One month after rolling out various generative artificial intelligence tools to advertisers, Meta is restricting political campaigns and advertisers in other regulated industries from using these very products -- due to concerns that these tools could be used to intensify the spread of election misinformation.
“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,” the company said in a note posted to its help center on Monday night.
Meta’s advertising standards prohibit ads with content that have been debunked by the company’s fact-checking partners -- but do not yet include any rules focused specifically on AI, Reuters, which first reported the news, pointed out in its report.
Meta recently expanded advertisers’ access to AI-powered advertising tools designed to automatically create image backgrounds and ad copy in response to text prompts, and now wants to “better understand potential risks and build the right safeguards for the use of Generative AI in ads” -- especially in relation to “potentially sensitive topics in regulated industries.”
Other leading social-media companies and tech giants have taken recent steps to help curb the potential pitfalls of AI-impacted political speech. TikTok and Snapchat have banned political ads on their platforms, while Google, the biggest digital advertising company, devised a list of “political keywords” shown to be incompatible with its generative AI ad tools.
Meta’s suite of generative AI ad tools are planned to launch to all advertisers well before the 2024 American presidential election.
Nick Clegg, Meta’s top policy executive, has stated that the company blocked its user-facing AI-powered virtual assistant from creating photo-realistic images of public figures.
And this past summer, Meta -- alongside OpenAI and Alphabet -- made commitments to the White House to begin watermarking AI-generated content to help make the emerging technology safer.
According to Reuters, the company’s ban on generative AI advertising tools is related to “misleading AI-generated video in all content, including non-paid posts, with an exception for parody or satire.”
The exception has already resulted in the spread of questionable content, such as a “doctored” video of President Biden, which Meta left up on Facebook, claiming that it wasn ot AI-generated.
The company’s third-party Oversight Board is looking into this video as part of its current review of the company’s AI-generated content policy.