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Stack Overflow bans users en masse for rebelling against OpenAI partnership — users banned for deleting answers to prevent them being used to train ChatGPT

"Users who disagree with having their content scraped by ChatGPT are particularly outraged by Stack Overflow's rapid flip-flop on its policy concerning generative AI. For years, the site had a standing policy that prevented the use of generative AI in writing or rewording any questions or answers posted. Moderators were allowed and encouraged to use AI-detection software when reviewing posts."

This is all about money: "partnering" with OpenAI clearly means a significant sum has changed hands. The same thing may have happened at Valve, which also unblocked AI-generated art from its marketplace.

This feels like short-term thinking to me: while Stack will clearly make some near-term revenue through the deal, it comes at a cost to the health of its community, which is ultimately what drives the company's value. If motivated contributors drop off, the only thing left will be the AI-generated content - and there's no way that this will be as valuable over time.

I'd love to have been a fly on the wall of the boardroom where this deal was undoubtedly decided. What are they measuring that made this seem like a good idea - and what are they not measuring that means they're blind to the community dynamics that drive their actual sustainability? It's all fascinating to me.


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