Artificial Elections: Exposing the Use of Generative AI Imagery in the Political Campaigns of the 2024 French Elections

Exposing the Use of Generative AI Imagery in the Political Campaigns of the 2024 French Elections

project overview

AI Forensics investigated how AI-generated images were used in French political campaigns during the 2024 European Parliament and legislative elections. In May and June of 2024, we collected data from a variety of sources to get a comprehensive look at the use of AI imagery. We explored official party websites and their social media accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Key Findings

  • We found 51 instances of AI-generated images across Facebook, Instagram, and X.
  • The Rassemblement National, Reconquête, and Les Patriotes used generative AI imagery as an integral campaigning strategy. We also observed a single instance from L’Alliance Rurale and the Union des Démocrates et Indépendants.
  • These images were used to dramatize party-specific narratives and sensationalistic topics, particularly amplifying anti-EU and anti-immigrant messages.
  • None of the AI-generated images were labeled as such by the political parties or the platforms hosting them, nor was the synthetic nature of these images addressed or questioned in the comment sections of the posts.

This lack of transparency is alarming and highlights several critical concerns. Firstly, political parties and social media platforms are failing to adequately disclose the use of AI-generated imagery, which undermines public trust. Additionally, there is a pressing need for stricter content moderation to ensure the integrity of political campaigns and prevent the spread of misleading information. Finally, our findings underscore the necessity of reinforcing EU-wide policies on the use of generative AI in elections to safeguard democratic processes and maintain electoral integrity.