Reddit: 'We Are in the Early Stages of Monetizing Our User Base'

cross-posted from: infosec.pub/post/8775123

Reddit said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that its users’ posts are “a valuable source of conversation data and knowledge” that has been and will continue to be an important mechanism for training AI and large language models. The filing also states that the company believes “we are in the early stages of monetizing our user base,” and proceeds to say that it will continue to sell users’ content to companies that want to train LLMs and that it will also begin “increased use of artificial intelligence in our advertising solutions.”

The long-awaited S-1 filing reveals much of what Reddit users knew and feared: That many of the changes the company has made over the last year in the leadup to an IPO are focused on exerting control over the site, sanitizing parts of the platform, and monetizing user data.

Posting here because of the privacy implications of all this, but I wonder if at some point there should be an “Enshittification” community :-)

v1rus_one,
@v1rus_one@lemmy.world avatar

Would be great to train Google’s AI with Microsoft’s AI generated posts on Reddit…

asunaspersonalasst, (edited )
asunaspersonalasst avatar

What's spez' address? Would like to send a fucking invoice.

Edit: literally nuking my reddit rn lol, that early IPO access offer was the final straw; that crap felt like an insult 🤡👁👄👁🤡

Kyre,

I'm sure it's like pissing into the ocean but I went back and edited my most popular posts and replaced them with AI generated nonsense that is supposed to be difficult to classify for LLM AI's. I doubt it will have an effect but it would certainly be funny if you had enough people do it.

I guess because they are grammatically correct but contain paradoxes, ambiguity, and are utter nonsense.
Here are some samples:
"Silent thunder vibrates noiselessly through the colorful darkness, illuminating unseen sights with invisible light in a transparent fog."
"The invisible painting, clear as day, vividly colors the transparent wall, telling untold stories in a language never spoken."
"The motionless wind, still yet turbulent, swiftly calms the turbulent stillness of a restless peace in a serene tempest."

PanoptiDon,

I used Redact to replace my posts with random words.

HootinNHollerin,

Going to get so much worse just stop using it

twinnie,

It’s probably time I deleted my account and scrubbed my data but I’ve been almost using it as a kind of online record. If I’ve solved a problem I’ve often recorded the answer on Reddit just so I can search and find it again at a later date.

Is there anyway of scrubbing my account but downloading all my data first?

Anticorp,

They’ll just un-delete it a few days later.

umbraroze,
umbraroze avatar

Reddit has an user data checkout feature (IIRC, check out the user settings or maybe reddit help pages to find it).

It's a bit crap though.

It takes a long time to process, especially if you happened to post in the era when the Reddit data infrastructure was horribly terrible instead of merely ordinarily terrible, and apparently this involves some handwork in the worst cases on behalf of the staff.

Some data may be missing or truncated. It doesn't give you data from privated/banned subreddits (which was a fun thing to discover because last time I tried to do this the blackouts were on), and even for legit stuff, long comments/posts may be truncated. Even so, I'm pretty sure that the dumps just straight up didn't have all of my posts from several years ago, even if those were on public subreddits. So you need to make sure the checked out data is sensible.

In conjunction to the official dumps, I recommend a few other tools, especially since the dumps aren't really magnificently usable on their own. One tool that I found personally invaluable is reddit-user-to-sqlite, which allows you to import Reddit data dumps and available live user data (I think it does this by scraping or something, I'm sure it worked despite the API being shut down) to sqlite database, and Datasette is a nice frontend for browsing the posts.

As for scrubbing, there's tools for that are supposed to work. I think.

UnhingedFridge,
@UnhingedFridge@lemmy.world avatar

Seems like a good time to edit all of my posts to be illegible nonsense rather than delete everything in order to add a little fuckiness to anything their AI scrapes.

Madrigal,

Bonus points if you use an LLM to generate said illegible nonsense.

Fapper_McFapper,

Fuck Reddit. That is all.

oxjox,
@oxjox@lemmy.ml avatar

It’s an odd situation.

Reddit is a valuable resource of information. Any web search will often offer at least one result directing you to Reddit. The problem though is that sometimes that information is wrong or biased.

