I teach a module in an electrical engineering MSc programme in the UK for which the students are given a technical project that carries 25% of the total marks. The project is a group assignment and the students work in teams of 3-4 members.

This year, four out of six teams submitted identical assignments (the only differences were their names on the cover page).

In our school, we are expected to flag cases of suspected plagiarism and collusion to an internal academic offences committee. If I do that, the most likely scenario is that they will all get a zero mark in this assignment.

My main concern is that if this happens, the module will have a very high failure rate. These students will need to score at least 75% in the final exam and taking into account their progress hitherto (which has been disappointingly poor), it is more likely for a camel to... pass the module.

Moreover, I expect that the committee will rule that all students get a zero - both the ones who copied the answers, and the one(s) who provided them. At least this was the case last year when a similar case of collusion was taken to the academic offences committee. I'm not sure this is fair to those students who spend time and effort to do the assignment.

Some months ago I had a chat with a colleague, who suggested that there's a cultural aspect to the students' understanding of the concepts of collusion and plagiarism - an opinion that I also found in this blog post by TurnitIn and this paper that is cited therein. I'm mentioning this because the students who colluded in my class are all international. Although I'm not convinced by the idea that they may simply not understand that copying an other team's assignment is wrong (they are MSc students after all), I can acknowledge that I may be missing something. I should mention that at the beginning of the semester, there was a series of induction events in which we tried to define very clearly the concepts of plagiarism and collusion.

An additional complication is that high failure rates are frowned upon in our department. It's an unwritten rule that the ideal failure rate is 0% and I'm already feeling pressure from the other modules I teach where I get ~15% failures every year. This is also a new module and I don't want it to have a bad reputation.

My question is: should I should report them to the academic offences committee given that they will fail my module and as a result the MSc? If so, they will have the right to resit the final exam in October, but they'll still need to score >75%. My other option is to turn a blind eye (in principle we do that for minor infractions), but I don't think this is right. Besides, it may give them the message that they'll pass the final exam even if they don't put in any effort. I do not have the option to give them some other punishment without referring them to the committee.

Update: Many thanks for your answers. Today I reported this to the academic offences committee. I presented all the evidence to the committee, but I will not participate in the investigation, which I believe is fair. I think the university has unequivocally communicated its regulations regarding academic offences, so as @Allure wrote dura lex sed lex. In my opinion it is both partonising and condescending to suggest that international students should be treated differently or more leniently and even that they cannot understand what collusion is; they have the right to chose to collude and should face the consequences. I do have some concerns about the severity of the consequences, but as it stands, these are the rules. Lastly - and this is a more philosophical question that has nothing to do with blatant verbatim copying - I wonder whether there is indeed a significant difference "across cultures," but this is a different topic altogether.

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    Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes. Existing answers in comments and other extended discussion has been moved to chat. Note, we can only move comments to chat once.
    – cag51
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 16:47
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    Thank you for providing follow-up information. I always appreciate learning about the results of an SE question.
    – Brian
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 17:45
  • We can't move comments to chat more than once, so some comments containing answers and other "extended discussion" has been deleted; please make such comments in the "chat" link above to avoid this.
    – cag51
    Commented Jul 24, 2021 at 0:42
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    To consolidate one question that keeps coming up -- it seems very strange that 16 students would submit word-for-word identical reports and not expect to get caught. Are you absolutely sure the students understood your expectations about working together? If so, do you have any theory for why they would would have expected to get away with this?
    – cag51
    Commented Jul 24, 2021 at 0:43
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    OP: I hope you'll return and post another update when the whole incident is resolved at the committee level -- that might help to address & document the situation for those in the "just can't believe it" camp, as per @cag51's comment above. It's interesting that the more brazen the cheating, the less inclination some people have for sanctioning it. (Although that might seem to be a separate question, my answer below does touch on such a theory as asked.) Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 23:31

12 Answers 12


In our school, we are expected to flag cases of suspected plagiarism and collusion to an internal academic offences committee.

There's your answer. It's your job to report the offense.

