Why Might ChatGPT Require Phone Number Verification?

Some reasons Anthropic may implement phone number verification include:

  • Reducing anonymous abusive usage
  • Limiting automated bot account creation
  • Associating users with a real identity
  • Enabling accountability for harmful activities
  • Blocking disposable/temporary numbers
  • Rate limiting usage per person

What Risks Does Phone Number Verification Mitigate?

It helps mitigate risks like:

  • Malicious actors creating unlimited accounts
  • Spreading misinformation or biased content
  • Scraping data at excessive scales
  • Automating conversations at high speeds
  • Impersonation or harassment of others

What are Limitations of Relying on Phone Verification?

Potential drawbacks include:

  • Excluding users without phone access
  • User privacy concerns over data collection
  • SMS verification less accessible globally
  • Spoofing possibilities with SIM swapping
  • Billing costs associated with SMS
  • Account recovery issues if numbers change

Are Alternative Verification Options More Inclusive?

Options like email and OAuth could broaden access but increase anonymity risks.

What is Anthropic’s Stated Position on Verification Methods?

Anthropic says they aim to balance openness and security based on system capabilities.

Could There Be Legitimate Uses Without Phone Verification?

Cases like education, research, accessibility needs, or non-commercial use may warrant consideration.

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What is the User Experience for Unverified Accounts?

Unverified users may have reduced usage limits or restricted features.

Is It Possible to Use ChatGPT Entirely Without Verification?

The system may still have limited functionality without providing user details.

What is Anthropic’s Process for Policy Changes?

They solicit expert and community feedback to inform policy decisions around safety.


Phone number verification aims to increase accountability, but optional approaches could improve inclusion. Anthropic faces challenging technology and policy decisions to enable ChatGPT access while upholding its AI safety tenets.