Feeds

Google pulls essay adverts

Universities 'warmly welcome' ban

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

From next month, ads selling essay writing services will join those punting prostitution or tobacco on Google's list of proscribed activities across its global network, the BBC reports.

The search monolith has responded to "claims that plagiarism is threatening the integrity of university degrees" and "complaints from universities about students being sold customised essays on the internet" by pulling the plug, and has written to companies flogging essays and dissertations to declare the new policy.

A spokesman for Universities UK admitted to "difficulties" with essays bought by students for up to £5,000 from companies offering tailor-made answers, with an estimated 12,000 a year being passed off as original scribblings, according to the organisation. Since these essays and assignments may be penned by freelance academics or other students, it's "less easy for plagiarism software used by universities to detect such work".

Universities UK's president Professor Drummond Bone said: "Plagiarism devalues the efforts of students who work hard to achieve their degrees. It also damages the student who commits plagiarism, as they will not benefit from the research and learning experience."

Unsurprisingly, essay writing companies are a little hacked off. The managing director of Essaywriter.co.uk, Matthew Wilson, is described as "angry" at the threat to his business, 80 per cent of which comes via Google. He claimed the clampdown will "punish the legitimate, transparent companies, which sell essays, but which warn students that they must not be used dishonestly".

He insisted that his site "makes clear that essays should not be passed off as being written by the student" and that the "tailor-made essays" can be used "as a guide for students wanting extra assistance".

Universities UK classified as "absurd" this claim that students would stump up "hundreds of pounds for model answers" and subsequently not "submit them as their own work".

Wilson concluded by noting the ban would not prevent Google from generating links to "rogue essay selling companies, which have been accused of scamming customers by providing poor quality material". ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.