HomeTechnologyGoogle mandates election ads to ‘prominently disclose’ AI content

Google mandates election ads to ‘prominently disclose’ AI content


Starting this November, Google will require political advertisements to prominently disclose when they feature synthetic content — such as images generated by artificial intelligence — the tech giant announced in a blog post recently.  This applies to political advertising in the United States, India and other regions. India, the most populous country and the largest democracy in the world goes for the general election in April-May 2024, while the USA goes for presidential election in November 2024.

Under the new policy, if political advertising includes “synthetic content that inauthentically depicts real or realistic-looking people or events,” the advertising must disclose that information in a clear and conspicuous manner. Political advertisers must also ensure that the disclosure is “placed in a location where it is likely to be noticed by users.”

Google said that examples of political advertising where a disclosure is required include:

  • An ad with synthetic content that makes it appear as if a person is saying or doing something they didn’t say or do; and
  • An ad with synthetic content that alters footage of a real event or generates a realistic portrayal of an event to depict scenes that did not actually take place.

The rule, an addition to the company’s political content policy that covers Google and YouTube, will apply to image, video and audio content. Google currently accepts political ads only from entities that undertake verification procedures.

At the same time, artificial intelligence technology has advanced rapidly, allowing anyone to cheaply and easily create convincing AI-generated text and, increasingly, audio and video. Access to generative AI models, such as ChatGPT and Midjourney, means users can easily create convincing fake videos and images. Microsoft is also rapidly rolling out various AI features to enterprise customers.

The news also comes one week after X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) announced that it is bringing back political ads ahead of the 2024 US election. Twitter banned political ads since 2019.

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