Come one, come all. Let's play the "Pith In The Wind Moral Dilemma Game" — the interactive blog post that invites you, the reader, to decide the outcome!
First we ask you to turn your attention to this Craigslist ad, passed along by an intrepid Pith tipster (try saying that a few times in a row).
What's that? The ad is gone?
Fortunately, we saved it:
$250 to finish AP Calculus Course 30% left (Online)
I need someone to finish my daughter's ONLINE AP Calculus course. ASAP $250 all in must pass. You must have done well as a student yourself. Start ASAP reply today start today. Work from home !!! 30% left to finish CALL Steve [number redacted]
Pith called the number. Here's a transcript of the call:
"I'm calling about the ad I saw on Craigslist."
"Yeah. I think I have somebody who's supposed to start. If not, I can call you back. What's your name?"
"I just need to hear back from this lady tonight because I gave her a deposit to start. I hope she just does it."
"And it's the online version of it?"
"Yeah. There's only 8 parts to go. It's 70 percent done. Somebody who knows it should be able to blow right through it."
"I'm a reporter at the Nashville Scene. I wondered why you're advertising for someone to complete the course."
"I really can't get into that right now. It's for a good reason."
"Can you tell me what the reason is?"
A few moments later, the ad's owner called Pith back.
"Hey, you just called me about the ad on Craigslist."
"Yes, I did."
"Hey, can you do me a favor? Don't publish that phone number. I could lose my job. I could be out of work and it's taken me a year to find a job. And I appreciate your question, but I just can't afford it. I've got kids and I can't afford to lose my job."
"Can you tell me why you're advertising on Craigslist for someone to …"
"I was looking for somebody to help me. To tutor me and help me finish it."
"Because the ad said 'finish my daughter's online AP Calculus course'."
"All I'm just saying, it would really be a problem if that happens. Don't do that. Just don't give my phone number out."
Now, we have reached the moral dilemma portion of our show.
Should we out the caller, whose phone number revealed ties to the music industry and a publishing company? Would it teach both ad lister and cheating high schooler a lesson?
Or, is that just malicious fear mongering on our part and we should let people cheat in the privacy of their own home, knowing that reading this post is punishment enough?
Your thoughtful comments are requested below.
Tune in tomorrow for the answer.