Cheating Culture

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= "seeks to expose cheating across American life and highlight ways to build a fairer, more ethical society".



" seeks to expose cheating across American life and highlight ways to build a fairer, more ethical society. We define cheating as the violation of established rules or ethical principles for financial, professional, or academic gain. We do not focus attention on lies, infidelities, and scandals in the strictly personal sphere. Our main concern is cheating that involves the abuse of power and privilege, particularly by private sector actors, which results in losses or hardship for others.

Our Framework: We attribute the epidemic of cheating in America to several factors. First, high levels of economic inequality mean bigger paychecks for winners and larger incentives for people to cut corners to succeed. Second, today's widespread insecurity can lead ordinary Americans to feel they must cheat just to survive. Third, a failure of oversight across many sectors means that cheating often goes unpunished, especially by the powerful. Finally, America's highly individualistic culture -- which glorifies wealth, status, and personal gratification -- is conducive to cheating. Long-term solutions to cheating must address its root economic and cultural causes, but much progress can also be made by strengthening watchdogs and exposing wrongdoing.

How We Work: includes a mix of blog commentary, original reporting, news aggregation, and online community. We provide critical analysis of ethical wrongdoing, explaining the systemic factors that drive such behavior and calling for tougher action and reforms. We comment on high-profile cases, but we also seek to spotlight abuses that go largely ignored by the media or law enforcement agencies. We work to be fair to all individuals and institutions who are accused of wrongdoing and we do not pursue stories simply for their titillation value. We recognize the complex challenges of living an ethical life in a society where cheating is often normalized and in professions where rational incentives often exist to cut corners. We evaluate all available evidence carefully and do not rush to judgment. We are responsive to comments and complaints about our work." (