I just deleted all 16 years of my Reddit content this past week; and then my account. I learned a lot, discussed a lot, and shared a lot in those years. It’s a little sad to scrub that from history (also very liberating and satisfying).

On one hand, the Reddit website is hosting a magnitude of data I could never comprehend. That costs money. And as a tool that so many millions of people use and rely on, shouldn’t we financially contribute to the thing we use and rely on?

On the other hand, straight up selling our information, with so much of it being very personal and intimate, should be a crime.

And, on the bionic hand, shouldn’t we get a say as the content creators as to how our information is used to train an artificial intelligence? Not whether we permit it to use our content but, as a community, we should be afforded the input to decide how the future of AI uses our information. Ten, twenty, fifty years down the road, AI will have learned from our memes and biases and the stories we made up just for karma.

Reddit is like the Bible. Sure, there’s some valuable lessons in there but most of it is bullshit and unverifiable. Still, a mass intelligence will take it as fact and pick and choose how it wants to use what it learns to guide it for centuries.

foggy,

Have you confirmed that it was all successfully deleted?

Check back in a day or two from a different internet connection. There’s been lots of stories of people deleting their content, and it’s showing back up later.

Overzeetop,
Overzeetop avatar

To late now. Without an account there's no way to avert comment necromancy by reddit. It's why I kept my login; so I could clean up stragglers.

UNWILLING_PARTICIPANT,

Oh good point. What tool did you use to scrub your comments?

Overzeetop,
Overzeetop avatar

It was one of the script sites that was up before the API was closed. I think I even deleted the bookmark to the scrubbing script; I think Reddit started blocking it thereafter. I still had to go in an manually edit a dozen or so every week for a couple of months (but out of thousands originally) as they would pop back up due to various bugs in the Reddit code.

didnt_readit,

Yep that’s the right way to do it. Mass edit all your comments instead of deleting them and then keep your account but just stop using it.

oxjox,
@oxjox@lemmy.ml avatar

Interesting that you say that. I used one deletion tool to delete everything then a couple days later I ran another tool and found there was still a lot left.

FigMcLargeHuge,

Narrator: Newsflash, it’s never truly “deleted”.

KingBoo,

Care to share what tool you used to delete?

I want to complete a similar exercise but keep hearing reddit merely restores the posts.

GoldenPencil,

The death of Reddit is near.

I wonder what will be of it in a few years. A tumblr situation or completely closed down.

Overzeetop,
Overzeetop avatar

It faces death at about the same rate as Facebook. Just like facebook, it has a huge database of information and a still-active userbase that just doesn't care that Spez is trash or that Reddit is wringing their content and eyeballs for money. It will still be around 20 years from now, just like aol email addresses.

Anticorp,

Facebook is sooo much worse than Reddit in this regard. It’s a hollow shell of its former self, and not even because users fled. Facebook wanted to be TikTok or something, despite being its own niche successful platform, and they completely destroyed the soul of the website. You cannot see friend’s content anymore, unless you go directly to their page. The entire feed is full of worthless and terrible group posts that you never expressed any interest in. You can’t do anything to stop it. If you block 100 groups, a million more are there to take their place. So now people have started fleeing from the site, because it’s nothing like the site they were interested in to begin with.

GoldenPencil,

I do not think this is a good comparison.

Facebook has 3 Billion active users while Reddit has about 850 million per month. Now what do each site consider as an active user will be interesting.

Facebook also has other platforms, Instagram and threads. They also do not have significant adult content issues that Reddit has so they do very well on advertising. The very nature of the social media platforms are very different so much so that companies see it as a necessity to advertise and post on them while never considering Reddit.

I think the more accurate comparison is Twitter/X. As they have the same adult content issues that harm their advertising. We have seen how much the value of Twitter has fallen even though it was inflated to begin with. Also they have Mastodon as the ad free competition.

I truly believe in the end Reddit will fail but will be bought out by another company to expand their portfolio. Similarly to tumblr being bought by Matt Mullenweg who owns Wordpress. It will become someone’s money hole fun project to see if they can revive it.

