Artificial Intelligence in Campaign Ads

CourtFederal Election Commission
Citation88 FR 55606
Published date16 August 2023
Record Number2023-17547
Federal Register, Volume 88 Issue 157 (Wednesday, August 16, 2023)
[Federal Register Volume 88, Number 157 (Wednesday, August 16, 2023)]
                [Proposed Rules]
                [Pages 55606-55607]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
                [FR Doc No: 2023-17547]
                11 CFR Part 112
                [Notice 2023-13]
                Artificial Intelligence in Campaign Ads
                AGENCY: Federal Election Commission.
                ACTION: Notification of availability of Petition for Rulemaking.
                SUMMARY: The Commission announces its receipt of a Petition for
                Rulemaking filed by Public Citizen. The Petition asks the Commission to
                amend its regulation on fraudulent misrepresentation of campaign
                authority to make clear that the related statutory prohibition applies
                to deliberately deceptive Artificial Intelligence campaign ads.
                DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before October 16, 2023.
                ADDRESSES: All comments must be in writing. Commenters may submit
                comments electronically via the Commission's website at, reference REG 2023-02.
                 Each commenter must provide, at a minimum, his or her first name,
                last name, city and state. All properly submitted comments, including
                attachments, will become part of the public record, and the Commission
                will make comments available for public viewing on the Commission's
                website and in the Commission's Public Records Office. Accordingly,
                commenters should not provide in their comments any information that
                they do not wish to make public, such as a home street address,
                personal email address, date of birth, phone number, social security
                number, or driver's license number, or any information that is
                restricted from disclosure, such as trade secrets or commercial or
                financial information that is privileged or confidential.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert M. Knop, Assistant General
                Counsel, or Ms. Jennifer Waldman, Attorney, 1050 First Street NE,
                Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694-1650 or (800) 424-9530.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 13, 2023, the Commission received a
                Petition for Rulemaking (``Petition'') from Public Citizen, a non-
                profit advocacy organization. The Petition asks the Commission to amend
                its regulation on ``fraudulent misrepresentation'' at 11 CFR 110.16 to
                clarify that ``the restrictions and penalties of the law and the Code
                of Regulations are applicable'' should ``candidates or their agents
                fraudulently misrepresent other candidates or political parties through
                deliberately false [Artificial Intelligence]-generated content in
                campaign ads or other communications.'' Petition at 5.
                 The Federal Election Campaign Act (the ``Act'') provides that a
                candidate for federal office, employee, or agent of such a candidate
                shall not ``fraudulently misrepresent'' themselves or any committee or
                organization under their control ``as speaking or writing or otherwise
                acting for or on behalf of any other candidate or political party or
                employee or agent thereof on a matter which is damaging to such other
                candidate or political party or employee or agent thereof.'' 52 U.S.C.
                 The Petition asserts that generative Artificial Intelligence and
                deepfake technology, is being ``used to create convincing images, audio
                and video hoaxes.'' Petition at 2. The Petition asserts that while the
                technology is not so far advanced currently as for viewers to not be
                able to identify when it is used disingenuously, if the use of the
                ``technology continues to improve, it will become increasingly
                difficult, and perhaps, nearly impossible for an average person to
                distinguish deepfake videos and audio clips from authentic media.'' Id.
                 The Petition notes that the technology will ``almost certainly
                create the opportunity for political actors to deploy it to deceive
                voters[,] in ways that extend well beyond any First Amendment
                protections for political expression, opinion or satire.'' Id.
                According to the Petition, this technology might be used to ``create a
                video that purports to show an opponent making an offensive statement
                or accepting a bribe'' and, once disseminated, be used for the purpose
                of ``persuading voters that the opponent said or did something they did
                not say or do.'' Id. The Petition explains that a deepfake audio clip
                or video by a candidate or their agent would violate the fraudulent
                misrepresentation provision by ``falsely putting words into another
                candidate's mouth, or showing the candidate taking action they did not
                [take],'' thereby ``fraudulently speak[ing] or act[ing] `for' that
                candidate in a way deliberately intended to [harm] him or her.'' Id. at
                3. The Petitioner states that because the deepfaker misrepresents
                themselves as speaking for the deepfaked candidate, ``the deepfake is
                fraudulent because the deepfaked candidate in fact did not say or do
                what is depicted by the deepfake and because the deepfake aims to
                deceive the public.'' Id. The Petitioner draws a distinction between
                deepfakes, which it contends violates the prohibition on fraudulent
                misrepresentation, and other uses of Artificial Intelligence in
                campaign communications, such as in parodies, where the purpose and
                effect are not to deceive voters, or as in other communications where
                ``there is a sufficiently prominent disclosure that the image, audio or
                video was generated by [A]rtificial [I]ntelligence and portrays
                fictitious statements and actions.'' Id. at 4.
                 The Commission seeks comment on the Petition. The public may
                inspect the Petition on the Commission's website at
                 The Commission will not consider the Petition's merits until after
                the comment period closes. If the Commission decides that the Petition
                has merit, it may begin a rulemaking proceeding. The Commission will
                announce any
                [[Page 55607]]
                action that is takes in the Federal Register.
                 Authority: 52 U.S.C. 30108, 30111(a)(8).
                 Dated: August 10, 2023.
                 On behalf of the Commission,
                Dara S. Lindenbaum,
                Chair, Federal Election Commission.
                [FR Doc. 2023-17547 Filed 8-15-23; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 6715-01-P

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT