Expanding our Content Integrity tools to support global elections

a group of people with election materials

This year, more people than at any point in human history will have an opportunity to cast a vote, and this momentous election year is already well underway. The European Union will hold parliamentary elections this summer and roughly half of European countries will hold national or regional elections this year. All of this is happening at the same time as people around the world are trying to understand the impact of generative AI on elections and on the information ecosystem.

Today, we are announcing the expansion of the private preview of our Content Integrity tools to EU political parties and campaigns and news organizations from around the world. At Microsoft, we deeply believe that healthy democracies depend on healthy information ecosystems. Through this expansion we are delivering tools these organizations can use to help voters understand the information they encounter online.

Microsoft built its Content Integrity tools to help organizations such as political campaigns and newsrooms send a signal that the content someone sees online is verifiably from their organization. These tools, already available to U.S. political campaigns, give organizations control over their own content, and combat the risks of AI-generated content and deepfakes. By attaching secure “Content Credentials” to their original media, the organizations can increase transparency as to who created or published an image, where and when content was created, whether it was generated by AI, and whether the image has been edited or tampered with since it was created.

When people see media with valid Content Credentials, they can be certain that the content was in fact released by the newsroom, campaign, or political party. And they can understand whether the media has been altered in any way because they can see the editing history from the time that the organization added Content Credentials. This is made possible by leveraging the open-source industry standard published by the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA). These tools will be made available in private preview at no cost through 2024.

What’s included in Microsoft Content Integrity tools?

The content integrity tool consists of three components:

  • An easy-to-use private web application available to political campaigns, news organizations, and election officials so they can add Content Credentials to their owned, authoritative content
  • A private mobile application to capture secure and authenticated photographs, video, and audio by adding Content Credentials in real-time from a smartphone, developed in partnership with Truepic
  • A public website for factcheckers and any member of the public to check images, audio, or videos for the existence of Content Credentials
A selection of image, two of which had been manipulated and one original with the Content Credentials tag attached
Three images of people waiting to vote. The first image has Content Credentials applied to the original media.

We are expanding access to Content Integrity tools to help candidates, the press, and voters to navigate the elections ahead. While we recognize that Content Credentials alone are not a panacea to solve the problem of deepfakes, they are a critical component of a defense strategy for trusted media. Protecting access to indicators of authenticity is just one key step as we deliver on our commitments to help protect elections around the world.

Earlier this year, Microsoft, along with 20 other companies, announced the Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI to combat the use of video, audio, and images that alter the appearance, voice, or actions of political candidates and election officials. In addition, we are working with global political parties to deliver support and training as they navigate the new world of AI and providing security assistance from nation-state cyberattacks with the Campaign Success team and AccountGuard program.

High quality, trusted journalism is also integral to healthy democracies, and our Journalism Initiative has long supported the role of a free press in strong democratic institutions.

Interested news organizations can request access to the Content Integrity preview by visiting the Journalism Hub, and filling in the interest form.

Interested political parties in the EU, the UK, and the U.S. can request access to the Content Integrity preview by contacting the Campaign Success team.

Tags: , , , , , ,