Essay Mill

According to research by Tracey Bretag in Australia, only 10.4% of students who admitted to contract cheating said they used a professional service of any type.

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Yesterday, payment company Pay Pal announced that they were no longer going to offer services to essay writing companies, often referred to as essay mills, forcing such services to find new ways to accept payments.

The move comes after the UK Education Secretary Damian Hinds called on Pay Pal to stop processing payments for essay writing services saying that it is “unethical for these companies to profit from this dishonest business.”However, the ban will not be immediate.

Stripe, for example, specifically lists essay milll as a “high risk business” and Square, though not mentioning essay mills directly, also bans similar high risk products and services.

As such, while this may not be a crippling blow against essay mills, it is a significant one and one that will make such operations both more difficult and less sustainable moving forward.

As such, mills may find cooperative processors elsewhere.

Finally, as mentioned above, there are other ways to handle payments, including cryptocurrency.Pay Pal has already admitted it will be difficult to separate essay mills from sites that provide legitimate tutoring services.This means many essay mills may simply rebrand to avoid the ban.This has caused a pushback from academia but one that’s had little effect.Despite laws being passed in multiple countries to ban essay mills, the services have proved largely invincible due to their international nature.This has become a favorite of pirate websites as a means of accepting donations after being cut off from traditional payment processors.But where pirate websites are able to survive like this because they can make money from a few donating visitors, sketchy advertising and cryptocurrency mining, essay mills can only survive if they’re able to accept direct payment from customers.As I discussed in my post on the International Center for Academic Integrity Conference, contract cheating is a major focus in academic integrity right now.Though essay mills are only part of that equation, they are one of the most visible and one of the most profitable.Instead, Pay Pal is starting the process of contacting essay mills to let them know they should “move their business elsewhere” and the process will take several weeks.Still, the move could be a huge blow to many essay mill operations.

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