The Growing Backlash Against Automated Cheating Detectors

from the but-for-a-good-reason dept

It's been nearly four years since we wrote about students and parents being upset that online services that check student homework for plagiarism were also uploading and storing a copy of every paper they checked. It got to the point, earlier this year, that at least one university banned the use of Turnitin, one of the most popular services in this field. It seems that the student rebellion against such tools is growing, as many more students are questioning the legality of such tools, and asking their schools to stop using them. They're not just upset about the uploads, but about the assumption of guilt. While there clearly is plenty of plagiarism to go around, that doesn't mean this is the right solution to it. It's often easy to just throw technology at a problem, but it's worth recognizing that doing so always raises unexpected issues -- and those issues may not be technological on their own, but legal and cultural issues. It seems like many of the schools who jumped on the Turnitin bandwagon didn't spend much time thinking about those additional consequences, and are now facing student anger because of it.

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  1. identicon
    Obsidian, 24 Sep 2006 @ 6:52am

    Fair Use applies to NON-PROFIT, NON-DISTRIBUTORY use. If Turnitin is making a profit off of someone else's work (and they are), and as they are distributing that work, making it available to others wothout the authors permission, then they are possibly in violation of copyright laws.

    What a bunch of whiners and crybabies this generation has become. If you don't plagiarize, you don't have anything to worry about.

    This is one of the most moronic arguments I've ever heard. Maybe the government oughta put a camera in your bedroom just to make sure you are having sex with underage girls. Hey, if you aren't doing anything wrong, then you shouldn't object to being watched, right?

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