Google's AI-enhanced search suggests users add glue to their pizza and eat one small rock a day

Y'know, nontoxic glue. It's fine if it's nontoxic. That means you can eat it. Eating paste is good for you! And it's useful, it'll help the food stick to itself, and your insides, presumably. I'm just repeating what Google tells me! And Google's just repeating what Reddit told it. And Reddit is just repeating what a user named fucksmith joked about eleven years ago.

Following Google's recent $60 million/year purchase of Reddit's extensive "knowledge base", the search platform has seen a steep decline in its quality. And by steep decline, I mean the kind of steep decline that visually resembles all of the cheese from your pizza slipping off the crust and tumbling to a rather messy end on the carpet. And if this visual metaphor is rather specific and intriguing, to the point where Googling the cause for the scenario becomes irresistible, well, you'll get some questionable results. 

Online sleuths figured out the origin of the advice

404 Media offers some background to this whole Reddit knowledge saga

Last year, Reddit the company locked down its API ostensibly because AI researchers and companies were scraping all of its content, costing the company money in server fees and, more importantly, profiting from user data and posts that Reddit itself wanted to profit from. And so Reddit CEO Steve Huffman began charging for API access, which had the side effect of breaking third-party Reddit apps and many of the moderation tools that its unpaid moderators collectively use to allow the company to remain a usable platform. There were weeks of protests about this whole situation, which for a time looked like they might be successful in giving moderators a better seat at the table. 

But then Reddit crushed dissent by threatening the existence of subreddits that were protesting and, over time, the protests petered out. Reddit then struck this lucrative deal with Google, which handed over the collective wisdom of its entire platform for $60 million per year. Since then, Reddit became a publicly traded company, and the market seems to like when it announces new AI deals. Reddit's users and moderators, of course, get nothing. And Google users—which is the vast majority of the internet-using world—get regurgitated Reddit posts confidently served to us as "AI Overviews."


I wonder if Google will offer salient advice on how to optimize my gooncave next?

More Google recommendations include instructions to cook chicken to 102 degrees Fahrenheit and to eat rocks, both of which may make you very ill indeed.

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