‘Browse With Bing’ Web Searches Return to ChatGPT After Paywall Glitch

ChatGPT Plus subscribers get frequent access to new features, such as the latest GPT-4 model and plugin support. OpenAI previously introduced Bing-based browsing capabilities, only to pull it after users discovered a paywall glitch.

Now it’s back in beta form for premium subscribers, meaning they are “no longer limited to data before September 2021,” OpenAI says.

When OpenAI introduced Bing to ChatGPT, users quickly discovered the new browsing feature could bypass paywalls. That’s a problem, as getting around paywalls could be a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). “Could be” being a key phrase, as the DMCA governs human actions, and it’s unclear if it applies to AI under the current legal framework.

OpenAI didn’t seem to want to take chances, though, and pulled the feature in July with a promise to bring it back once it had a chance to fix the oversight. That seems to be the case, as Browse with Bing is now rolling out to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. If you’re using the mobile app, it should appear as an option when you start a new chat. And if you’re using a browser, go to Profile & Settings > Beta features and toggle on Browse with Bing. Then choose Browse with Bing in the selector under GPT-4.

In a quick test, we were unable to bypass three different paywall sites: in two cases, ChatGPT let us know that the sites’ robot.txt file prevented it from browsing altogether.

Further testing showed that ChatGPT also may not access non-paywalled sites. When we asked for a summary of PCMag’s impressions of the Meta Quest 3, ChatGPT said it couldn’t access the site due to restrictions on the site and gave us a link to the article instead. So your mileage may vary depending on a particular site’s underlying code.

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