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Meta announces new rules for AI-generated political ads 

Starting next year, Meta will introduce a new requirement for advertisers promoting political or issue-based content on its platforms. Advertisers running Facebook and Instagram campaigns related to elections, politics, or social issues will now need to disclose if their ads involve “digitally created or altered” content, particularly through the use of AI.

This additional step in the ad submission process aims to address concerns related to deepfakes—media altered using digital manipulation with the intent to deceive. 

Meta’s rules mandate disclosures for ads featuring photorealistic images or videos, realistic-sounding audio, or content falling into specific categories. 

These categories include manipulated media showing individuals doing or saying things they didn’t, depiction of non-existent photorealistic people or events, and representation of allegedly realistic events that didn’t occur.

Meta specifies that standard digital alterations such as image sharpening, cropping, and basic adjustments are exempt from the new disclosure policy. 

Information about digitally altered ads will be cataloged in Meta’s Ad Library, a searchable database compiling paid ads across the company’s platforms.

This policy shift follows Meta’s decision to limit the use of its generative AI tools in ads related to politics, elections, and social issues. The company had recently introduced AI tools allowing advertisers to generate multiple versions of creative assets and adjust images easily. 

However, these tools are now restricted in campaigns tied to potentially sensitive topics, spanning industries like housing, employment, health, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. This move aligns with Meta’s effort to navigate regulatory concerns and avoid controversies, such as those previously encountered in the form of discriminatory housing ads on Facebook.

Meta’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said in a press release: “Advertisers running these ads do not need to disclose when content is digitally created or altered in ways that are inconsequential or immaterial to the claim, assertion, or issue raised in the ad.”

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