Tumblr And WordPress Strike Deals For Sale Of User Public Data To AI Giants OpenAI and Midjourney

It’s the news that many Tumblr and WordPress enthusiasts might not like the sound of but both these tech giants have reportedly struck deals with AI giants for the sale of user data.

So in simple terms, this means saying hello to users’ work being used by machine learning algorithms without any objection.

The news comes after media outlet 404 Media was the first to break the news regarding the near completion of another agreement to give more information for the sake of training models belonging to AI firms.

For now, it’s not quite clear what kind of information is going to be a part of this but such reports hint at how the parent firm of both these giant platforms that are used by wordsmiths from all over the globe could be in its last stages of finalizing the contract.

For now, it is not quite clear what kind of information will be a part of this but reports hint at how Automattic could be overreaching on this front in the start.

Alleged posts rolled out internally by Tumblr suggest how a lot of work has already been done on this front including sending out data that was not supposed to become a part of that particular deal.

Now the content in question is causing a stir as it entailed private articles that were published on giant public blogs including those that were removed or underwent suspension. There were similarly unanswered queries and replies generated privately as well as posts featuring explicit themes too. Let’s not forget content arising from other premier partner forums such as those belonging to Apple in the past.

The post on the inside suggested how engineers from Automattic are rolling out lists featuring post IDs that need to be excluded. For now, it’s not quite clear which data was sent to these AI firms.

For now, there is a lot of confusion as lips are sealed from both ends. But a recently published statement has gone on to mention how public content that’s featured across WordPress and Tumblr from such websites is yet to opt out.

This statement noted how legal rules don’t require web crawlers from AI firms to follow the preferences of users which include opting out.

The final statement from Automattic seems to be in line with the deals that were reported recently. But they’re playing diplomatic in terms of mentioning how they care about what the community says and therefore their thoughts would be put first, before anything else.

We are going to have to wait and watch what happens from here on now but the thought of a company selling out user data to AI giants like OpenAI is definitely raising eyebrows because when users are opting out, the least they need is their wishes to be respected.

Update: The Head of WordPress VIP at Automattic assures WordPress VIP customers that their data remains secure and has not been shared as part of any negotiated deal. The company reaffirms its commitment to never sharing customer data without explicit consent.

Update 2: Automattic in a press release explained that "We currently block, by default, major AI platform crawlers—including ones from the biggest tech companies—and update our lists as new ones launch.". As per Automattic, they offer a feature on WordPress.com and Tumblr to prevent search engine indexing, ensuring content privacy. Similar settings have been introduced on both platforms to discourage AI company crawling. If search engine indexing is disabled, this feature activates automatically. The company added further, "We will share only public content [which can be comments and blog posts and other media] that’s hosted on WordPress.com and Tumblr from sites that haven’t opted out."

Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen

Updated on 29th Feb.

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