.

    I often had problems with teachers simply not believing that I was the author of my essays etc.

    Never really forgiven them for that!
  13. Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

    Katie-Ellen Hazeldine Venerated Member Founding Member

    It is a perennial experience of genius, in the original sense of the word, not to be believed. Children inhabiting a rich inner world, for whatever reason, do not fare well in the tutelage of limited or mean spirited teachers. I guess you were well able to relate to 'Leo Colston.' was taken to the zoo once, aged 3 or 4 and asked, where was the elephant, and I was looking at it. Bigger than me. Too big for me to comprehend. Your teachers were possibly themselves, of limited perception. These though, were definitely g-wilty m'lud.
  14. Paul Whybrow

    Paul Whybrow Venerated Member

    With students using online services to write their essays for them, it poses the risk that dangerously unable recruits will be entering professions which affect us all.

    Going back twenty years, it was discovered that the literacy standards of army personnel tasked with controlling America's nuclear arsenal, were so low that they didn't understand the instructions in the how to respond to the threat of a nuclear strike. The handbooks contained fairly simple words like expedite, protocol and continuity which the soldiers misinterpreted...in some cases, they thought the meaning was the opposite of the intended command. The handbooks were rewritten, dumbed down into elementary language.

    Surely, if such cheating is rife with written work, it will lead to an increase in viva voce examinations—oral examinations where a student has to do a face-to-face demonstration that they really know their stuff!
  15. Katie-Ellen Hazeldine

    Katie-Ellen Hazeldine Venerated Member Founding Member

    I see they are doing away with modular assessments in English GCSE, making it purely exam based again, Lang and Lit. Partly for those kind of reason. Partly to test creative and critical skills rather than swotted knowledge, using previously unseen texts.

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