Meta has disclosed additional details about its policies on political ads, focusing on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in creating and altering images and videos. Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, outlined the new ad policies, stating that they are “broadly consistent” with how the company has managed advertising rules in previous election cycles. The key change for the upcoming election season is advertisers’ growing utilization of AI technologies for generating computer-generated visuals and text. Building on a prior announcement from
Meta in November, Clegg explained that starting next year, advertisers will be mandated to disclose whether they have used AI or related digital editing techniques in certain cases. This disclosure is required when the ad includes a photorealistic image or video or realistic-sounding audio that was digitally created or altered to depict a real person saying or doing something they did not say or do. It also applies if an ad depicts a realistic-looking person or event that did not exist or happen, alters footage of a real event, or depicts an event that allegedly occurred but is not a true recording of the event.
Meta’s move reflects its response to criticism in the past, particularly during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, for not effectively addressing and reducing the spread of misinformation on its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. The rise of AI in creating misleading ads presents a new challenge for the company. Meta will also implement restrictions on new political, electoral, and social issue ads during the final week of U.S. elections, consistent with previous years. These restrictions will be lifted the day after the election concludes.
The disclosure requirement for AI use aims to enhance transparency and accountability in political advertising, addressing concerns about the potential misuse of AI to manipulate visual and audio content. By imposing such rules, Meta seeks to mitigate the impact of misleading information and deepfakes in the political advertising space.