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AI-Generated Ads Could Damage 2024 Election, Lawmakers Say

Capitol Hill

A pair of Democratic lawmakers want social media platforms to regulate artificial intelligence (AI)-generated election ads.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York said in an interview with the Associated Press (AP) Thursday (Oct. 5) that they have “serious concerns” about the use of these ads ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

They have written to the heads of Meta Platforms — owner of Facebook and Instagram — and Twitter/X to find out what steps they’re taking to prevent election interference.

“They are two of the largest platforms and voters deserve to know what guardrails are being put in place,” said Klobuchar. “We are simply asking them, ‘Can’t you do this? Why aren’t you doing this?’ It’s clearly technologically possible.”

The lawmakers are undertaking this effort as governments around the world work on regulating artificial intelligence. The AP notes that Clarke has already introduced a bill that would amend federal election law to require campaign ads using AI-generated images or video to be labeled as such.

“I think that folks have a First Amendment right to put whatever content on social media platforms that they’re moved to place there,” Clarke told the AP. “All I’m saying is that you have to make sure that you put a disclaimer and make sure that the American people are aware that it’s fabricated.”

Klobuchar, who is sponsoring companion legislation in the Senate that she aims to get passed by year’s end, said “that’s like the bare minimum” of what is required.

PYMNTS has reached out to both companies for comment but has not yet gotten a reply.

Clarke and Klobuchar’s efforts follow a similar work by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado, who in June called on tech and AI companies to label AI-generated content and limit the spread of fake or misleading material.

“Fabricated images can derail stock markets, suppress voter turnout, and shake Americans’ confidence in the authenticity of campaign material,” Bennet said.

So far, at least one tech company has said it would try to regulate AI-generated election ads. Google announced last month that it will require election advertisers to reveal when their ads have been manipulated or created using AI starting in mid-November.

“Given the growing prevalence of tools that produce synthetic content, we’re expanding our policies a step further to require advertisers to disclose when their election ads include material that’s been digitally altered or generated,” Google said in a statement to PYMNTS. “This update builds on our existing transparency efforts — it’ll help further support responsible political advertising and provide voters with the information they need to make informed decisions.”