Tumblr and WordPress Also Selling User Data to AI after Reddit

In a move that’s stirred up controversy across the web, Tumblr and WordPress.com, are stepping into the sellout spotlight alongside Reddit. Their plan? Monetizing user data by selling it to AI firms like Midjourney and OpenAI.

Revealed documents from 404 Media have uncovered a significant trove of user-generated content from Tumblr slated for sale to these AI giants.

It includes private posts, content from suspended or deleted blogs, and even explicit material, sparking serious questions about data oversight and user privacy

Responding to the uproar, Automattic pledges forthcoming options for users to opt-out of data sharing, aiming to hand back control to the users over their own content.

The plan? To block AI crawlers from accessing content of those who opt-out, with Automattic vowing strict enforcement of these preferences with their AI partners.

Yet, lingering uncertainties remain. How will these policies impact self-hosted WordPress sites using Automattic plugins like JetPack? Will they also find themselves entangled in data sharing agreements?

The revelation has ignited a broader conversation about the ethical use of user data in AI training. Automattic is committed to keeping AI partners in the loop about user opt-out decisions and is pushing for past content exclusion from future AI training.

However, there’s a downside: if users opt out, their blog posts won’t show up in the WordPress Reader, limiting their reach to real people.

This news follows Reddit’s recent $60 million per year deal with Google, further fueling concerns about the use of user data in training AI models.

Users across social media platforms are voicing their discontent, with one writing on X, “A.I. is quickly turning into the biggest user data theft in history.

As the digital landscape evolves, the battle between monetization and privacy rages on. Users, now more than ever, are demanding transparency and control over their personal data, challenging tech giants to prioritize ethics over profit.

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