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    Moreover, the system is deliberately designed so that responsibility for investigating and penalising the plagiarism does not fall on your shoulders. You simply report the similarities and let other people worry about what consequences it has.
    – avid
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 14:18
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    These are also MSc students, not green undergrads. They really ought to know better by now.
    – J...
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 17:44
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    @Him It's not about relieving yourself of responsibility, it's about segregating responsibilities/powers, eliminating conflicts of interest, and ensuring students have the same due process regardless of the instructor. You don't want one person to be judge, jury, and executioner.
    – bta
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 19:01
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    @Him: “Relieving yourself of responsibility” in the sense of not questioning the system would be bad. If they have reason to believe the committee would be unjust, then possibly yes, the instructor should disobey the reporting rule. But there’s nothing here to suggest that — the whole setup sounds like a fair and reasonable system (at least, as much as one expects any disciplinary system to be), in which case the instructor is right to follow it.
    – PLL
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 19:13
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    @Him I think that's a gross mischaracterisation of the situation. Allowing something to be handled through the established and published procedures is not abdication of responsibility. I do not see any indication that the rules OP is enforcing are inherently unjust. On the other hand it is unjust if individual professors start applying their own rules based on their own preferences and biases.
    – avid
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 19:16

You should. Dura lex sed lex. Not reporting it sends the message that plagiarism is OK if enough people do it.

The grim consequences you envisage (like departmental disapproval) might not come to pass - after all you can't control if your students decide to cheat. Conversely, I would feel disturbed if the instructor passed cheating students to avoid high failure rates.

As for the students failing the MSc because you failed them in your module, to quote from an answer to another question:

Sometimes a student's failure is a teaching success.

The lesson is just not the one you wished that you were teaching.

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    +1 "I would feel disturbed if the instructor passed cheating students to avoid high failure rates" Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 14:42
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    When I was in school, being caught cheating would result in automatically failing the entire course (not just the assignment). The second offense would result in failing the course and being suspended from the University for a semester. The third would result in outright expulsion. Point being, the policy in question actually isn't all that harsh - I've certainly heard of harsher policies. Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 14:27
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    @CaptainEmacs Especially engineering students! Along with doctors/pre-med, I hope the academic community is especially stringent with engineering students. The consequences of poorly educated engineers in the world can be deadly. Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 20:15
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    @ToddWilcox you're oversimplifying, but not wrong. Engineering has a much higher tolerance for and incidence of group work (in my experience). But, and this is key, it is absolutely fundamental to understand and apply the requirements specific to that project. More than mere academic dishonesty ("mere", ha!), failing to understand the requirements is a huge indictment of engineering students' competence as engineers.
    – fectin
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 23:01
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    @ToddWilcox I am an engineer and I can say that most of the course materials, i.e. education was useless in real world applications. And if you ask engineers, I bet many of them would side with this. Point being, I think mixing the ethical standards with real world consequences is not a fruitful argument in this case. The better lesson that engineers have to learn is, one must have some ethical principles and abide them even if it does not affect anyone in real world.
    – polfosol
    Commented Jul 24, 2021 at 14:58

The way I see it, my employer pays me to evaluate my students’ knowledge of the material I taught them. I am ethically bound to give only grades that reflect my honest assessment.

In particular, if an assignment is turned in that I know to be plagiarized, I cannot in good faith give it a grade of more than zero. The student who submitted it has not credibly demonstrated any knowledge, so to do otherwise would be a betrayal of the trust my institution places in me to carry out the job I was assigned to do.

The distinction between students who copied and students who allowed others to copy from them is a bogus one. Both are cheaters, and in practice it is usually impossible to know to which of these two categories a student belongs. There is no logical policy other than to treat all students who participated in such a collusion scheme as if they cheated and did not do the assignment, even if in fact some of them did.

The allowance you are thinking of making for “cultural” values of “international” students is disrespectful to honest students, who hail from all different countries, including the same geographical regions as the cheating students who supposedly have a misguided understanding of what plagiarism is. You should treat people as individuals, who are adults capable of making their own decisions and need to live with the consequences of those decisions.

