CollegeBoard Creates Fake Reddit Account to Lure AP Students to Cheat

Story by Ava Schrage, Staff Writer/Editor

As a result of AP exams having had been moved online this year after nationwide school closures from COVID-19, CollegeBoard (the organization in charge of AP testing) announced that students would be able to use their notes and own resources during the test. Following this announcement, they added that other forms of cheating will not be tolerated, and that they would be “monitoring social media and discussion sites to detect and disrupt cheating” and “may post content designed to confuse and deter those who attempt to cheat.” However, what they failed to mention was that these potential accounts wouldn’t actually be preventing cheating, but they would be luring students into traps through encouraging cheating, which was the exact case of the Reddit user “Dinosauce313”.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Reddit, this is a social media platform where users can make threads and join communities to discuss any topic with other users and contribute to conversations. This Reddit account, Dinosauce313, was created on May 10th (the day before AP exams began) and started the subreddit page ‘r/APTests2020’. Under the thread, the account stated it was for “A community of students taking the 2020 AP exams and wanting to use online resources while doing so.” Their first post began by saying “How do you do, fellow kids,” and then encouraged ‘fellow students’ to give them their AP IDs and form numbers so that they could “collaborate to form a cheating ring” where they could share answers with each other. Additionally, they assured other users that “each thread [would] be deleted five minutes after the completion of the test,” and even went as far as to create their own memes encouraging this behavior, which would later be accused to be propaganda, such as the image shown below.

After having interacted with this account, many students received a notice from CollegeBoard that their tests were rejected, which followed with CollegeBoard posting on their Twitter account that they had “just canceled the AP exam registrations of a ring of students who were developing plans to cheat.” However, the students who had interacted with the account weren’t chiming in because they had any intentions of cheating, but rather because they quickly grew suspicious of the account.

Due to the strange phrasing used by the user, their clearly failed attempt at sounding like a student, and CollegeBoard’s initial threats of creating accounts on social media platforms, the theory was instantly made that the account was run by a CollegeBoard employee in order to trap students into getting disqualified by taunting them with messages that advocated towards cheating. When this was neither confirmed nor denied by the CollegeBoard, students took it upon themselves to further investigate the origin of the account and soon found that the account’s IP address is connected to a location only a few miles away from one of CollegeBoard’s main offices in Reston, VA. After this was confirmed, many people accused CollegeBoard of child entrapment, which is an illegal activity where “an authority uses coercion and other overbearing tactics to induce someone to commit a crime.”

Above all, if CollegeBoard is found guilty of conducting this illegal sting operation, they will be charged and convicted for the crime. Since the accusations were made, the Reddit user’s account has been deactivated, and CollegeBoard has yet to address the issue.