Meta's Latest Policy Update Targets Political Ads and AI Usage

Meta disclosed information on its AI political ads policies, which include a requirement for advertisers to declare whenever they use AI.

On Tuesday, Meta disclosed additional information regarding its political advertisement policies, which include a requirement for advertisers to declare whenever they use artificial intelligence to modify images and videos in specific political advertisements.

In a blog post, Facebook’s owner, Nick Clegg, discussed the new advertising guidelines and said they were ‘largely consistent’ with how the social media behemoth has handled advertising regulations in the past during election campaigns.

The use of artificial intelligence by advertisers to produce computer-generated texts and visualizations is new for the upcoming election season, though.

In an early November announcement, Clegg stated that, as of the following year, advertisers will be required by Meta to reveal whether they have employed artificial intelligence or associated digital editing methods ‘to create or change a political or social issue ad in certain situations.’

He later stated, ‘This applies to the advertisement if it contains a realistic image or video clip, or realistic audio that was digitally created or modified to depict a real person saying or doing something that they did not say or do.’ He then continued to mention, ‘It also applies to the advertisement if it depicts a realistic-looking person who does not exist or a realistic-looking event that did not happen, or alters footage of a real event, or depicts an event that appears to be realistic and claims to have happened but is not real, whether it is a photo, video, or audio recording.’

Meta has faced criticism for its inability to stop the spread of false information on its suite of apps, which includes Facebook and Instagram, most notably during the US presidential election of 2016.

Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to stutter in a video that Meta permitted to stay up on her website in 2019; however, the video was not an advertisement.

The social media behemoth, which this year laid off a sizable portion of its trust and safety team to reduce costs, now faces a new challenge as artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent and can be used to generate more deceptive advertisements.

According to Clegg, Meta will also prohibit advertisements for new political, electoral, and social issues throughout the last week of the US election, a move that is consistent with past years. These limitations will be removed the day following the election.

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