“Members, officers, and employees posting deep fakes or other audio-visual distortions intended to mislead the public may be in violation of the Code of Official Conduct.
Prior to disseminating any image, video or audio file by electronic means, including social media, Members and staff are expected to take reasonable efforts to consider whether such representations are deep fakes or are intentionally distorted to mislead the public.”
The House Ethnics Committee has issued a warning to House members about posting manipulated or doctored “videos and photos on their social media accounts, warning they could face repercussions for tweets and Facebook posts that ‘mislead the public.'”
The warning shot from the Ethics Committee, which is tasked with monitoring members’ conduct in the House, comes amid rising panic over the rise of so-called “deepfakes,” or footage that has been manipulated by artificial intelligence. “Deepfake” videos can depict people saying and doing things that they never did, a high-stakes prospect as the U.S. enters a contentious election year.
The memo’s warnings do not only apply to “deepfakes,” a nascent technology that necessitates a significant amount of expertise to produce. It also warns lawmakers against intentionally posting “audio-visual distortions,” which could sweep up misleadingly Photoshopped images or video footage that has been altered in any way.