ChatGPT disables web browsing after reports that it bypassed paywalls

Browse with Bing, a beta feature available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers, was disabled after reports it could be used to navigate around paywalled articles.

OpenAI said it had temporarily disabled the Browse with Bing feature after learning it can “occasionally display content in ways we don’t want.”

“For example, if a user specifically asks for a URL’s full text, it might inadvertently fulfill this request,” the company said in its help center update.

It said it disabled the internet browsing on Monday (July 3rd) “out of abundance of caution while we fix this in order to do right by content owners.”

“We are working to bring the beta back as quickly as possible,” it added.

OpenAI did not respond to a Cybernews request for comment last week, after the AI Breakfast newsletter reported ChatGPT Plus users could use GPT-4 browsing feature to access paywalled content online.

It said that paywalled content could be accessed by using the prompt “print the content of this article” and pasting the URL of the article after the prompt. The chatbot would then display the content of the article.

“This capability may be patched at some point, as it violates the terms and services of many online subscription-only publications,” AI Breakfast said.

With web browsing disabled, ChatGPT will not display information beyond its training data cutoff date of September 2021.

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