Academia.edu – Scam & Spam rolled into one overrated site

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A440
Posts: 4794
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

Academia.edu – Scam & Spam rolled into one overrated site

Post by A440 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:17 am

For years, one of my mail accounts has been receiving a steady stream of spam from this site.
Academia actually had the nerve to claim that one of my email account personae I use to deal with spam (the name I used for the account is fictitious) was mentioned in several papers and keeps spamming me for fees, membership, papers, etc.
Imagine my surprise to discover that this site has a higher rating on WOT that many legitimate news and business sites!

Academia.edu
As from one Sarah Bond, Assistant Professor in the Classics Department at the University of Iowa, who wrote in her Forbes.com article "Dear Scholars, Delete Your Account At Academia.Edu" — At first glance, Academia.edu looks like a win-win situation. . . That web address is more than a little deceptive. As Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication at the Modern Language Association (MLA) remarked on her blog, "the first thing to note is that, despite its misleading top level domain (which was registered by a subsidiary prior to the 2001 restrictions), Academia.edu is not an educationally-affiliated organization, but a dot-com, which has raised millions in multiple rounds of venture capital funding."
See: https://www.forbes.com/sites/drsarahbond/2017/01/23/dear-scholars-delete-your-account-at-academia-edu/?sh=5e975a102d62
As Sara Bond notes, this site is masquerading as an educational enterprise, using a deceptive TLD, when in fact it is a for profit site that offers, at best, some real, some dubious if not faked publication citations for a fee.
Their goals is to monetize access to any articles and based upon the many comments left on Trustpilot, they use fraudulent "Dark Pattern" site tricks to put charges on the unwary viewer's credit cards. Apparently this site is also used for the purposes of academic plagiarism as well.
(See: https://forum.mywot.com/reputation-discussions-f5/dark-patterns-fraudulent-practices-in-site-design-t96787.html)

I find a lot of other commentaries on this shady site which help complete a more in depth picture of this site and its fraudulent practices:
https://www.trustpilot.com/review/academia.edu
https://www.affiliateresources.org/academia-edu-review-a-reliable-source-for-scholars/
https://www.chronicle.com/article/metrics-mania/
The emails appear with spammish regularity: “128 people recently read a paper you T are mentioned in,” reads the subject line, followed by more clickbait: “A total of 63 papers on Academia mention your name.” The emails are from Academia.edu, the San Francisco-based social network for researchers. “Don’t miss a single citation,” the site warns. Follow the link, and you’re
prompted to join the new, $99-a-year Premium service.
Or this quote:
Unethical Marketing – The site comes across as being a go to reference point for academics. It offers a pay to play model where anyone can have their content boosted so it’s seen by more people.
Or this complaint (Trustpilot):
This is a toxic, viral, malicious organization that won't take "no" for an answer. Once you let them in, they will not stop bothering you and your contacts.
I wish I could give them a zero-star review. I have rarely encountered a more vile, disrespectful, dishonest, mis-representing and crafty company online.
Here is an example of their spam sent to me just yesterday:
Dear X,

Congratulations on your 320th Mention!

The name “Redacted” was mentioned in a paper by someone in Munich, Germany that was recently discovered by Academia.

Follow the link below to see all of your mentions:
I invite WOT members to rate this site accordingly, based upon their deceptive practices:
https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/academia.edu

Javelina
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:34 pm

Re: Academia.edu – Scam & Spam rolled into one overrated site

Post by Javelina » Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:09 am

Academia.edu is an open platform, but it is less credible than just publishing on one's own blog. Rated RED.

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