The argument that reporting the cheating students will result in a high failure rate is neither here nor there. Perhaps your program needs to do some soul searching about what they might be doing that results in such massive cheating scandals occurring (and the high failure rate that follows them), and what they can be doing to prevent them in the future. But it’s not your place as an individual instructor to take such high-level questions into account and substitute your own personal justice for whatever the institutional policies say needs to happen in such a situation.

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    it may be a cultrual thing, but it's not so much that they come from Elbonia that makes them think they can cheat with impugnity, rather it's that they come from money.
    – Jasen
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 13:01
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    @Jasen I'm not so sure - there are countries where academic dishonesty is treated much more lightly than it is in developed countries.
    – nick012000
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 13:51
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    @nick012000 It's not that it's treated lightly in these countries, but that academic achievements are treated as subject to negotiation and negotiation skills. And when an institution makes itself dependent on pass rates, it effectively imports that dilemma. The worst part is when it closes its eyes to this. It's not easy for an individual academic to help reopen them. Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 14:41
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    On the flip side, I suspect there are some isolated cases where someone's work may have been copied without their knowledge (such as if a student inadvertently used a file storage space for their own work that had previously been used as a collaborative workspace, and an unscrupulous student from the previous project swiped it and shared it with others) but I suspect this is a tiny minority of cases.
    – Doktor J
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 16:57
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    @DoktorJ You would hope that the school would provide the students with an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges - a case like what you describe might be able to be proven with other evidence, like local working copies or maybe system logs from the offending storage location.
    – Kayndarr
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 2:48

Yes, you should report them. It's the official policy, and it's also the right thing to do. It helps you by spreading out the responsibility for the failures (or whatever). Given the academic level and introductory anti-cheating module, it's overwhelmingly likely that these students have been cheating through their entire academic career, and have grown accustomed to being given a pass every time in this same fashion.

As I wrote in this answer:

If these are university students, then it seems to me overwhelmingly likely that what's happened is a reflection of prior habits they've been following for... maybe 12+ years now? I'd say at this point it's naive to think this is truly "the first offense". What if these students are cheating at work in every single one of their college courses, and then pleading "first offense" or "didn't know" (very common, and should be disregarded as utterly unbelievable), and so are given this allowance continually throughout their program sequence?

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    it's overwhelmingly likely that these students have been cheating through their entire academic career - I'm not totally convinced about this (I agree with the rest)--my impression is that cheating has increased significantly during the pandemic, especially with online activities.
    – Kimball
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 0:37
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    @Kimball: Perhaps. But I've had online-submitted assignments before and after the start of the pandemic, and the frequency and reactions around cheating seem to be about the same. None of my students have pointed to the pandemic as an excuse of any sort. Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 11:29
  • Maybe cheating proportions haven't changed that much when just looking at online assignments/classes (though I imagine it could in situations where people get more disengaged/fatigued overall)---I personally didn't have online assignments pre-COVID. What I meant is that the proportion of online assignments and classes greatly increased, which at least in my department coincided with a large uptick in cheating.
    – Kimball
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 14:44
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    @Kimball: The number of assignment submissions where cheating occurred (i.e., attack surface) may have increased. But I suspect that number of students cheating (and how), which is distinct and what my answer is about, has remained about the same. Perhaps they were cheating on papers in courses other than yours -- e.g., it would be previously invisible to instructors who had mostly test-based coursework. Again, none of the students I've caught pointed to the pandemic as an exceptional reason for their cheating. Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 15:55

Something doesn't add up: Obviously, the students didn't think what they did was forbidden because they didn't try to hide the fact that the papers were identical. Probably, because they were supposed to cooperate to begin with, they falsely assumed it's OK to cooperate across groups. As with most misunderstandings the fault may not be exclusively on one side, which is the reason for my suggestion:

Have a session where you explain the rules in unambiguous terms. If there is a language barrier or something similar, make them take a 5 minute test afterwards that lets them decide whether a few choice scenarios are proper behavior or not.

Invalidate the project for all those who submitted the identical results. Have them retake an equivalent assignment or, if that's impossible due to time constraint or lab hours etc., an exam. Make it optional for the others, for fairness, to participate in the replacement project/test if they wish to improve their grades.

