Automattic, the company behind WordPress and Tumblr, is reportedly in discussions to monetise user content by selling its data to AI companies, including MidJourney and OpenAI, for training AI models, according to a recent report from 404 Media.

Details of the deal remain unclear, leading to concerns among users about the potential misuse of their private content. 404 Media suggests that internal conflicts within Automattic have arisen, as the scraped content reportedly includes private data not intended for company retention.

In response to the backlash, Automattic is set to introduce a new feature allowing users to opt out of having their data shared for AI training.

The company, in a blog post, outlined its commitment to offering users greater control over their content. It mentions the launch of a setting to “discourage crawling by AI companies,” explaining that leading AI platform crawlers are blocked by default.

Users who discourage search engine indexing will have automatic protection against AI crawlers.

Automattic assured that only public content from sites that have not opted out will be shared with AI companies.

The company pledges that all partnerships will adhere to opt-out preferences, with ongoing efforts to provide regular updates to partners regarding individuals who choose to opt out.

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