TLDR: bad comparison, reddit is gonna die bro

pelotron,
@pelotron@midwest.social avatar

Anyone have a link to that site that bulk deletes/edits your Reddit comments? I think it’s time to pull the trigger on that.

NOT_RICK,
@NOT_RICK@lemmy.world avatar

I believe it’s called power delete suite. Been meaning to nuke my old account, I suppose I better do it sooner rather than later.

ZeroCool,

Yeah that’s the script I use. You can find it at r/PowerDeleteSuite

Blaze,
@Blaze@reddthat.com avatar

I remember this one being mentioned a lot in July:

github.com/andrewbanchich/shreddit

NOT_RICK,
@NOT_RICK@lemmy.world avatar

I just went over to Reddit to see what people were saying about the recent news. It’s sad that people are so down on this news yet they refuse to leave. Buncha addicts

Meltrax,

I get it - there are in fact no real alternatives. Lemmy is great but there are a lot of niche communities I learned a ton from on Reddit and Lemmy just doesn’t have the people for that. Yes, yes, maybe one day, everyone just needs to contribute more, etc. But for right now, that’s a large barrier to exiting Reddit for a lot of people.

NOT_RICK,
@NOT_RICK@lemmy.world avatar

Everyone wants to consume the content without doing the work to actually populate the content.

dessalines,

The internet used to feel more vibrant and alive than it does now. These companies reward passive consumption and doomscrolling over conversations… even reddit is trying to become more like twitter.

ZeroCool, (edited )

Exactly, that’s the issue. Leave reddit, start whatever community you want on Lemmy. Quit expecting others to do everything for you. Believe it or not, reddit didn’t have your favorite little niche until someone made it and started posting content. I’m tired of these lazy bullshit excuses for staying on reddit or any other traditional social media site for that matter.

NOT_RICK,
@NOT_RICK@lemmy.world avatar

We’ve become too accustomed to instant gratification. I know I’m guilty of it too; thankfully my predisposition to fight petty battles with corporations that don’t even care I exist helps motivate me.

fluxion,

I survived the early internet when there weren’t large communities dedicated to custom keyboards. It wasn’t so bad, friends.

Blaze,
@Blaze@reddthat.com avatar

I guess once the Revanced apps will stop working, or old.reddit will be shutdown, they will give Lemmy a try

BolexForSoup,
BolexForSoup avatar

The fact that they killed new Reddit before they killed old Reddit tells me that at least half the company probably uses old Reddit still lol

PlexSheep,

What does that have to do with revanced? That’s YouTube clients? And is there any news on revanced being shut down somehow?

Kabloink,

Revanced allows you to insert your own Reddit developer token into third party reddit apps like redditisfun. Which let’s them access the Reddit api.

AtariDump,
MrJameGumb,
@MrJameGumb@lemmy.world avatar

It still amazes me that there are people on Reddit who are upset about this but still keep using Reddit lol!

Even if they’re “addicts” it’s not like there’s no where else to go! That’s like an alcoholic finding out that their favorite brand of whiskey is laced with lead and arsenic but still continuing to drink it instead of just changing brands!

I guess there are still some people there who naively think that it’s all somehow going to go back to what it used to be, but at this point it mostly seems like pure laziness

glouriousgouda,
@glouriousgouda@lemmy.world avatar

Humans will always sacrifice “best-interest” for comfort and familiarity.

KingBoo,

Even if they’re “addicts” it’s not like there’s no where else to go!

For people that want a true reddit replacement, there ISN’T somewhere else to go.

It certainly isn’t lemmy (imo) Twitter is a cesspool…

THE_MASTERMIND,

certainly isn’t lemmy

Gotta disagree i am from reddit and i love lemmy .

altima_neo,
@altima_neo@lemmy.zip avatar

Yeah, so do I, but let’s not kid ourselves. Lemmy has a long ways to go. It can scratch the itch the same way Reddit did, but there’s a whole ton of stuff missing here that’s only on Reddit.

THE_MASTERMIND,

I meant lemmy as a software but yeah the people and communities are very much missed

umbrella,
@umbrella@lemmy.ml avatar

its never gonna be lemmy until they bring their niche communities here

VirtualOdour,

But they won’t bring them here until it’s a good space to be.