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    In my experience blatant cheating is a often because they were cheating before, hid it a little, got away with it, and then got lazy. And as things got more technical and they got further behind in the class, they didn't know how to hide copying even if they wanted -- they didn't know which words to change so it sounded different but was still correct. Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 14:16
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    I agree with Owen. The students sometimes cheat so blatantly that its insulting. One would want to give them negative marks if only for the insult (of course, we can't, and shan't). Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 14:44
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    I think blatant cheating is sometimes just a low-effort attempt. Maybe a lot of students underestimated the effort required, then found out very late that they couldn’t finish in time. Instead of handing in nothing (for which you certainly get zero points) they decided to try handing in a colleague’s copy (for which you only get zero points if it’s found out).
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 15:56
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    Obviously, the students didn't think what they did was forbidden because they didn't try to hide the fact that the papers were identical. - Or they all got the answer from the same 3rd party, unbeknownst to each other.
    – Kimball
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 0:38
  • @Kimball I haven't thought of that. In a class that doesn't talk much to each other that's certainly a possibility. Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 8:23

I know you already reported this (which I think was the right thing to do), but for future readers, let me take another angle on this. Specifically, I'd like to focus on this paragraph:

Moreover, I expect that the committee will rule that all students get a zero - both the ones who copied the answers, and the one(s) who provided them. At least this was the case last year when a similar case of collusion was taken to the academic offences committee. I'm not sure this is fair to those students who spend time and effort to do the assignment.

That being said, would it be fair to the students that were punished last year if these students received no penalty whatsoever for an identical offense? Policies need to be enforced uniformly (or not at all) to avoid arbitrariness.

It would also be unfair to the two teams that completed their own work, because the 3 teams that evidently put forth no effort whatsoever would be graded as if they had actually done the assignment.

  • "unfair to the two teams that completed their own work" how so? It's not clear to me how they would be harmed in any way. Is it fair to me if you win the lottery?
    – Him
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 1:45
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    @Him It is if I never actually purchased a ticket and won anyway. Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 2:05
  • @Him: unfair ≠ harm. This is basic stuff. Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 1:52
  • @DanielR.Collins Being arbitrarily punished seems like harm to me. Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:32

A few things:

  • it is important to report it, even if there is no punishment past "they have to redo the assignment and not collude" (which is more work for you of course) - reason being, there are serial cheaters and they "get by" by apologizing profusely if caught
  • no matter what they do, it will likely be more work for you OR you will be completely disillusioned (which happened to me when I reported multiple cheating incidents and they said "you didn't say explicitly they couldn't copy"...)
  • glad you actually care
  • finally, give them slightly different assignments - 3 vs. 4 variables, 100 vs. 200 ohm resistors, whatever. It's a little more annoying to grade, but if they collude to get the right answers, they should be learning something!
  • What do you mean "redo"? You can't redo something you never did in the first place, so effectively their "punishment" would be to do what they were supposed to have done in the first place. Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 19:57
  • Sadly, "redo" is mostly on the part of the instructor, to have to regrade it. Our university will do that sometimes, EVEN IF it is clearly plagiarism. All they did originally was manage to copy and paste.
    – c13
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 22:43

Yes, absolutely without question. In fact, I've seen situations where the majority of the class cheated. It's not pretty, but it's been done before.

This isn't playground hair-pulling or petty vengeance, academic integrity is sacred and it's right to report it.


I see you've already taken action so this comment is late. Something for you and others to consider maybe is:

  • You are correct this work should be graded zero.

  • However maybe you could give them an opportunity to remedy their error?

  • Reject the plagiarised work, and give them a stern talking to, explaining why you have rejected it, and explaining that they were warned and should know better.

  • Give them a tight new deadline to redo the work to the proper standard and resubmit. Explain the consequences if this is not done. Explain that they are on the edge of being banned from the university (or whatever the likely max punishment would be from the Academic Offences Committee).

  • Keep your line manager / Department Head informed of this and your actions.

  • Likely they will still fail the course, but at least you gave them a chance to remedy their errors and they have learned from this.

