Reddit signs multi-million dollar deal with undisclosed company to train AI models

For years, Reddit functioned as its famous tagline states: “The front page of the internet.” However, last year, much of that changed when the site’s management announced that they were moving to a paid API model, causing more than 6,000 subreddits to go dark in protest and many of the third party apps to shut down. Now, more changes are in tow that could bring on even more backlash against the popular site.

After the site’s changes last year when it began charging for its API, reports began to surface that it was reportedly planning to block sites from scraping its data. This was, of course, concerning to those that would normally search for content within the site by adding “reddit” to Google searches. While AI bot data scraping has been criticized by the likes of X’s Elon Musk, Reddit following suit was not exactly a move that its users were celebrating, as it affected the user experience.

What’s next for Reddit?

Now, as reported by Android Police, a Bloomberg report reveals that Reddit is selling access to its massive user-generated content to a major (but unnamed) AI company. The deal is worth $60 million annually in the lead-up to Reddit’s highly anticipated IPO, which is rumored to take place as early as next month.
However, this isn’t exactly a new development after all. In a previous New York Times interview, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman (/u/spez) made the site’s motivation clear by stating that “The Reddit corpus of data is really valuable, but we don’t need to give all of that value to some of the largest companies in the world for free.”

Reddit monetizing user comments seems like a smart business move in the run-up to its IPO. Still, the decision to monetize its content this way will undoubtedly not be welcomed by many Redditors whose community-driven efforts were the ones that brought the platform to its glory. We will have to wait and see what the company’s exact plans are once more information is disclosed, as well as what the community’s reaction will be to that revelation.

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