Google to Require Prominent Disclosure for Politically Synthetic Ads Starting November

Google updates political advertising policies to combat deceptive synthetic content

In a bid to combat the spread of deceptive political content, Google announced that it will require advertisers to display a prominent disclosure if their political advertisements contain synthetically created elements related to individuals or events that may distort reality. This policy change is set to be implemented starting in November.

Google, the tech giant known for its search engine and advertising platform, has recently updated its ‘Political Content’ policy to encompass political or electoral ads that feature synthetic content generated by artificial intelligence (AI).

Specifically, the new policy applies to ads that employ AI to represent real individuals or events in an “inauthentic manner.” Advertisers will be mandated to incorporate a clear and visible disclosure, as stated by the company on its Help page.

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This new rule would affect political advertisements that utilize AI tools to falsely attribute a statement or action to an individual or manipulate images of actual events to realistically depict scenes that never occurred.

The change introduced in the ‘Political Content’ policy is slated to take effect in November of this year and will apply to political advertising in image, video, and audio formats.

However, there are exemptions from the disclosure requirement for political ads that use AI for editing purposes such as resizing images, correcting color or lighting, or removing defects like red-eye.

Google’s move comes in response to growing concerns about the spread of deceptive and manipulated content in the political sphere. By requiring advertisers to prominently disclose the use of synthetic elements in their political ads, the company aims to enhance transparency and ensure that users are aware of potentially misleading content.

This policy change aligns with broader industry efforts to address the challenges posed by deepfake technology and other forms of synthetic content that have the potential to undermine the integrity of political discourse and information sharing.

As the November implementation date approaches, advertisers and political campaigns will need to adjust their practices to comply with Google’s new policy, ushering in a new era of transparency in online political advertising.

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