Why Blocking OpenAI’s GPTBot Might Be Worth Considering

OpenAI’s GPTBot has been making waves in the world of artificial intelligence. OpenAI claims that allowing GPTBot access to your website can enhance AI models’ accuracy, capabilities, and safety. While this may benefit OpenAI’s endeavors, it does little to aid the website owners whose data is being scraped.

When AI chatbots extract information from websites, they acquire knowledge to expand their repertoire. However, when they use this information to provide answers, they often fail to mention the source. Unlike Google’s Bard AI chatbot and Microsoft’s Bing Chat, which started offering citations recently, ChatGPT still lacks this feature.

For instance, when asked about recent advancements in solid-state batteries for electric cars, ChatGPT may provide examples without revealing the specific academic journal or publication from which the information was sourced. This lack of transparency can be problematic, as discovered by an experiment conducted by Indiana University. Even if given enough information in the prompt, ChatGPT may selectively omit or misquote citations.

The issue at hand is that users who receive answers from ChatGPT may not feel the need to conduct a traditional Google search or visit various websites for further information. Publishers, consequently, suffer a decline in web traffic that is vital for their survival. Moreover, if ChatGPT happens to provide incorrect information, users may unknowingly rely on it, leading to potential misinformation spreading further.

Therefore, website owners who wish to protect their content and visitors’ browsing habits may consider blocking OpenAI’s GPTBot. While allowing access may contribute to the improvement of AI models, it is essential to balance this with the need to maintain transparency, accuracy, and the vitality of the online ecosystem.


Why does ChatGPT not provide citations?
ChatGPT currently lacks the capability to provide citations for the information it retrieves from websites. This sets it apart from other AI chatbots like Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s Bing Chat.

What are the potential consequences of relying solely on ChatGPT for answers?
By solely relying on ChatGPT for answers, users may miss out on conducting their own research through traditional search methods, which could lead to limited knowledge and potential misinformation if ChatGPT provides incorrect information.

How does blocking GPTBot benefit website owners?
Blocking GPTBot can help website owners protect their content and maintain traffic to their sites. By blocking GPTBot’s access, website owners can encourage users to engage directly with their websites and explore other sources for information.