Parents and college prep agent allegedly deepfaked photos of kids to make them look athletic


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/12/parents-and-college-prep-agent.html


#2

they used stock photos of a person playing a sport and then put the face of a student onto that of an athlete via Photoshop

So not a deepfake then… just the usual shoop. Deepfake is done by a neural network i thought.


#3

Shucks, I was hoping for audacious samples, but there are none to be found. I would be further interested in whether admissions and scholarships could be directly correlated with the aesthetic qualities of the photos.

Back in the day I thought it would be swell if there was a scholarship program for those with academic qualifications who purposefully shunned organized sports. I was bitter.


#4

I hope that the schools either expel the students who are at the schools under false pretenses or (if they’ve already graduated) put a big honking asterisk on the diploma and a prominent notice on their transcripts reading “Obtained by Fraud”.


#5

Pics and it didn’t happen.


#6

Glad to see she’s covering her bases and faking his test scores too…


#7

On one level, I get it–you want to give your kid every opportunity you can, and if you have the money and can write a check to get them into a very good university to (presumably) get a top-notch education, so it’s understandable in some ways.

But on all the other levels, just fuck these rich dicks right in the face. These kids were going to be fine regardless of whether they go in to USC or…gasp…had to attend school of lesser renown and distinguish themselves by…double gasp…actually excelling at their studies. It’s not like the only other option than USC was working in the acid mines.

As remarkable as the story is, though, is it really all that surprising that rich people and/or celebrities buy things that non-rich non-celebrities have to work for?

PS question for anyone who knows: are any of the kids being charged? Presumably most of these kids were 18 when they went to college, and knew that they didn’t actually row crew or get a 34 on the ACT or win the Hugo Prize, right?


#8

Damn, if they could afford to spend a quarter mil to fake their kids into school, one would think the kids had sufficient privilege already to get pretty much whatever they wanted. What this says is that they displaced someone who actually qualified to get in but didn’t have that money. So many reasons to be irked about this nonsense.


#9

The kids might not get indicted by the courts, but may be disciplined by their schools.


#10

But I guess my question is why the kids aren’t also being charged in some way (presuming that they aren’t)? They were aware of the fraud and directly benefited from it, so I’m not so sure that they should be immune to legal consequences in addition to getting kicked out of the school.


#11

Yeah, but how are they going to have their rich kid ivy-league-to-prestigious-job pipeline intact without this?

One reason: some of the outrage is by people who are saying, “We’re not talking about people who came in the right way by having daddy buy a new wing for the school!”


#12

Really, the revelation of this scandal (which I bet is only the tip of the iceberg) will do as much damage to that pipeline as did the banning of unpaid internships.

You’re shut out of a lot of entry-level jobs in the media-industrial complex unless you went to a name-brand national university in the US News top 25 or to a very expensive east coast liberal arts school in the magazine’s top 10.


#13

Oops. That “full list” has already been memory-holed:

https://www.kgun9.com/news/national/list-these-are-the-all-William%20McGlashan-charged-in-the-alleged-college-cheating-scam

Perhaps KGUN9 was the victim of litigation extortion?


#14

Self-Replying-to-Add:

NYTimes is hosting its own complete list:


#15

Huffman is married to William H Macey. Which means he’s a shitty dad irl too, not just in films!

Life imitating art imitating life…


#16

I wonder. I mean, we always knew that grossly unqualified students (coughJaredcough) got into Ivy Leagues because daddy dropped a big check to the school and/or they were legacies. We’ve already seen generations of failsons founder their way into positions in political office, captains of industry, etc. despite being obviously mediocre at best. Yet that didn’t have any impact.
Though maybe that was the case for reasons related to their extreme wealth, which the culture just accepts as having a uniquely elevating effect by itself. (Like with everyone who pretends Trump is somehow better for having inheriting a lot of money and losing most of it.) Maybe the status effect of being able to buy yourself into the ivy league goes away when the riffraff are involved, like when exclusive luxury brands lose their cachet when bought by mere 1%ers, not just the 0.1%ers.


#17

obligs.


#18

No. Not to me at least.

My jaded assumption was that this is how things work these days, and not just for college. Money is king.

I’m also disagreeing with a relative about the amount of jail time any of them are likely to receive.

I have zero faith in a rich white person ever receiving a “just” sentence, no matter what they’ve done. And until it starts happening, I’m sticking with that opinion.


#19

To a certain extent the school is already beside the point when these employers make their hiring decisions. If the prestige or glamourous employer knows that the kid is from a wealthy, well-connected or famous family he’s going to get the job. The degree from a name-brand university provides everyone involved with a nice beard of meritocracy and gives the parents bragging rights, but the kid will still get the job (including over a more qualified candidate who went to the same school).


#20

Yeah, I suppose the fig leaf of meritocracy may have gotten knocked off, exposing the nakedness of the sham. So the question is: what next for the oligarch class? Not even pretending (i.e. going full-feudal), or some other replacement scheme where they can continue to pretend? (And what would that be?)