AI-Generated Deepfake Campaign Ads Escape Regulators’ Scrutiny

  • Federal Election Commission deadlocks along party lines
  • Artificial intelligence already used in a 2024 presidential ad

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The Federal Election Commission refused Thursday to consider new rules to crack down on AI-generated “deepfake” campaign ads.

The FEC lacks the jurisdiction to regulate AI deepfakes, Republican commissioner Allen Dickerson argued.

“Instead of coming to us, they should take this up with Congress,” Dickerson said before commissioners deadlocked along party lines, preventing a first step toward trying to write rules.

The group Public Citizen had requested rulemaking on deceptive AI campaign ads, noting that federal law prohibits “fraudulent misrepresentation” of other candidates or political parties.

Democrats on the commission said the FEC typically doesn’t reject motions to take comments on potential rulemaking — which precedes a vote on initiating new rules — and said the comments could have helped inform whether the commission has the authority to regulate deceptive AI-generated ads.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ 2024 campaign released a video earlier this month showing AI-generated fake images of Donald Trump embracing Anthony Fauci, his former chief medical adviser who has become a fiercely criticized figure in Republican politics.

To contact the reporter on this story: Karl Evers-Hillstrom in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Katherine Rizzo at; Naoreen Chowdhury at

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