Meta Platforms announced on Wednesday that starting in 2024, advertisers will be mandated to indicate when artificial intelligence (AI) or other digital techniques are employed to modify or fabricate political, social, or election-related advertisements on Facebook and Instagram.

The logos of Meta and Facebook are visible in this illustration captured on February 15, 2022.

As the world’s second-largest digital advertising platform, Meta explained in a blog post that it will make it obligatory for advertisers to reveal whether their modified or fabricated ads depict actual individuals as engaging in actions or uttering statements they never did, or if they digitally generate a lifelike person who is non-existent.

The company will also request advertisers to reveal whether such advertisements depict events that never occurred, manipulate real event footage, or represent real events without employing the genuine image, video, or audio recording of the actual event.

These policy amendments, which follow Meta’s previous declaration of prohibiting political advertisers from utilizing generative AI ad tools, are being introduced about a month after the Facebook parent company disclosed its plans to extend advertisers’ usage of AI-driven advertising tools that can rapidly produce backgrounds, adjust images, and create different versions of ad copy based on simple text prompts.

Google, the largest digital advertising firm under Alphabet (GOOGL.O), recently unveiled comparable generative AI ad tools for customizing images. They also expressed their intention to maintain a political filter for their products, preventing the use of certain “political keywords” as prompts.

U.S. legislators have expressed apprehension over the utilization of AI in fabricating content that falsely portrays political candidates in advertisements, aiming to influence federal elections. The proliferation of new “generative AI” tools has made it both affordable and effortless to produce convincing deepfake content, raising concerns.

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Meta has already imposed restrictions on its user-facing Meta AI virtual assistant to prevent the generation of photorealistic images of public figures. The company’s Chief Policy Executive, Nick Clegg, mentioned in the previous month that the use of generative AI in political advertising is an area in need of rule updates.

The new policy introduced by the company will not necessitate disclosures for digital content that is deemed “inconsequential or immaterial to the claim, assertion, or issue presented in the advertisement.” This includes activities like resizing images, cropping, color adjustments, or image enhancement.

Reported by Katie Paul, Devika Nair, and Shubham Kalia. Edited by Nivedita Bhattacharjee.

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