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Reddit claims it won't cut Google off from its content

A spokesperson for Reddit has refuted the report.

Published onOctober 20, 2023

Reddit stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Reddit is denying a report that stated the company would start forcing users to log into the site to read anything.
  • The report was based on Reddit attempting to reach a deal to have generative AI companies pay for its data.
  • If Reddit required users to log in before seeing content, it could prevent Reddit’s results from showing up in Google searches.

Fears that Reddit could cut Google off from its content arose last week after a new report. Now Reddit is claiming that the report is false and everything is staying the same.

Last Friday, The Washington Post published a story claiming that Reddit might start forcing users to log into the site before they’ll be able to read any of its content. The action would become a requirement if Reddit failed to reach a deal with generative AI companies to pay for its data.

However, Reddit spokesperson Courtney Geesey-Dorr told The Verge that the report isn’t true. Geesey-Dorr also went on to tell the publication that “Nothing is changing.”

If Reddit were to implement such a business strategy, it could prove to be a problem for Google. The decision could end up preventing Reddit results from showing up in Google searches.

As The Verge points out, the report isn’t solely focused on Reddit. The report is about the over 535 news outlets that want to block these generative AI companies from accessing their sites. The concern stems from generative AI needing data to train on. Due to that need, companies like OpenAI and Microsoft scrape websites for any available data that can be used to improve their AI.

Earlier this year, users protested Reddit in response to changes that would negatively affect third-party apps. At the time, over 7,000 subreddits ceased all activity. If you tried using Google to find Reddit posts during this time, more often than not, you were taken to a private community. It’s possible this could become the experience in the future if Reddit ever does enact a login policy.

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