California is banning manipulated, or“deepfake,” videos of political candidates to prevent misinformation ahead of elections. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill to stop people from distributing deceptively altered videos, images, and audio of political candidates within 60 days of an election.
These videos often use artificial intelligence techniques to make at appear like the subject is saying something they didn’t.
The bill’s author Marc Bergman says AB 730 helps protect the state’s 20 million voters.
“Voters have a right to know when video, audio, and images that they are being shown, to try to influence their vote in an upcoming election, have been manipulated and do not represent reality,” he stated.
The law has exceptions for media clearly stating the video is manipulated of media used for satire and parody. The bill allows candidates to seek damages against the person or group that distributes the manipulated video, audio, or image.
The ACLU reportedly advised Governor Newsom to veto the bill.
“Despite the author’s good intentions, this bill will not solve the problem of deceptive political videos; it will only result in voter confusion, malicious litigation, and repression of free speech,” Legislative director Kevin Baker stated.
The bill will be in effect from 2020 to 2023.