Meta Bans the Use of Its AI to Create Political Ads for Facebook, Instagram

Users won’t be seeing political ads generated by artificial intelligence on Facebook and Instagram thanks to a new policy at parent Meta Platforms, Reuters reported.

The social media giant is barring political campaigns, along with advertisers in other regulated industries, from using its new generative AI advertising products, a company spokesperson told the outlet.

In fact, the list of advertising topics banned from using AI is long.

“As we continue to test new generative AI ads creation tools in Ads Manager, advertisers running campaigns that qualify as ads for housing, employment or credit or social issues, elections, or politics, or related to health, pharmaceuticals or financial services aren’t currently permitted to use these Generative AI features,” Meta said in an update posted to its help center following the initial report.

“We’re actively considering new policies. On the use of generative AI in political advertising, that’s clearly an area where we need to update our rules,” Meta’s top policy executive, Nick Clegg, last month told a Japanese news outlet. “Where possible, users should know when they’re looking at something — photo or video — that it’s produced by generative AI.”

The move addresses concerns from lawmakers about the potential for election misinformation to spread like wildfire in the 2024 race. In September, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation to ban the use of so-called AI “deepfakes” from political ads, CNN reported.

It also comes as Europe tightens its regulations on the use of AI.

Meta, second only to Google in pulling in digital advertising dollars, said last month it would give more AI-powered tools to its advertisers, helping them instantly create ads with images, photos and copy that might all be generated by AI. Meta is set to introduce the tools globally by next year.

Google last week launched its version of a generative AI advertising tool. It plans to keep politics out of its products by blocking a list of “political keywords” from being used as prompts, a Google spokesperson told Reuters.

While Google may allow some AI use in political ads, it told Reuters it plans to update policies to require a disclosure in any political ads that contain “synthetic content that inauthentically depicts real or realistic-looking people or events,” the report said.

X so far does not offer any AI advertising tools. Political ads are banned on TikTok and Snapchat.

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