April 11, 2024

200+ Groups Demand Big Tech CEOs Tackle AI-Fueled Lies Ahead Of Global Elections

Deep Fakes

More than 200 groups, including civil organizations, researchers, and journalists, have written to major tech company CEOs, urging them to take action to ensure truthful online content and safeguard democratic processes.

The letter that went out to the CEOs of DiscordGoogleInstagramMetaTikTokX, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, Snap, Rumble, and Twitch, coincides with upcoming elections in over 60 countries in 2024.

The Impact Of Online Discourse On Democracy

“Research illustrates that individual users can have an outsized impact on online discourse, which results in real-world harms, such as the rise of extremism and violent attempts to overthrow democratic governments,” the letter read.

“And yet, many of the largest social-media companies have reduced, not reinforced, interventions necessary to keep online platforms safe and healthy.”

The decline in content moderation, civil-society oversight tools, and trust and safety measures has been deemed a retreat, making platforms even less prepared to safeguard users and democracy, particularly in 2024. 

Notably, the letter highlights the specific targeting of Black people, other people of color, women, and non-English speakers with online election misinformation in 2020.

The Specific Requests To Tech Companies

The groups are asking tech companies to take several key steps to ensure honesty and safety on their platforms. 

For example, they want companies to be more vigilant about false election-related information and have teams ready to handle such content in different languages.

They also want stricter control over political ads, including platforms closely checking ads that might contain lies or hate speech and paying special attention to those created using AI. 

Plus, they’re asking for all AI-made political content to be identified and a ban on misleading AI videos, known as deepfakes, in political ads.

Another request is to make it harder for people to see and share misleading election content that’s still being reviewed. 

They also believe that famous people and politicians should follow the same rules as everyone else on these platforms.

Lastly, they’re pushing for more openness from these companies, asking for regular updates about how well the platforms manage harmful content, information about the AI tools used for checking content, and better access for researchers and journalists to study these platforms.

The organizations have requested the tech CEOs to respond in writing with their intentions to adopt or reject these requests by April 22, 2024.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.