Buying Time

by Vault Education Editors | June 09, 2009

  • My Vault

Ever wish you could buy just a few more days on your final paper without having to ask for an extension? Coming up with a new creative and believable excuse or putting on your best sick voice can be taxing, especially when not convincing a professor or TA could lead to an automatic grade reduction. But you're in luck! A new way to avoid turning your paper in on time is here.

For a small fee, Corrupted-Files.com will supply you with a corrupted file that you can rename and submit instead of the paper you've been slaving over but haven't gotten quite right yet. And voile! You have an excuse-free extension.

But is it cheating?

Because students are doing their own work, the site's founders say, submitting a corrupted file is not strictly "cheating." Using a corrupted file is certainly gaming the system, but it is not the same as plagiarism. In fact, as part of its instructions on the homepage, Corrupted-Files.com says: "Use the time this website just bought you wisely and finish that paper!!!"

One critic of the site implied that students who would buy a corrupted file online wouldn't stop there, and would buy a paper online, as well. But if you are going to buy a paper online to submit, why not do so on time and save some cash?

On the flip side, most universities require that students sign honor codes that hold them to academic honesty. Buying a corrupted file to buy time qualifies as academic dishonesty, and thereby violates the honor code. So even though it's not plagiarism, it's still not OK. That said, because of recent press, I doubt the site will be around much longer. In the words of one Vault editor, "This is hilarious...but it doesn't matter--it's done."

According to Inside Higher Ed, the site began as a joke. The founders didn't realize it would actually catch on. Today, they get between three and 10 downloads a day, and the numbers are sure to keep growing. Not surprisingly, their biggest customers are students from the Ivy League and other elite institutions. These Ivy Leaguers and aspiring Supreme Court Justices have to look perfect if they can't actually be so.

What say you? To me, the site reminds me of Saved by the Bell. Couldn't you just see Zack Morris starting the site with Screech's computer skills? Maybe Jessie Spano wouldn't have become addicted to caffeine pills if she could have spent $4 on a corrupted file!

Filed Under: Education

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