Deepfake 2024: Will Citizens United and Artificial Intelligence Together Destroy Representative Democracy?

A face is covered in a grid

Richard W. Painter discusses “deepfakes”—computer-generated videos posted and made to look like reality—and their potential impact on politics. Painter predicts that the dark money that has been increasingly used in election campaigns since the Citizens United v. FEC ruling will soon become a source for funding political deepfakes during elections.

Because the FEC and Congress have both yet to implement a workable solution to this emerging problem, Painter proposes publicly and privately funded programs that could create an alert system, identify deepfakes on social media, and educate voters to be discerning about what is fake and what is reality.

By Richard Painter

S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law, University of Minnesota Law School; Former Associate Counsel to the President and chief White House ethics lawyer (2005-2007).

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