California has handed a legislation meant to stop altered “deepfake” movies from influencing elections, in a plan that has raised free speech considerations.
Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into legislation AB 730, which makes it a criminal offense to distribute audio or video that offers a false, damaging impression of a politician’s phrases or actions. The legislation applies to any candidate inside 60 days of an election, however contains some exceptions. News media might be exempt from the requirement, as will movies made for satire or parody. Potentially misleading video or audio may even be allowed if it features a disclaimer noting that it’s faux. The legislation will sundown in 2023.
While the phrase “deepfake” doesn’t seem within the laws, the invoice clearly takes goal at doctored works. Lawmakers have raised considerations just lately that distorted deepfake movies, like a slowed video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that appeared over the summer season, might be used to affect elections sooner or later.
At the identical time, Newsom additionally signed a legislation that would ban pornographic deepfakes made with out consent. While political deepfakes have generated headlines, at least one study just lately discovered that almost all of deepfakes are pornographic.
The election legislation has additionally raised considerations about free speech, and teams just like the American Civil Liberties Union of California have questioned the laws’s worth. “Despite the author’s good intentions, this bill will not solve the problem of deceptive political videos,” the group mentioned in a press release noted by the Associated Press, “it will only result in voter confusion, malicious litigation, and repression of free speech.”