On one hand, yeah, it’s totally different. It’s a book review! It’s not being submitted for a grade. But…those seem to be the only differences.
In both cases, it’s someone lying. Someone misrepresenting the truth. Someone attempting to fool a reader. Someone trying to pull the wool over someone else’s eyes.
Where does this cheating come from? Because, let’s be honest, it is cheating. It’s an attempt to fool someone into believing something that is not true and for someone to take credit that isn’t theirs to take, whether it’s taking credit in a class or taking credit for a “good” book.
Book reviewers charge more for better reviews, and people who write papers are happy to do so for whatever grade or standard the paying student wants.
How crazy is it that people think these things are okay? What has gone wrong with the world? Or has it not changed, only changed mediums?
Think back to the days of snake oils and confidence men. We have movies (The Sting) and musicals (The Music Man) that actually teach us that this trickery is a skill and requires charm and confidence. It’s all positive attributes. Something to be admired. Good business sense.
And it is good business sense! Selling book reviews is lucrative as is writing papers for students. So does that make it okay? Again, I say no, and from the outraged generated from the fake books reviews and the article written by one of the (anonymous) paper writers, it’s clear that I’m not alone in my attitude.
So where did our ethics go? Or did we never have them?