Last week, a BBC investigation revealed that over 250 YouTube channels had been promoting Ukrainian essay-writing service EduBirdie. It was found that more than 1,400 videos with a total of over 700m views had contained ads selling the education cheating service to students.
The EduBirdie site says its service is useful for “research into the subject, generating initial input for further reasoning and citations… paraphrasing in accordance with major educational standards as well as tailored to your college/university guidelines for plagiarism/paraphase”.
It’s important to note that essay-writing services like this are not illegal, but students caught using them can face serious sanctions from their educational establishment and ads promoting the services are against YouTube’s policies.
YouTube’s ‘Academic Aids’ policy states that ads for test-taking services and academic paper-writing services are not allowed on its platform and, as a result, the videos were removed on these grounds.
In a statement to the BBC, EduBirdie’s parent company, Boosta, said: “We give influencers total freedom on how they prefer to present the EduBirdie platform to their audience in a way they feel would be most relevant to their viewers.”