Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has announced that it will prevent political campaigns and regulated advertisers from using its new generative AI advertising products. This decision comes as lawmakers have raised concerns about the potential spread of election misinformation through these AI-powered tools.
According to Meta, the company’s advertising standards already prohibit ads with content that has been debunked by their fact-checking partners. However, there were no specific rules in place regarding AI-generated content. To address these concerns, Meta has decided to deny access to its generative AI features for political campaigns, advertisers in regulated industries such as housing, employment, credit, social issues, health, pharmaceuticals, and financial services.
In a note posted to its help center, Meta stated that their approach is aimed at better understanding the risks associated with generative AI in ads related to sensitive topics. By implementing this policy, Meta hopes to develop appropriate safeguards for the use of AI in advertising.
This announcement comes a month after Meta revealed its plans to expand access to AI-powered ad tools that can instantly create various elements of ads based on simple text prompts. These tools were initially available to only a select group of advertisers but are expected to be rolled out globally next year.
Meta’s decision is significant as it highlights one of the industry’s most significant AI policy choices to date. Other tech giants like Google have also launched similar generative AI ad tools but have taken measures to keep politics out of their products. Google plans to block certain political keywords from being used as prompts and also requires disclosures for election-related ads containing synthetic content.
Meta’s top policy executive, Nick Clegg, acknowledged the need to update rules regarding the use of generative AI in political advertising. He warned that governments and tech companies should prepare for AI interference in upcoming elections and emphasized the need for focus on election-related content moving between platforms.
Meta has also placed restrictions on the use of AI in creating realistic images of public figures and has instituted policies against misleading AI-generated videos. However, the company’s independent Oversight Board has expressed concerns and plans to examine the wisdom of these policies.
Overall, Meta’s decision to bar political campaigns and regulated advertisers from using AI ads reflects the growing importance of addressing the potential risks associated with AI-generated content in the context of elections and regulated industries.