I run a community on here and reddit, I hate to say it but reddit is far more welcoming even once you get past the difficulty of servers and stuff here. Lemmy has problems with down voting and lack of participation, and it’s not like I’m talking about right wing politics subs or anything it’s for an open source project.

We need to make discovering communities easier and we need to be more open to new people coming - that means supporting things even if they aren’t to our taste and trying not to gatekeep.

umbrella,
@umbrella@lemmy.ml avatar

how is it more welcoming there?

MrJameGumb,
@MrJameGumb@lemmy.world avatar

You are correct that Lemmy is not a “true Reddit replacement”. In my opinion it’s better than Reddit! The only downside I’ve really noticed is that there aren’t as many varied communities built up yet

ericisshort,

But that’s a huge downside to most people.

Makeshift,

This is a downside. I mainly was on a couple specific video game subs and some small branch subs of broader communities.

I have fallen back about once a month.

MrJameGumb,
@MrJameGumb@lemmy.world avatar

You could make a new community for that here! I’m sure others would be interested in it!

KingBoo,

Ahh. What about the site has been better for you?

I’ve bad the opposite experience, unfortunately.

I’ve struggled to easily navigate and find communities I want to participate in, on lemmy.

Everytime I’ve asked for help I’ve been told it’s a me problem, because lemmy isn’t reddit.

MrJameGumb,
@MrJameGumb@lemmy.world avatar

I haven’t had any issues navigating the sites at all! It’s been pretty easy for me to search for communities so far! Maybe it’s the app you’re using? I’m on Jerboa and it honestly works better than anything I ever used on Reddit! I’ve been trying the Boost app too since that was how I used to get on Reddit but Jerboa just works better so far

VirtualOdour,

Yeah I totally agree, I like it here but I couldn’t recommend it to a friend really because it’s super awkward with not knowing where to sign up because it’s so hard to tell who is blocking who - sign up to thy wrong server and basically no one can see your posts and you can’t see helf the stuff. Then finding communities is difficult enough to start with let alone finding an active community among the dozens of similar named ones - and that before you even get into the various problems with elitists and gate keepers and wokescolds…

It’s annoying that it feels most the users would rather this place dies than do anything to make it usable for normal people. We need to work as a community and make it more welcoming, to create tools to help people find what they need and to make it worth while to be here

KingBoo,

THANK YOU!

This is my exact situation and no one has really shared my experience yet but you.

You’ve listed many of the problems I have.

Which app do you use?

Omgboom,

The only thing lemmy is missing is people really

Gonkulator,
@Gonkulator@lemm.ee avatar

deleted_by_author

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  • FigMcLargeHuge,

    I too am a people. Bleep blop bloop.

    SkyezOpen,

    Reddit rose from the ashes of digg. Maybe lemmy will take its place, maybe another will. The biggest issue is that it’s already a trove of knowledge, and users are shredding their account history as they leave to keep reddit from profiting from it. I understand why they do it, but it’s kind of like burning the library of Alexandria.

    Makeshift,

    I took the only multi-viewed comment I remember making and moved it here.

    Had one comment people kept digging up YEARS after I made it, copypasta’d it to Lemmy and edited original comments to redirect here.

    If more people would migrate info they’ve shared like that it would be nice.

    Blaze,
    @Blaze@reddthat.com avatar

    pure laziness

    Inertia, low priority.

    Changing habits can be hard, the statu quo is usually easier

    Sludgehammer,
    @Sludgehammer@lemmy.world avatar

    It still amazes me that there are people on Reddit who are upset about this but still keep using Reddit lol!

    I’m not sure why you’d be amazed, I mean people are still using Twitter and that’s a thousand times worse than Reddit.

    Nihadofmay,

    Late but could u name some alternatives like lemmy

    dessalines,

    People sometimes prefer the devils they know to the angels they don’t know. It’s hard to break out of even abusive relationships.

    altima_neo,
    @altima_neo@lemmy.zip avatar

    I mean fuck, i’m an addict and I’ve managed to stay away. They’ve got other issues. Like a person that won’t leave an abusive spouse.

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