When the professor isn’t real: A look at hoax RateMyProfessors entries

Today’s college students, needless to say, typically rank among the most active consumers of information across the platforms that make up the converged communications universe. Among the most familiar resources for many students is RateMyProfessors, launched more than a decade ago and used by students to give their opinions on the professors and the classes at their schools. Like much content following this review-based format (converged communicators who have taken RTV4403 might think of lessons learned from Henry Jenkins here), the students’ assessments vary sharply in accuracy, quality, tone, fairness, and general usefulness. But aside from these obvious issues, there’s another one: hoax professors. Not every “professor” listed under a school’s heading actually teaches at the college listed, and dozens of them don’t even exist.

Skeptical? Then consider Fxoftachsfz Otsohmiezrldnttim, supposedly a journalism professor at Rasmussen College-St. Cloud; Xzzyexhvnl Jkiqqatukbpxwrzyv, listed as a computer science professor at the University of New Orleans; Ufcoiahkfg Rxsyyltwnck, identified as a professor of ethnic studies at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy; or Ggkcsc Ggkcsc, the pleasantly vowel-less design professor at ITT Technical Institute-Troy. These aren’t just strange names to American eyes – these and many other supposed professors have names with no validity in any human language under the sun. Not surprisingly, they generate zero student reviews on RateMyProfessors (they aren’t real, so no one has taken their classes). The long list of fake professors (at least those collected thus far) appears at the bottom of the post.

It’s unclear how these fictitious entries appeared (pranksters, a system test, a bot gone bad) but it’s safe to say you won’t be able to find posted office hours for any of them. And that might be just as well. After all, as Johnny Cash almost (but not quite) said, life ain’t easy for a boy (or a girl) named Zfpzdddtg Mvcfecxiwtflvhfsqfv.

LIST OF HOAX PROFESSORS ON RATEMYPROFESSORS.COM

“Name”/Program/College

Afaciwjeeq Hhnmuksrlo /Military Science /Iowa State University
Xnqjqwknydc Aeokeynrlpftr /Religion /Century University
Dqwzckqiri Ixdrjjjlunk /Marketing /Hill College
Wwohcbqapz Wwohcbqapz /Dental Assisting /Reedley College
Iimamgdcpdz Gzwusfoxvfgmwzxd /Law /Lake Area Technical Institute
Qqsbkufoifa Gdtuvcrdvicc /Women’s Studies /ITT Technical Institute: St. Rose
Xlnedqfuvv Icqezonfvgntrtw /Physics /Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City
Uuiehrk Lsybnopfgenxipddp /Nursing /ITT Technical Institute: Troy
Xpnnoa Pxwapxfduni /Business /Edgecombe Community College
Btlfxbrnwwe Btlfxbrnwwe /Engineering /DeVry University
Yyuhda Aytnbvcdwxugyiyozj /Education /San Jose City College
Bvwzzovhlup Pbnijchswoaihxqpdy /Psychology /Brown Mackie College – Fort Wayne
Xqwegigwx Xqwegigwx /Health Science /Moraine Valley Community College
Vutcylxdpdb Dftugxfgdcgpkevxv /Marketing /St. Mary-of-the-Woods College
Dyuqoik Xzbjwxxgltulmks /Fine Arts /Cloud County Community College
Fxbldhnau Ffrvbavbwqptblzgkz /Drafting /Green River College
Lvzkjzfemwb Pggztrkruoqfrj /Physics /Deep Springs College
Rqypkmoeqn Hzoxuatjba /Fashion Design /University of Delaware
Xmsrtqb Xmsrtqb /International Studies /ITT Technical Institute: Murray
Bdfnmsdkf Kdng;jfg /Hospitality /Macomb Community College
Xcycsytpv Xcycsytpv /Sociology /ITT Technical Institute: Austin
Zfpzdddtg Mvcfecxiwtflvhfsqfv /Industrial Engineering /Northwestern State University
Xyndtr Xyndtr /Accounting /Butler University
Bzaberpnnd Qlsvauyjgdgupaaj /Architecture /St. Cloud Technical & Community College
Lzutigxg Egvoabszgyehvexnpyb /Chemistry /University of New Orleans
Rxawmdtdln Qfquamhfjmyl /Sociology /Nova Southeastern University
Ufcoiahkfg Rxsyyltwnck /Ethnic Studies /West Coast College of Massage Therapy
Xzzyexhvnl Jkiqqatukbpxwrzyv /Computer Science /University of New Orleans
Cpwydxa Gbalnplkxpvrzoib /Education /Touro University
Bbkcvkwwhb Bbkcvkwwhb /Biology /Sul Ross State University
Xnzymjtom Jqrlszghnai /Architecture /Bowling Green State University
Aznkwgrcg Rrqboqazdchleb /Social Work /State Fair Community College
Fxoftachsfz Otsohmiezrldnttim /Journalism /Rasmussen College – St. Cloud
Xplzszfrscz Xplzszfrscz /Learning Center /Naropa University
Hhhixxu Lrpsghtbwrkdcwvgyb /Information Science /North Lake College
Dpgaox Dpgaox /Design /ITT Technical Institute: Troy
Zntqxab Mugrvrjgkhcbbsq /Auto Body /Green River Community College
Dxnolilke Dxnolilke /Communications /Santa Monica College
Tdmsbdjds Bffiflglyuazwv /Philosophy /Front Range Community College
Ggkcsc Ggkcsc /Literature /ITT Technical Institute: Richardson
Ecuznjet Cxpdnmivhjleiobxueb /Chemistry /Cloud County Community College
Xjbmmycz Ualcatemmwoq /Engineering /New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Hqfcqdrlhn Ffnzflxuiuuxgxo /Social Work /Missouri Western State University
Ocrxtu Rxqqtqpjfctak /Airline Management /Orange Coast College
Xxylyk Swndulcmluehu /Religion /Sanford-Brown College – Vienna
Pqtqkscfi Knfsjxstmsujc /Film /Indiana State University
Cbvaigpew Skjivozskowvhiveil /Management /University Center at Sioux Falls
Sxpwhpismv Nbarfgasnxgbcrqtan /Mathematics /Our Lady of the Lake University
Ghoxasrrkk Bxnrldnzpopssic /Education /Pasadena City College
Xmzebstusrr Xmzebstusrr /Religion /ITT Technical Institute: Youngstown
Uaftcswpkb Fzsowwrwjagdj /Nursing /San Diego City College
Womwlevxcp Zfumxqekbkyvxiony /Economics /Ball State University
Xcfhjhiukzo Xcfhjhiukzo /Health Science /ITT Technical Institute: San Diego
Onzmicm Wznqhvtuodvsq /Graphic Arts /Edgecombe Community College
Cqunqnwnyed Sragptrzbdj /History /Cloud County Community College
Xzidnq Opsjaufmpui /Education /Southside Regional Medical Center School of Nursing

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