Wednesday, 15 August 2012

"Do your own homework"

screen shot, 12.45pm, 15th August

A number of news outlets have carried news of the lazy toad high school student who asked on Yahoo! Answers for someone to do a summary of DC Pierson’s novel The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To, and got a reply by the author, essentially saying "do your own homework". For example:
Student asking Yahoo Answers to summarise book he hasn't read for homework gets a response… from the author
A student has gained online notoriety after he tried to get away with not reading a book for a school assignment only to be caught out by the author himself.
The student took to Yahoo! Answers earlier this week, asking for a book summary of The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson, admitting he had not finished the book.
By the next day the student, whose username was 'Idiot America', got a response from Pierson who was not impressed.
The author reprimanded the student posting: ‘I'm bummed out that you don't want to try and finish it, and not even because you think it's bad, but just because it seems like work instead of like fun.’
- Alex Ward, Daily Mail, 15th August 2012

Pierson's reply- click to enlarge
I'm more than a trifle suspicious that Pierson's reply to this Q&A - Can someone completely cover the book 'The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To' to me ? - is still extant on the Y!A site at the time of writing (12.45pm, 15th August).

There's a Y!A help section Is it okay to ask for help with homework? which is very explicit on this point:
Note: Responding to a homework help question with "Do your own homework" or "Read your textbook" is not okay.
Whatever one may think of the question and its lazy-toad asker, Pierson's reply (right) is clearly an extended "do your own homework". The question asked for a complete review of the book; it does not provide that, so it's a non-answer violation, and should have been deleted (along with the many other similar replies that made no attempt to answer the question).

It's hard to believe that it hasn't been reported, and if it was, as a first post by a new account, it would easily drop under normal circumstances. A suspicious person might conclude Y!A have flagged it as unreportable to preserve it for its publicity value.

Edit: as of some time this evening, the whole question has been deleted. It's unknown why.

- Ray

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