How/whether to be a rat
October 25, 2011 6:11 PM Subscribe
Through a misdirected e-mail, I got wind of someone (probably a student) doing something very unethical in an academic setting (i.e., more than garden-variety cheating). I can't find the person online. Try harder to track down the person and report the misdeed, or drop it?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (44 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm pretty sensitive to anything unethical in academic settings. I like to see it reported to someone who might care. I also have [my last name]@gmail.com as an e-mail address. It's not an exceptionally common last name, but I do occasionally get e-mail meant for other people with this last name.
Today these two things collided, as I got an e-mail obviously meant for something else with photo attachments detailing something that I consider to be pretty unethical. Not going into details, but it hits my tattletale threshold, so I'd like to report it. It's something that harms other people (other students?). It goes beyond cheating on an exam or something, but not to the point of being illegal.
I have the sender's full name, e-mail address, and phone number sans area code. I can't figure out who this person is, though. The name is very common. Googling the e-mail address and partial phone number don't turn up anything. The photos were taken with an iPhone but don't have embedded GPS data. No identifying information in the photos.
First question: given that I don't have all the facts, and don't currently have anyone to squeal to, should I just drop it? I can live with it; I just need people I trust (you) to tell me it's okay to do so, and/or that it would be creepy to pursue.
If -- if! -- I were going to pursue it, any thoughts on how to do so? Try to get more information via e-mail? Some search engine or strategy that I'm not thinking of? I figure that if I can figure out what school this person goes to, or even her location, I can go from there.