1 min read

No big surprise, Matt does it again.

Tumblr and WordPress user data have been sold to train AI, and Automattic intends to do it again moving forward. Content posted on both platforms between 2014 and 2023 was shared without user's permission. Even worse, the data exchanged included private and deleted posts, private answers, and “content from premium partner blogs” for clients like Apple. Without more answers, 404 Media reports that it’s unknown if any of this impacts self-hosted blogs that use Automattic plugins like JetPack which is all but required to run a WordPress site these days.

If I was still running Lexblog (which hosts thousands of WordPress sites) I would have the company on red alert to figure out the long-term viability of anything Automattic creates as private and secure. But I already know the answer is most assuredly no. Matt has a long history of making shady deals and this feels very familiar with a similar outcome—using his platform and user base as an ATM.

Even though the company states that in the future users will be able to opt out of participating in sharing their data to train AI, I’d like to think we’ve all learned by now that you can’t trust a corporation to stick with their agreements and keep your data protected and safe. I barely trust Apple and look at all of the resources and effort they put into privacy and security.

If you’re using Tumblr or WordPress it’s time to seriously consider moving on to software made by companies with more integrity. Any integrity frankly is better than what you have now. I can't say enough about Ghost, Kirby, and Craft. And if you need help, get in touch and I'll make the right introductions.