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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: July 30, 2021 12:28 PM
From: Representative Nick Pisciottano
To: All House members
Subject: Stop Deepfake Videos in Political Ads
Misinformation campaigns from a host of bad actors continue to plague our democracy.  They create a distrust in government and in our institutions that is not easily or quickly restored.  As technology advances and artificial intelligence-driven video editing software becomes more widespread, misinformation tactics will evolve and the use of so-called “deepfakes” will insert themselves into our daily lives.  We cannot allow such misinformation to take root during the election season.
Deepfake video technology continues to evolve to become more convincing, more affordable, and more nefarious. News outlets ranging from the New York Times to Fox News have reported about the danger deepfake videos could pose to our political discourse and both news outlets continue to report on the most recent deepfake technology. Voters should be able to trust that political advertisements have not been intentionally manipulated using advanced computer software to misrepresent the words or actions of political candidates.
For this reason, I plan to introduce legislation to ban the distribution and dissemination of deepfakes within 90 days of an election.  Those in violation of the ban can be held civilly liable and exemptions will be made for media outlets disseminating deepfakes accompanied by a disclosure statement or as part of a newscast.
Texas and California have already taken the lead in passing legislation to combat deepfakes in political advertisements.  It is time for Pennsylvania to join them to ensure that political debates focus on policy and issues – not who can make the most convincing attack ad using deepfake footage.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to ensure that our elections are protected from misinformation and deepfake videos.

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Introduced as HB1942