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Candidate Election Deepfake Disclosures

Concerning the use of a deepfake in a communication related to a candidate for elective office, and, in connection therewith, requiring disclosure, providing for enforcement, and creating a private cause of action for candidates.
2024 Regular Session
Elections & Redistricting
Bill Summary

The act creates a statutory scheme to regulate the use of deepfakes produced using generative artificial intelligence in communications about candidates for elective office.

Distribution of a communication that includes an undisclosed or improperly disclosed deepfake with knowledge or reckless disregard as to the deceptiveness or falsity of the communication related to a candidate for elective office is prohibited. Proper disclosure requires the statement: "This (image/audio/video/multimedia) has been edited and depicts speech or conduct that falsely appears to be authentic or truthful". The disclosure statement must satisfy the requirements in the act, and any rule adopted by the secretary of state in accordance with the act, for a clear, conspicuous, and understandable disclosure statement regarding a deepfake. The disclosure statement must be included in the communication's metadata and, to the extent technically feasible, must be permanent or unable to be easily removed by subsequent users.

Any person who believes there has been a violation of the statutory or regulatory requirements for disclosure of the use of a deepfake may file a complaint with the office of the secretary of state. The secretary shall hear such complaints in accordance with existing complaint and administrative hearing procedures under the "Fair Campaign Practices Act", and a hearing officer may impose a civil penalty of at least $100 for each violation involving unpaid advertising or at least 10% of the amount paid or spent to advertise the communication that includes an undisclosed or improperly disclosed deepfake.

A candidate who is the subject of a communication that includes an undisclosed or improperly disclosed deepfake may bring a civil action for injunctive or other equitable relief or for compensatory and punitive damages, or both. The plaintiff-candidate may also seek reasonable attorney fees, filing fees, and costs of action, and any other just and appropriate relief necessary to enforce the prohibition on undisclosed deepfakes and to remedy the harm caused by violation of the prohibition. The plaintiff-candidate must prove the defendant's knowledge or reckless disregard as to the falsity or deceptiveness of the communication that includes the deepfake by clear and convincing evidence.

Liability for a violation of the act does not extend to an interactive computer service, a radio or television broadcasting station, including a cable or satellite television operator, programmer, producer, or streaming service, an internet website, a regularly published newspaper, magazine, or other periodical of general circulation, or a provider of technology used in the creation of a deepfake as specified in the act and in accordance with immunities provided by federal law.

APPROVED by Governor May 24, 2024

EFFECTIVE July 1, 2024
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details