Protect Democracy Joins CLC in Urging FEC to Regulate Fraudulent AI-Based Campaign Ads

On October 16th, 2023, Protect Democracy and the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) urged the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to use its existing authority to clarify that use of artificial intelligence in campaign communications to deceive or defraud voters is illegal. 

Recent advances in generative artificial intelligence have made it possible to produce highly realistic synthetic content across formats (text, audio, video and computer code) in real time and at scale. AI-generated content has significant implications for our election information’s ecosystem. Amongst its applications, generative AI is already being employed to develop campaign ads offering highly realistic, but inaccurate depictions of candidates, also known as “deepfakes.”

Protect Democracy joined the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) in submitting a public comment to the FEC on REG 2023-02, requesting the agency clarify that federal campaign finance laws prohibiting fraudulent misrepresentation of campaign authority apply to the use of artificial intelligence. 

About the Authors

Nicole Schneidman

Technology Policy Strategist

Nicole Schneidman is a Technology Policy Strategist at Protect Democracy working to combat anti-democratic applications and impacts of technology, including disinformation.

Alexandra Chandler

Head of National Election Advocacy Team & Policy Strategist

Alexandra Chandler leads Protect Democracy’s national-level elections and voting rights advocacy and national security policy work.

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