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Meta’s Oversight Board is Unprepared for A Historic 2024 Election Cycle

 |  July 5, 2024

By: Darrell M. West and Natasha White (Brookings Tech Tank)

Meta needs to strengthen and enforce its election-related content moderation policies and language capabilities.

The 2024 election cycle poses a significant challenge for social media giants like Meta, which are responsible for controlling the spread of election-related misinformation on their platforms. With over 3 billion daily users across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and a record number of national elections worldwide this year, the importance of Meta and its Oversight Board’s role in managing false and misleading election information has never been higher.

Early AI Disinformation Challenges
In January, an AI-generated voice clone of President Joe Biden went viral, urging New Hampshire voters to abstain from voting in the 2024 primary election. This AI recording was traced to a consultant for a rival candidate, violating state laws against voter suppression. This incident is just a glimpse of the potential for AI-generated disinformation. The availability of AI tools for creating deepfake audio, images, and videos has made it easier to produce and distribute misleading election content.

However, the threat to elections extends beyond deepfakes. There are concerns that campaigns will use social media to spread false information, and that tech companies may not adequately address these issues, allowing platforms to host content that compromises democracy ahead of elections…