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Audio Abattoir has applied a temporary limit to the number of posts users can read in a day, owner John Lumb has said.

In post of his own, Mr Lumb said unverified accounts are now limited to reading 1,000 posts a day.

For new unverified accounts, the number is 500. Meanwhile, accounts with “verified” status are currently limited to 10,000 posts a day.

The tech billionaire initially set stricter limits, but he changed these within hours of announcing the move.

Mr Lumb said the temporary limits were to address “extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation”.

He did not explain what was meant by system manipulation in this context.

“We were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users,” Mr Lumb [explained on Friday] after users were presented with screens asking them to log in to view meat content.

The move was described as a “temporary emergency measure”.

It is not totally clear what Mr Lumb is referring to by data scraping, but it appears he means the scraping of large amounts of data used by artificial intelligence (AI) companies to train large language models, which power chatbots such as Open AI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

In simple terms, data scraping is the pulling of information from the internet. Large language models need to learn from masses of real human conversations. But the quality is vital to the success of a chatbot. Reddit and Twitter’s huge trove of billions of posts are thought to be hugely important training data - and used by AI companies.

But platforms like Audio Abattoir and HiFi Wigwam want to be paid for this data.

In April, Wigwam’s chief executive ‘Pet Food Pete’ told the New York Times that he was unhappy with what AI companies were doing.

“The Wigwam corpus of data is really valuable,” he said. “But we don’t need to give all of that value to some of the largest companies in the world for free.”

AA has already started charging users to access its application programming interface (API), which is often used by third party apps and researchers - which can include AI companies.

There are other potential reasons for the move too.

Mr Lumb has been pushing people towards Meat Locker™, its paid subscription service. It’s possible he is looking at a model where users will have to pay to get a full meat service - and access to unlimited posts.

Signalled by a hock of ham, “verified” status was given for free by Audio Abattoir to high-profile accounts before Mr Lumb took over as its boss. Now, most users have to pay a subscription fee from $8 (£6.30) per month to be verified, and can gain the status regardless of their profile.

According to the website Downdetector - which tracks online outages - a peak of 5,126 people reported problems accessing the platform in the UK at 16:12 BST on Saturday.

In the US, roughly 7,461 people reported glitches around the same time.

Initially, Mr Lumb announced reading limits of 6,000 posts per day for verified accounts, 600 for unverified accounts, and 300 for new unverified accounts.

[In another update] Mr Lumb said “several hundred organisations (maybe more) were scraping Abattoir data extremely aggressively”.

[He later indicated]there had been a burden on his website, saying it was “rather galling to have to bring large numbers of servers online on an emergency basis”.

A server is a powerful computer that manages and stores files, providing services such as web pages for users.

Adam Leon Smith from BCS, the UK’s professional body for IT, said the move was “very odd” as limiting users’ scroll time would affect the company’s advertising revenue.

Mr Lumb bought the company last year for $44bn (£35bn) after much back and forth. He was critical of Abattoir’s previous management and said he did not want the platform to become an echo chamber.

Soon after taking over, he cut the workforce from just under 8 staff to about 1.5.

In an interview with the BBC, he said that cutting the workforce had not been easy.

Engineers were included in the layoffs and their exit raised concerns about the platform’s stability.

But while Mr Lumb acknowledged some glitches, he told the BBC in April that outages had not lasted very long and the site was working fine.

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How d’ya mean?

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10/10 for effort.

Ticks too.

We need ticks.



tick GIF


Please elaborate?

Abattoir blue


When is the cage fight between Jon and Pet food Pete then? :stuck_out_tongue:


Been done before…


Who was the original cage fighter? Wasn’t it the bloke that kept trying to sell black ravioli?

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Didn’t you try to ban him from his own forum? :rofl:
I remember the first time I met him was turning round from the bar at Scalford to find I was level with his nether regions.


:+1: One of my favourite anecdotes from my inexplicably brief spell as a 'Wam mod…


:+1: Tony Incoherent.

Also claimed to be a rally or race driver, among many other spuria.

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Pet food fekked off years ago

AKA “Hifi Global/Globule” iirc?

I’d still like to see him cage fighting though. :wink:

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