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Google’s updated ad policy may ban political memes

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Google has announced as part of its updated political ads policy that deepfakes, which it defines as “doctored and manipulated media,” are banned from being used in political ads.

The traditional definition for deepfake is content created by artificial intelligence (AI) but Google’s broad definition means that any manipulated photos or videos, regardless of context, could be banned under this policy. This includes memes.

Legacy media outlets often claim that the lighthearted memes President Trump shares on Twitter are “doctored videos.”

In addition to banning all doctored and manipulated media in political ads, Google said it will be limiting targeting options and re-affirmed that misleading claims about the census process and “demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process” are prohibited.

Google said it will start enforcing the new approach in the UK within a week (ahead of the General Election), in the EU by the end of the year, and in the rest of the world starting on January 6, 2020.

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