Adobe could be facing an internal revolt amid concerns over its terms of service

Adobe logo pictured on the company's headquarters in San Jose, California.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Adobe is putting out fires on two fronts over its AI terms of use policy, as employees begin to criticize the company through internal communication channels.

Already busy dealing with the fallout from customers angry that the firm might be using personal data to train AI, screenshots obtained by Business Insider indicate Adobe now faces similar sentiment from its own staff.

The screenshots show excerpts from an internal Adobe Slack channel, in which employees complain about the firm’s botched communication and badly handled response to the fiasco.

"If our goal is truly to prioritize our users' best interests (which, to be honest, I sometimes question), it's astonishing how poor our communication can be," one person wrote to the Slack channel.

"The general perception is: Adobe is an evil company that will do whatever it takes to F its users," they added. 

The latter of these comments comes from a widespread sense that Adobe as a company garners a lot of bad press and general criticism from users, largely due to its dominance in the creative software space.

"Let's avoid becoming like IBM, which seems to be surviving primarily due to its entrenched market position and legacy systems," the same person added. 

Another employee suggested that the firm place more focus on effective communication in the future, and that it should create a “long-term communication and marketing plan outside of blog posts”.

It could also look to meet with its most prominent critics on YouTube and other social media platforms to “correct the misinformation head-on,” the employee added. 

"Watching the misinformation spread on social media like wildfire is really disheartening,” they said. "Still, a loud 'F Adobe' and 'Cancel Adobe' rhetoric is happening within the independent creator community that needs to be addressed”. 

A third staff member asked what the company was “doing meaningfully” to prevent similar issues from becoming problematic in the future, rather than just behaving reactively.

Things are going from bad to worse for Adobe

Adobe’s internal backlash marks the latest development in a tricky period for the firm, with the creative software company forced to tighten up its terms of use policy following AI training concerns. 

After users expressed outrage and one in particular suggested that it was “time to cancel Adobe,” the firm uploaded a blog post reiterating that it was “committed to transparency” and that it did not train its AI model Firefly on user data.

It stated rather that its AI models are trained on datasets of licensed content and public domain content where copyright has expired.

The situation is comparable to a similar backlash against Slack in which the enterprise messaging application was also forced to publically dismiss claims made by users that it was training AI models on private data. 


The company faced intense criticism on social media after updating its terms of service, prompting the company to issue a further update to calm fears. The company appears to have learned its lesson, however.

Speaking to ITPro last month, Slack’s chief customer officer, Peter Doolan, said the company has been engaging closely with customers to clarify the situation

Doolan told ITPro the company has had “a lot of education” from users regarding their concerns in the aftermath of the incident.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.