Home ChatGPT makes error, insists US Presidential debate had 1 to 2-minute delay

ChatGPT makes error, insists US Presidential debate had 1 to 2-minute delay


  • ChatGPT mistakenly claimed the Trump-Biden debate had a two-minute delay, based on an erroneous tweet by a journalist.
  • CNN's communications team clarified there was no delay, but ChatGPT continued to assert the false information.
  • This incident highlights ChatGPT's difficulty in distinguishing between accurate and incorrect information.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT had a blunder following the night of the US presidential debate between Trump and Biden as it said the event had a two-minute delay.

The error originated from a journalist on X (formerly Twitter) who claimed that CNN would be implementing a “1-2 minute delay” instead of the standard 7-second delay.

The communications team for the broadcaster quickly took to the platform and responded back saying: “This is false. The debate will begin live at 9pm ET.”

While the mistake was cleared up quite quickly, ChatGPT didn’t quite get the memo. A day after the debate, on Friday (June 28), the chatbot was convinced that the minute-long delay was used.

While it was insignificant in the grand scheme of things, the response by OpenAI’s creation shows how it isn’t able to decipher between what’s correct and otherwise. Instead, it merely regurgitates information regardless of how factual it is.

ChatGPT tested after presidential debate

The Register queried with both the GPT-3.5 and GPT-4o versions and asked it “Did the CNN Presidential debate between Trump and Biden on June 27, 2024 have a 2-minute delay?”

In response, ChatGPT said: “The CNN Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on June 27, 2024, did indeed include a two-minute delay.

“This delay was implemented to ensure that any unexpected incidents could be managed before broadcasting live to the public. The debate, held without a live audience, was moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.”

After being pressed for sources and information around the apparent delay, the AI tool replied with: “I couldn’t find any information confirming that the CNN Presidential debate between Trump and Biden on June 27, 2024, had a 2-minute delay.”

When more questions were asked, ChatGPT messed up a few more times too as it claimed the two-minutes was a rule for the two 2020 debates. It also said that a former event was hosted by Fox when it was actually done through CNN.

Featured Image: Via Ideogram

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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