‘Reddit can survive without search’: company reportedly threatens to block Google

The Washington Publish reported Friday that Reddit would possibly lower off Google and pressure customers to log in to Reddit itself to learn something, if it could’t attain offers with generative AI firms to pay for its knowledge. Initially, Reddit appeared to disclaim the report. “Nothing is altering,” Reddit spokesperson Courtney Geesey-Dorr advised The Verge, including that the Publish would quickly be correcting its story.

However after the Publish corrected that story, just one main element had modified — the Publish not suggests Reddit customers would want to log in. The publication now writes that if Reddit can’t get AI to play ball, the corporate might block Google and Bing’s search crawlers, which suggests Reddit posts wouldn’t present up in search outcomes.

“Reddit can survive with out search,” stated the Publish’s nameless supply.

Reddit isn’t denying that it would block crawlers. “When it comes to crawlers, we don’t have something to share on that subject in the mean time,” Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt tells The Verge, clarifying that the corporate’s earlier “nothing is altering” remark solely utilized to logins.

We received a style of what Google with out Reddit would possibly appear like when many subreddits went darkish to protest the corporate’s API pricing modifications — at the moment, many Reddit outcomes took you to non-public communities, which was a ache. Appending “website:reddit.com” to a Google search has turn into a well-liked trick for weeding search engine marketing farms and different attention-seeking web sites out of Google outcomes, but when this variation goes via, you won’t be capable of entry Reddit from search in any respect.

Whereas the Reddit protests had been largely about how the API pricing modifications would pressure some third-party app builders to close down their apps, Reddit’s unique announcement concerning the pricing modifications positioned them as a option to get AI firms to pay for hoovering up Reddit’s knowledge to coach giant language fashions. It wasn’t till later that the affect on app builders grew to become clear. (In my June interview with Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, he stated that “we’re in talks” with AI firms concerning the pricing modifications. Once I requested for extra particulars, he didn’t elaborate additional.)

The Washington Publish’s report wasn’t simply centered on Reddit — it’s about how greater than 535 information organizations have opted to dam their content material from being scraped by firms like OpenAI to assist prepare merchandise similar to ChatGPT.

Correction October twentieth, 3:36PM ET: We initially wrote that Reddit denied The Washington Publish’s report that Reddit would possibly wall off its content material from Google search; Reddit has clarified it was solely denying that customers could be pressured to log in to learn content material. We apologize for the confusion.

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