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    Tomato, thank you for your answer. I think this would not be fair to the other students who didn't collude. I could of course allow them to take more time to improve their marks, but they have now crossed this assignment off their lists and are currently studying other modules. I could allow them to resubmit for a capped mark at 50%, but this is not allowed by the school. Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 14:20
  • This is the most reasonable answer to me. As soon as this problem is in the hands of the administration, they will probably come down with a blunt and broad punishment completely ignoring any nuance. I prefer to keep problems to myself as much as possible so I can solve them according to my goal: to educate. I often have students redo work simply because I know they half-assed it for a low, but passable score. Students don't abuse my system because otherwise their workload will build up. So I think the idea of giving some (or all) students extra time on the assignment is a non-issue.
    – Joey M
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 17:29
  • How many times do would you guess the student have been given a "stern talking to" and waiving of any penalty over the course of their academic career? How likely do you think it is such a lesson will result in their trying the same thing in another course? Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 1:55

I totally agree with the other answers, you should definitely report this.

An aspect of the situation which I think other posts did not mention: you don't actually know that two-thirds colluded.

The project is a group assignment and the students work in teams of 3-4 members.

This year, four out of six teams submitted identical assignments (the only differences were their names on the cover page).

It is very easy to not cheat when you work alone. When you are in a team of 3 or 4, your work will be plagiarised if there is one rogue team member. This can happen without your knowledge.

So, the most you can say, is that there is at least 1 person in each group who colluded with others.

It seems to me that it is unreasonable to assign 25% of the total marks for a group project, and then get punished for plagiarism, when the University cannot prove that every individual was aware of what is going on. You cannot expect from each team member to evaluate whether another team member's contribution is original or plagiarised.

My undergraduate Physics course included a part when 3-4 students worked together, but that project carried less than 0.5% of total marks, which I think is reasonable. 25% is ludicrous.

Nevertheless, this is not your problem. If you can influence these aspects of the course in the future, I would advise you to do so. Report collusion.

  • I don't think that 25% marks for a large project is unreasonable. There are many faculty these days who vociferously argue that all marks should be from projects like that. Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 1:58
  • I don't have problem with getting marks from projects, but I have problem with my mark dependent on 3 other people. Are those departments refer to large projects you do on your own or with other people?
    – zabop
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 7:55
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    @zabop If the intended learning outcomes of the programme include being able to work in teams (and for an engineering programme, they almost certainly do), then there have to be some team-based assessments. Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 12:03
  • That's good point! Although the ability to determine if there are nonzero cheating teammates is I'm pretty sure not part of intended learning outcome.
    – zabop
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 12:49

If 2/3 colluded and they were all international students, then that is proof that this was due to misunderstanding. When I had to do experimental work at university, the set-up was that we had to work in groups of two, a report was to be written and we would be be graded based on the report. But it was then one report per group of two students, the grade applied to both students and usually one student would write most of the report. This sort of a system is common practice in many universities, so this may be the source of the misunderstanding.

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    I once had 7 students turn in identical copies of an individual assignment. The person who wrote it only knew 1 of them, but that person let someone else copy it, and so on. Everyone was amazed at that number -- they assumed their were 2, or at most 3 copies turned in and they could at least claim they had worked with their friends on it. Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 14:22
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    Having pursued a fair number of these cases in the past year, many of them start of with the student claiming "misunderstanding", and when it becomes clear that I have hard evidence and am actually pursuing sanctions, they flip to, "oh I didn't understand the initial question, yes I cheated and I knew it was wrong, please forgive me". Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 15:21
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    "Proof" must exclude other possibilities. While I agree that the fact that all the plagiarizing students are international may suggest a misunderstanding, it's a far cry from proof of the matter. It's entirely feasible for international students to cheat intentionally, the fact that they are international does not in any way "prove" otherwise. Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 16:11
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    I never said that the other students, who didn't collude, are not international. Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 16:34
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    International students (I am one of them) are not mentally retarted, or something like that. People in high school understand the notion of plagiarism, so I don't quite see what this is all about.
    – zabop
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 10:54

...copying an other team's assignment is wrong.


