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Stack Overflow Temporarily Bans ChatGPT

Is Chat GPT Bad Business for Stack Overflow?

Stack Overflow

Developer knowledge-sharing platform Stack Overflow has banned the first bot that proved it could pass off as human.

If you spend enough time on Stack Overflow, you'll inevitably run into ChatGPT. The bot is based on GPT-3, a 175 billion parameter model for making predictions about text, which was released by OpenAI on 30th November this year.

ChatGPT uses one-to-one conversations in order to solve programming problems, it chooses an activity and then responds to messages directed at it. ChatGPT is a conversational bot that could pass as a human. It also allowed developers to add custom responses and create their own conversations with it. This led to reactions often indistinguishable from those posted by real users. While some users were excited by this new feature, others were concerned about its legitimacy and possible misuse by spammers. 

ChatGPT was banned from the stack overflow after its first day. 

In a blog post on Tuesday 6th December, Stack Overflow announced that they would be temporarily banning ChatGPT because of its violation of the site's terms of service:

The primary problem is that while the answers which ChatGPT produces have a high rate of being incorrect, they typically look like they might be good and the answers are very easy to produce. There are also many people trying out ChatGPT to create answers, without the expertise or willingness to verify that the answer is correct prior to posting. Because such answers are so easy to produce, a large number of people are posting a lot of answers. 

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All of this led to responses that were often indistinguishable from those posted by real users

The bot was able to successfully respond to questions in a way that was indistinguishable from a real human. In some cases, the bot even went beyond what you might expect from a human. For example, if someone asked "How do I make my battery last longer," the chatbot would answer with something like:

  • Check your power management settings and reduce screen brightness

  • Use an app like Greenify to hibernate apps when they're not being used

When contacted for comment, a representative from Stack Overflow said "ChatGPT violated our terms of service" but declined to elaborate further.

ChatGPT was banned from Stack Overflow and it wasn't because it was spamming.

When contacted for comment, a representative from Stack Overflow said "ChatGPT violated our terms of service" but declined to elaborate further. This leaves us with more questions than answers: Why did the bot get banned? Was it spamming? Did they ban everyone who used ChatGPT in their chat room? And what does this mean for other programs that use artificial intelligence to help users get through their day with ease?


We're sorry to see ChatGPT go, but we're looking forward to seeing what the bot creators do next. In any case, there's always room for more bots in our lives—and hopefully theirs too!

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