Block OpenAI’s AI-training web crawler from accessing your data.

Block OpenAI's AI-training web crawler from accessing your data.

OpenAI’s GPTBot: Unleashing the Power of Web Crawlers


OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has recently unveiled its latest tool called GPTBot and has provided instructions on how to block it. GPTBot is a web crawler that facilitates the training of large language models (LLMs) such as GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, which power ChatGPT. While AI enthusiasts have occasionally expressed concerns about the wavering intelligence of the chatbot, OpenAI remains committed to improving its capabilities.

Web crawlers, similar to those used by search engines like Google and Bing, play a crucial role in training AI models. By scanning websites and indexing content, these web crawlers accumulate vast amounts of data that LLMs can learn from. This process significantly expedites the training of models like GPTBot.

According to OpenAI, allowing GPTBot to access your website can enhance the accuracy, capabilities, and safety of AI models. However, the company acknowledges the need for filtering out web pages that require paywall access, collect personally-identifying information, or contain text violating OpenAI’s policies.

In order to provide website owners with control over GPTBot’s access, OpenAI offers two options. The first is straightforward: site owners can block GPTBot from accessing their sites altogether by inserting the GPTBot token into the site’s robots.txt and adding “Disallow: /”.

Blocking GPTBot

Alternatively, users have the flexibility to customize GPTBot’s access, limiting its crawling to specific sections of the site. To achieve this, website owners can add GPTBot to the robots.txt file with “Allow: /directory-1/” for permitted directories and “Disallow: /directory-2/” for restricted directories. These configurations can be modified as needed.

OpenAI’s use of web crawlers for training its LLMs, specifically GPT-3.5 and the yet-to-be-released GPT-4, was not previously announced. However, there is speculation that GPTBot could be instrumental in training GPT-5, as evidenced by OpenAI’s trademark filing for the name in July. Expected to surpass GPT-4 in power and scale, GPT-5 is anticipated to be the largest LLM available upon its release.

The launch of ChatGPT has not been without its share of legal challenges for OpenAI. The company has faced lawsuits accusing the chatbot of data theft, resulting in a Copyright infringement case and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Notably, several prominent websites, including Stack Overflow, Reddit, and Twitter, have announced their intentions to charge AI companies for accessing their data.

Despite these legal obstacles, OpenAI remains at the forefront of AI development. Through tools like GPTBot and continuous improvements to its chatbot, the company continues to push the boundaries of what AI can achieve in the realms of language processing, content training, and user experience.


OpenAI’s GPTBot is revolutionizing the way AI models are trained by leveraging web crawlers. Site owners now have the power to control GPTBot’s access to their websites, either by blocking it entirely or customizing its crawling permissions. As OpenAI pushes forward with the development of larger, more advanced LLMs like GPT-5, the company seeks to address legal challenges while delivering powerful, intelligent, and safe AI systems to the world. With each innovation, OpenAI reinforces its position as an industry leader in the fast-paced world of artificial intelligence.

OpenAI Trademark