GPT Store Shows Lax Moderation A report exposes policy violations in OpenAI’s GPT Store.

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Screen recording of the GPT Store's homepage

OpenAI has been moderating its GPT Store with a very light touch.

What’s new: In a survey of the GPT Store’s offerings, TechCrunch found numerous examples of custom ChatGPT instances that appear to violate the store’s own policies.

How it works: The GPT Store has a low bar for entry by design — any paid ChatGPT user can create a custom-prompted variation of the chatbot, known as a GPT, and include it in the store. The store lists GPTs in several categories, such as Writing, Productivity, Programming, and Lifestyle. While many are useful, some are questionable.

  • Some GPTs purported to jailbreak ChatGPT. In TechCrunch’s survey, some of them were able to circumvent OpenAI’s own guardrails. Since then, they have been tamed. The GPT Store’s terms of use prohibit efforts to thwart OpenAI’s safeguards and safety measures.
  • GPTs like Humanizer Pro, the second-ranked instance in the Writing category at the time of writing, purport to rewrite text and make it undetectable to programs designed to detect generated text. These GPTs may violate OpenAI’s ban on GPTs that enable academic dishonesty.
  • Many GPTs purport to allow users to chat with trademarked characters without clear authorization from the trademark owners. The store prohibits use of content owned by third parties without their permission.
  • Other GPTs purport to represent real-life figures such as Elon Musk, Donald Trump, and Joe Rogan, or companies such as Microsoft and Apple (many of them obviously satirical). OpenAI allows GPTs to respond in the style of a real person if they do not impersonate that person. However, many such GPTs don’t indicate that they are not associated with the genuine person. 

Behind the news: OpenAI launched the GPT Store in January. Since then, users have uploaded more than 3 million GPTs that include enhanced search engines, creative writing aids, and tools that produce short videos. The most popular GPTs have millions of downloads. Despite its “store” name, the GPT Store’s contents are free to download. OpenAI is piloting a program in which U.S.-based uploaders of popular GPTs can earn money. 

Why it matters: The GPT Store is the chatbot era’s answer to Apple’s App Store or Android’s Google Play Store. If it succeeds, it could democratize chatbot development just as the App Store helped to popularize building smartphone applications. How OpenAI moderates the store may have real financial and reputational impacts on developers in the years ahead.

We’re thinking: The GPT Store’s low barrier to entry is a boon to well-meaning developers, but it may encourage less responsible actors to take advantage of lax moderation. We applaud OpenAI’s willingness to execute an ambitious vision and hope it finds a workable balance.


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