Meta, has announced that it is restricting access to its new generative AI advertising tools for political campaigns and advertisers in regulated industries. According to Reuters, this move comes in response to concerns from lawmakers who have cautioned against the potential use of these tools to amplify the dissemination of election misinformation.
The company made this decision public by posting updates on its help centre on Monday. "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 note read.
Meta and its AI-powered advertising tools
The policy update has been introduced a month following the announcement by Meta, the world's second-largest digital advertising platform, regarding the expansion of advertisers' access to AI-driven advertising tools. These tools are capable of swiftly generating backgrounds, modifying images, and creating various versions of ad copy based on text input.
Initially, these tools were limited to a select group of advertisers earlier in the year, but Meta disclosed their plan to make them accessible to all advertisers worldwide by 2024.
The three tools which will be available at Meta’s Ads Manager, include:
- Background Generation: Allows advertisers to automatically create multiple backgrounds to complement their product images. Within the ad toolkit, Meta explains that backgrounds are automatically created for advertisers, drawing inspiration from their original product images. These backgrounds typically consist of straightforward designs with colours and patterns. This functionality is accessible to advertisers who use Meta's Advantage+ catalog for crafting their promotional ads.
- Image Expansion: Seamlessly adjusts image sizes to fit different ad formats like Facebook feed or Instagram reels. This AI functionality is said to enable advertisers to reduce the amount of time they spend adapting their creative content, such as images and videos, for various platforms.
- Text Variations: Generates multiple versions of ad copy using the advertiser’s original text. The AI highlights product features and suggests text to better reach target audiences. This feature is capable of producing as many as six distinct text variations derived from the advertiser's original copy. These variations can accentuate particular keywords and input phrases that the advertiser wishes to prioritise. Advertisers have the option to modify the generated output or effortlessly select the one or ones that align best with their objectives.
In order to ensure the responsible development of these products, Meta had introduced AI Sandbox, a platform where it had been experimenting with generative AI capabilities in collaboration with a select group of diverse advertisers.
Meta's advertising policy in focus
Meta has put in place a set of Advertising Standards in order to "keep both businesses and organisations who use its ad tools safe, and create a welcoming environment for everyone who uses its products and services".
Although the standards do not have any rules specifically on AI, it does prohibit creating and publicising ads with content that have been debunked by the company's fact-checking partners. Apart from this, it prohibits ads which include illegal products and services, vaccine discouragement, discrimination against people based on personal attributes such as race, ethnicity, religion, age or sex, and lastly, militarised social movements and violence-inducing conspiracy networks.
Social media platforms and their political advertisement guidelines
Last week, Google, the largest digital advertising company, also unveiled its image-customising generative AI ad tools with a commitment to exclude any political influence from its products. It intends to prevent the use of a set of "political keywords" as prompts in these tools.
Additionally, the tech giant, in September, had mandated political advertisers to “prominently disclose” when they made their ads with AI. It stated that the advertisers must include a disclosure when an election ad features “synthetic content” that depicts “realistic-looking people or events”.
This encompasses political advertisements employing AI to depict individuals engaging in actions or uttering statements they never actually did, as well as altering genuine event footage to construct a scenario that never took place.
TikTok also prohibits the display of political advertisements, while Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, does not allow them in its AI chatbot. Additionally, Snapchat employs human reviewers to fact-check all political ads, ensuring that they do not contain misleading use of AI technology. It's worth noting that X, formerly recognised as Twitter, has not introduced any generative AI advertising tools, as yet.
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