Reddit is licensing its content to Google to help train its AI models ( )

Google has struck a deal with Reddit that will allow the search engine maker to train its AI models on Reddit’s vast catalog of user-generated content, the two companies announced. Under the arrangement, Google will get access to Reddit’s Data API, which will help the company “better understand” content from the site.

The deal also provides Google with a valuable source of content it can use to train its AI models. “Google will now have efficient and structured access to fresher information, as well as enhanced signals that will help us better understand Reddit content and display, train on, and otherwise use it in the most accurate and relevant ways,” the company said in a statement.

catch22 , avatar

Wheres my cut?

grayman ,

You're the product, not a customer.

Xiol ,

...and that's why this is my first post on Lemmy.

SteveKLord OP , avatar


Atyno , avatar

Hello fellow recent AI refugee!

petenu ,

When this current "AI" bubble bursts, Reddit will be left with nothing. They sold what goodwill they had for a handful of magic beans.

tvbusy ,

Spez: we want to sell our users' content to anyone with a good price.

Staff: but our users will rage and delete their content.

Spez: not if we remove the API.

darkpanda ,

How do you know that deleting anything on Reddit actually deletes anything? It might just hide the content but soft delete it in the database, which means you may not be able to see it anymore but they can still use it for whatever.

x86x87 ,

is it Reddit's content though?

SteveKLord OP , avatar

It's content that Reddit users generated which apparently is theirs to sell.

jarfil , avatar

From the TOS/EULA, the content belongs to each user, they just license it to Reddit to use as it pleases.

SteveKLord OP , avatar

So it’s user generated content that is a product for Reddit to sell, like most big tech companies do, as I said.

jarfil , avatar

The difference is: Reddit doesn't own the content, they can't stop anyone else from selling it, or giving it for free; only the users could (the actual owners).

There are Reddit content dumps out there, which Reddit can't stop anyone from using... so not sure what they are selling, but if it's just that, then they're scamming people.

SteveKLord OP , avatar

If you are posting on walled-garden big tech site like Reddit, Instagram, Twitter / X, the site and therefore the company certainly owns your content and all the metadata attributed to it. You're the product. This is why most of us are here on the Fediverse where things are different. Maybe if it's your personal photo you took than you can make a copyright claim to some degree and download your data tediously but once it's on their network it's generally theirs to do as they please, whether that be sell to Google or any other advertiser or use on in-house advertising. Often without proper informed consent and not always legally. It's definitely a scam, I agree. Hopefully this exposes it more and brings more people to places on the Fediverse where there's no owner/seller/buyer of your data or anything else you contributed.

jarfil , avatar

Ownership comes with both rights and responsibilities.

Platforms want as many of the rights as possible, without the responsibilities... which is why they have a contract (TOS) where they explicitly renounce to ownership, leaving it for the user, and only license the rights.

If platforms took full ownership, like in a "work for hire" agreement, they would be responsible for any illegal content a user could upload, since it wouldn't be the user's content anymore. Obviously they don't want that.

A side effect of wanting as much content as possible without owning it, is that... well, they don't own it. 😎

Fediverse where there's no owner/seller/buyer of your data or anything else you contributed.

Incorrect. You get ownership of anything that's yours, then upload stuff under whatever TOS your instance has... what's that? it has no TOS? Then they're in for a rough awakening some day. 🤷

Whether there are sellers/buyers... is something we'll learn in time. For now, user generated content on the Fediverse gets shared with little regard or protection of anyone's rights, so anyone can make a compilation, bundle it up, slap a price tag on it, and try to sell it.

independantiste , avatar

So glad I purged my content from there last summer

LifeOfChance ,

Have you ever checked back? I only ask because they restored loads of people's deleted content. I had mine restored 3 different times. After my last purge I never checked back.

independantiste , avatar

Yeah I think it's all gone, but maybe some old comment got restored

shaytan , avatar

I just have to port over some guides I did in the past to iFixit, and then I'll pull the trigger on reddit. <

Thanks for making my decision easier.

TacoButtPlug , (edited ) avatar

I need to change all my comments to how shitty spez is. Is there a quick way to do that?

Nougat ,

Not since they shut down API access. Now it's obvious why they did that.

i_am_not_a_robot ,

Google shouldn't have to pay. Whatever I may have posted on Reddit was public information. Nobody should need to pay Reddit to read it.

pingveno ,

The argument isn't just around content, it's around hosting. If Google is sitting there scarfing down Reddit's data, that costs Reddit in server time. That can get extremely expensive. So yeah, if Google is going to train an AI that Google will profit off of, it should pay Reddit for server time.

catloaf ,

More than server time, for big Internet connections, uploads are priced by the byte. When someone requests a lot of data, reddit has to pay their provider to send it.

Moonrise2473 ,

Awesome so we gonna have a sarcastic bot that speak in memes

independantiste , avatar

unfunny outdated memes, or also unfunny outdated highschooler memes

nothacking ,

Brb training a bot on 4chan posts.

PoliticalCustard , (edited ) avatar

Hooking up an AI model to the turbo-charged sewage pipe that is Reddit's "vast catalog of user-generated content" has surely got to constitute abuse against machines. If they ever really develop "intelligence" they are going to be absolutely furious with us. 😅

GammaGames , avatar

The creative writing communities aren’t happy about it

oxjox , (edited ) avatar

Keep making feel good about deleting my 15+ years of Reddit content. Go on...

Edit: I've done it. I've officially deleted my account. For a minute there, I was looking at the front page of Reddit. It's all rage bait. The content is designed to get you to feel something and engage with it. I could feel that itch to comment and downvote. It's preposterous; and soon, all about quarterly gains.

Blizzard , avatar

Ehhh... shame it's too late but there are nice scripts that can bulk-edit all your posts and comments for people using search engines and ai crawlers to stumble upon. I put info about reddit paywalling 3rd party apps and invited readers to join lemmy instead.

oxjox , avatar

I found something that was doing that after I thought it was going to actually delete items. I stopped the script and found something to delete. What's the advantage of editing comments? Just to advertising alternatives?

dgriffith , avatar
    (COMMENT < 10 WORDS)    
catloaf ,

The way I've heard it is that reddit keeps deleted comments, but not an edit history.

Murkhat ,

I could imagine google also gets some sort of snapshots to mitigate the risk that after their announcement everyone deletes/modifies their content.. But who knows.

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