- Facebook and YouTube face criticism for not acting on AI-generated fake content impersonating politicians and spreading false information, despite new EU rules against election manipulation.
- The Progressive Slovakia party is under attack with false claims, while YouTube claims it detects AI deep fakes, though the far-right Republika’s videos remain popular on its platform.
- These misleading AI videos also target the LGBTI+ community, adding to concerns about divisive content in an important election campaign.
Major social media platforms, Facebook and YouTube, are now facing increased scrutiny for their lack of response to two concerning incidents involving the far-right group Republika. These incidents center around using artificial intelligence (AI) to impersonate prominent political figures and spread false information.
Such concerns have been amplified as the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) seeks to hold these platforms accountable for preventing election manipulation and disseminating misleading content.
AI-Driven Voices Falsely Endorse Republika
In these troubling posts, AI-generated voices have been deployed in videos circulated on social media, imitating the voices of Michal Šimečka, the leader of the Progressives, and President Zuzana Čaputová, formerly associated with the Progressive Slovakia (PS) board. These fabricated voices express support for Republika while disclaiming any vocal similarities. Astonishingly, despite the potential harm associated with such content, neither Facebook nor YouTube has taken action or responded to reports, even after 48 hours.
Michal Šimečka, leader of the Progressives, has voiced his concerns regarding these AI-driven hoaxes. He brought attention to another disturbing incident on WhatsApp, where his voice was manipulated to falsely promise a hike in beer prices, a claim he categorically denied. Šimečka clarified that his party has no intention of getting involved in alcohol pricing policies. These deceptive tactics aim to tarnish the reputation of the Progressives and sow confusion among voters.
The Progressive Slovakia party is facing an uptick in attacks, especially as recent polls indicate its rising popularity in comparison to its rival, Smer. Smer’s campaign, centered around ending military support for Ukraine, carries the potential to significantly influence EU foreign policy. In addition to the AI-generated hoaxes, false claims have circulated, including one alleging a candidate’s death from COVID-19 vaccines. These unverified allegations further erode trust in political discourse.
While Facebook and YouTube have remained notably silent on these issues, YouTube claims that it confidently adheres to EU policies. The platform asserts the use of advanced tools for detecting AI-generated deep fakes that contravene its regulations against misinformation. Interestingly, these videos rank among the most popular on Republika’s far-right party channel, underscoring the urgency of addressing the situation promptly.
Targeting the LGBTI+ community
These AI-generated videos impersonate politicians and target the LGBTI+ community, which has become a contentious issue in the election campaign. Smer and its potential coalition partner, Republika, have faced allegations of disseminating transphobic hate speech during the progressive campaign on gender self-identification. Such divisive rhetoric underscores the importance of social media platforms taking a firm stance against such content.
The reluctance of social media giants Facebook and YouTube to address the issue of AI-generated misinformation, especially in the context of a significant election, is raising eyebrows. In an era where the spread of misinformation and the utilization of AI for deceptive purposes have become increasingly prevalent, the responsibility of tech giants to safeguard the integrity of public discourse cannot be overstated. It remains to be seen whether these platforms will take resolute measures to curtail the continued dissemination of misleading information and uphold the sanctity of the democratic process.
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