Users building their websites on the Squarespace platform are unknowingly submitting their work to be used in AI datasets. While there are ways to deny access to your work in AI training for tools such as ChatGPT, the setting is hidden in Squarespace settings.
Revealed on Twitter by user CindyLouWho2, Squarespace users became upset at the service automatically opting them into AI data training. This option, enabled by default, will use the content on a Squarespace website to take text and images to train AI models.
“Hey Squarespace, it’s very shady that you opted in all of your users to accept AI content scraping,” one user said on Twitter. “You know that your platform is primarily for content creators and it does not create trust for you to opt us in when I think you know that hardly anyone would have approved.”
In a response from the Squarespace Twitter account, the website platform explained that the feature is to stop users’ work from being abused by AI bots.
“We understand the concern. To clarify, AI models currently train on all public web data,” the website explained. “This feature is not actively opting you in, but instead offers you the option to opt-out and prevent your site from being crawled by Artificial Intelligence crawlers.”
Despite the feature, Squarespace users are still upset that the feature to hide your website from AI content crawlers isn’t enabled by default. Instead, every Squarespace website is allowing users’ work to be fed into AI tools, despite having a way to stop it.
“I know how it works,” CindyLouWho2 responded. “I also know that Squarespace should know its customer base well enough to set this to opt out, and to tell us the option exists in the first place.”
As it stands, millions of Squarespace users are unaware of the option to protect their work from artificial intelligence at the time of writing. While it would be a much better feature if it was enabled by default to protect users, Squarespace does not appear to have plans to flip the switch.