Coalition fights deepfake disinformation ahead of US election

Deepfakes have already been prominent in foreign election campaigns and are predicted to be used to confuse US voters.

Computer keyboard with red Deepfake button key. Deepfake dangers online.

A bipartisan coalition, backed by Hollywood figures and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Archewell Foundation, is gearing up to combat potential deepfake threats ahead of the upcoming US election cycle. The initiative, led by The Future US, aims to address the alarming lack of coordination between federal agencies and social media platforms in tackling AI-driven misinformation.

Miles Taylor, former US Department of Homeland Security chief of staff and a key figure behind the campaign, warns of the urgent need for public inoculation against deepfake manipulation. According to Taylor and confirmed by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) officials, legal battles and political pressure have strained communication channels between government bodies and tech companies, exacerbating the vulnerability to novel AI threats.

The coalition, spearheaded by The Future US, is rallying support from Hollywood, advertising professionals, and influencers for a comprehensive media campaign, starting with a $5 million investment in swing states. Prototypes of ads depict scenarios where AI-generated content manipulates voters, emphasising the potential impact on electoral integrity.

Why does it matter?

Experts stress the challenges of combating deepfake threats, particularly among swing state voters already wary of mainstream information sources. With deepfake technology increasingly deployed in foreign election interference, concerns are mounting over its potential use by domestic actors to sow confusion and manipulate voter perceptions. The Future US plans to roll out satirical and comedic campaigns targeting key swing states, prioritising outreach to vulnerable voter demographics and those susceptible to AI-driven voter suppression tactics.