So the moral panic du jour is mobile-phone-enabled cheating by kids sitting the entrance exams at major universities. One test-taker posted various questions to Yahoo’s “Chiebukuro” Q-and-A website. Now it’s come to light that someone “helping” him with an English question was just feeding his Japanese text through an online translation tool. He copied that output onto the test paper. Oh, I’m sure that’ll go over well.

Courtesy Google Translate

The article [Japanese] on the dastardly crime (seriously; they’re looking into police action on this, which I don’t quite understand) notes that the kid’s incomprehensible answer had horrible grammar, including missing subjects. Zero points. Investigators are going to see whether this sloppy machine translation appeared as-is on the test-taker’s paper and use it as evidence against him if so.

You’d think a zero score and a school rejection would be sufficient punishment, but apparently this particular nail requires a bigger hammer.

The cheater went by the handle “aicezuki” on Chiebukuro. There was also a Twitter account with that name—deleted now—that was posting things like this soon after the test hours: 「京大の試験官は全然監視してないからカンニングしほうだいだったよ。さすがに周りの受験生がいるからあれだが、少なくともトイレにいけばカンニングとか余裕な状況だった」 (The Kyoto U. proctors weren’t watching at all, so we could cheat all we wanted. Well, you did need to worry about the eyes of the others taking the test around you. But you could go to the toilet and do your cheating there, no problem.)

(Hat tipped to @shilkytouch)