Meta Oversight Board Reviews Handling of AI-Generated Explicit Images on Facebook and Instagram

Meta Platforms’ Oversight Board has announced the commencement of a review concerning the company’s management of two sexually explicit AI-generated images of female celebrities circulating on its Facebook and Instagram platforms. This move comes as part of the board’s independent evaluation of Meta’s policies and enforcement practices surrounding pornographic fakes generated using artificial intelligence (AI).

The Oversight Board, funded by Meta but operating autonomously from the company, disclosed that it will analyze these two instances to gauge the overall effectiveness of Meta’s approach to combating the proliferation of AI-generated explicit content. While descriptions of the images were provided, the famous women depicted were not named to mitigate further harm, as confirmed by a spokesperson for the board.

Advancements in AI technology have blurred the lines between fabricated and genuine content, leading to a surge in sexually explicit fakes distributed online, predominantly targeting women and girls. Earlier this year, Elon Musk-owned social media platform X faced challenges in controlling the dissemination of fake explicit images of U.S. pop star Taylor Swift, resulting in temporary restrictions on image searches related to her.

Calls for legislative action to criminalize the creation of harmful “deep fakes” and mandate preventive measures by tech companies have emerged from industry executives in response to these developments.

The cases under review by the Oversight Board involve an AI-generated nude image resembling a public figure from India, posted on Instagram by an account dedicated to sharing AI-generated images of Indian women. The second image, shared within a Facebook group for AI creations, depicted a nude woman resembling an American public figure being groped by a man. Meta initially removed the image depicting the American woman for violating its bullying and harassment policy but initially left the one featuring the Indian woman intact, reversing course only after the board selected it for review.

The outcome of the Oversight Board’s review will likely influence Meta’s approach to addressing the proliferation of AI-generated explicit content on its platforms, potentially shaping future policies and enforcement practices.