Reddit may block search crawlers

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Reddit is considering blocking search crawlers from Google and Bing, which would prevent Reddit posts from appearing in search results. 

The company is reportedly taking this step in an effort to get generative AI companies to pay for using Reddit’s data to train large language models. Initially, Reddit seemed to dismiss this notion, with spokesperson Courtney Geesey-Dorr stating, “Nothing is changing.” However, a subsequent correction by The Post clarified that the key alteration wasn’t in user logins but rather in how Reddit deals with AI companies.

Another Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt confirmed the news, but said that it does not have anything to share on that topic at the moment.

If Reddit does block crawlers, it would mean that users would no longer be able to access Reddit posts through search results. The Washington Post, which first reported on Reddit’s potential move, also noted that more than 535 news organizations have opted to block their content from being scraped by companies like OpenAI to help train products such as ChatGPT.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheVerge.

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