Google to Automatically Generate Disclosures for AI-Generated Political Ads

Image by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

Google to Automatically Generate Disclosures for AI-Generated Political Ads

Reading time: 15 min

  • Andrea Miliani

    Written by: Andrea Miliani Tech Writer

  • Justyn Newman

    Fact-Checked by Justyn Newman Head Content Manager

Google shared a new update last week announcing a new disclosure tag required for political content generated with artificial intelligence.

“Advertisers are now required to disclose election ads that contain synthetic or digitally altered content that inauthentically depicts real or realistic-looking people or events by selecting the checkbox in the ‘Altered or synthetic content’ section in their campaign settings,” states the document.

Google will automatically generate an in-ad disclosure according to the type of content being promoted for feeds and shorts on mobile phones, as well as in-stream content for computers, phones, mobile web, and TV screens.

Advertisers must choose from a checkbox one of the options that best suits the type of political AI-content they want to advertise. The four main tags are: “This audio was computer generated”, “Altered or synthetic content”, “This video content was synthetically generated”, and “This image does not depict real events.”

Publishers will not have to write their own disclosure as Google will provide the tag alternatives, but they must make sure that the disclosure is easy to read and in a location where users can spot it without difficulty, and understand that it was intervened by AI. Google also recommends advertisers read more about political content policies on Google’s Advertising Policies Help.

The new measure has been implemented during a controversial election year in the United States and when concerns regarding AI-generated political ads have risen.

According to Reuters, in June, there was a debate among top officials at the Federal Election Commission (FCC) regarding how to treat AI content within political ads. The agency decided not to forbid them but considered also including a disclaimer for broadcast TV. The FCC said that “AI will probably play a substantial role in 2024 political ads.”

Google’s update was announced also just a few weeks after a political scammer was fined $6 million for making deep fake robocalls cloning President Joe Biden’s voice back in January.

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