Meta combating disinformation and AI misuse in EU elections

The influence of AI on voter behaviour has already drawn attention in various elections
The image shows Meta logo. — Freepik
The image shows Meta logo. — Freepik

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has revealed its plans to establish a dedicated team aimed at countering disinformation and potential harms arising from artificial intelligence (AI) ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections.

Marco Pancini, Meta’s head of EU affairs, outlined the initiative, named the "EU-specific Elections Operations Center," which will bring together a team of experts from across the company. Their primary focus will be on addressing misinformation, influence operations, and risks associated with the misuse of AI technology.

"In preparation for the elections, we will streamline the process for all our fact-checking partners across the EU to identify and evaluate content related to the elections, recognizing the importance of swift action during breaking news events," Pancini stated in a blog post on Sunday.

"We will utilise keyword detection to consolidate related content in one location, simplifying the task for fact-checkers to identify," he added.

Furthermore, Pancini highlighted Meta's commitment to addressing AI-related risks, including the introduction of a feature enabling users to disclose when sharing AI-generated video or audio content, along with potential penalties for noncompliance.

"We already mark photorealistic images produced using Meta AI, and we are developing tools to label AI-generated images from Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Adobe, Midjourney, and Shutterstock that users post on Facebook, Instagram, and Threads," Pancini explained.

Concerns have arisen with the emergence of AI platforms like OpenAI's GPT-4 and Google's Gemini, which could potentially facilitate the spread of false information, images, and videos influencing voter perceptions in elections.

The European Parliament elections, scheduled between June 6 and 9, are part of a series of significant elections occurring in 2024, termed as one of the most significant election years in history.

Meta, along with 19 other tech companies including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and TikTok, recently signed a pledge titled the "Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections." This accord aims to address election risks by implementing measures such as developing tools to detect AI-generated content and enhancing transparency regarding efforts to mitigate potentially harmful material.

The influence of AI on voter behaviour has already drawn attention in various elections. Earlier this month, Pakistan's imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan utilized AI-generated speeches to rally supporters ahead of the country's parliamentary elections. In January, a fabricated robocall purporting to be from United States President Joe Biden advised voters against participating in the New Hampshire primary.