It might help you decide what to do by considering deeply what you mean by "wrong". AFAIK, there is nothing Biblical (or Koranical, or [insert totally objective moral dogma here]) that governs your behavior in this specific scenario. Will reporting them to the university office create a situation that is more "right", in your view? Will doing something else create a situation that is more "right"? Ultimately, your ethical system is yours, and as an educator you should really make an attempt to navigate these waters for yourself (with some aid, perhaps, from other stackoverflowers).


Probably, it is not the case that you consider plagiarism to be a moral error in-and-of itself. Often, I find that educators have vague notions that individual plagiarism causes some further inherent ill much later (e.g. at time of employment), or slippery-slope logic leads to a conclusion that plagiarism can cause class-wide problems. There are possibly other considerations that are valid, for example this answer implies that if you give your word to do a thing (possibly implicitly by accepting payment for a job), then it would be inherently wrong to not do that thing. I would consider this valid. You may or may not be of this opinion. However, many academic positions give a great deal of leeway to professors when deciding how to implement policies in their classes, so this consideration may not even apply.

Personally, my strongest ethical motivator is that I feel that knowledge of science is an inherent good. As a science educator, this implies for me an ethical responsibility to educate. Perhaps more strongly, I feel an ethical responsibility to educate despite what my educatees may or may not want. If I have taken on the duty to educate student X, and student X doesn't want to be educated, then this does not relieve me of my duty to educate them.

In this context, if student X is utilizing plagiarism to shirk their studies, then I feel ethically bound to take steps to prevent (!=punish) this thing. What steps to take? If pursuing a particular course of action regarding their plagiarism will cause student X to, for example, be expelled from the program, then I would want to consider carefully my actions. Possibly this will open a spot for another student who will actually learn, allowing me to fulfill my duty to educate. Possibly such an open spot will only be filled by a student with similar habits, in which case I would want to find a method that would actually prevent these actions rather than simply flunking a never-ending cycle of plagiaristic students.

In this same context, it may be the case that student X is diligently pursuing their studies, but is simply using plagiarism as a tool to pass a class that they may otherwise not be able to pass, or to get an "A" having actually "earned" a "B". In this case, pursuing an action that would cause student X to be ejected from the program would be antithetical to my duty to educate, and would therefore, in my ethical system, be wrong. I may have other ethical duties due to official university policies requiring me to sort students by ability with maximum efficiency and accuracy. To me, these are secondary to my ethical duty to educate.

As such, if I were in your scenario, I would have some delving to do. Is it actually the case that these students were utterly incapable of completing the assignment? If so, then this assignment probably isn't very educational (which is the primary purpose of assignments, IMHO). Perhaps I should give a different assignment to replace it. Is it actually the case that students are simply shirking their studies? If so, then perhaps I should re-assign the same or a similar assignment of comparable difficulty, letting students know that they must actually be diligent in their studies. Have these students been shirking their studies repeatedly, even after similar attempts to encourage them to diligence? Then perhaps these students are simply lost, and you should report them to the appropriate department so that they can be replaced with students who will actually attempt to learn.

All of this is not to say that you should follow this suit. This is simply to say that perhaps the ethics of the situation are not so simple as to admit a black-and-white answer. Or perhaps they are. Since you will be dealing with this ethical conundrum for years to come, you should really make efforts to come to a system that you find ethically consistent.

  • 20
    "AFAIK, there is nothing Biblical (or Koranical, or [insert totally objective moral dogma here]) that governs this specific scenario." There is. "Thou shall not lie."
    – nick012000
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 21:58
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    @nick012000 your statement seems to be directed at the student, not at the OP, who is clearly the professor. Indeed, from this perspective, the more relevant quote concerns casting the first stone.
    – Him
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 0:34
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    No, it's aimed at you, to address a misconception in your answer in the hope you might improve it.
    – nick012000
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 2:23
  • @nick012000, I feel you are ignoring the point of Him's answer. Sure "thou shalt not lie" is in the Bible and applies to this answer, but there is loads of nuance around that specific commandment and OP's question. It is easy for everyone to hide behind the rules and act like their hands are tied because some text says some specific thing. Him is just pointing out that you don't have to do that to be ethically or morally correct.
    – Joey M
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 17:41
  • What is "TFA"? The fine article? As in read the fine article. Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 16:35

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