May 5, 2018
Private Catalog
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"Why did you disappear? Where did your catalog go?"

After being an active regular here for a few years, I decided to pull away from LibraryThing. In 2023, I removed thousands of my titles, many unique on the site, out of concern for how the data is being used.


A website integrating OpenAI's ChatGPT amidst the legal and ethical debates about the chatbot, the company behind it, and the goals of its developers is not a good look. I feel that's especially bad on a site relied on by librarians whose jobs were made more difficult (or dangerous!) by the misinformation coming out of ChatGPT, which was probably trained off of Talk scraped without notice to LT members.

Acting out against marginalized people for refusing to volunteer to provide information that further puts as (marginalized people targeted by anti-social groups) at further risk of harm for the potential financial benefit of the site owner and his business partners is an extremely bad look, too. (I'm still disgusted by every instance of this I saw.)

The recommendations algorithms were all trained on human expression of what we like and care about.

Treating volunteer helpers like free resources for commercialized machines and bots—as has happened here—disrespects what makes books and other media valuable.

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