So-called “thirst traps” posted on social media by attention-hungry real people have recently seen an influx of digital competition – artificial intelligence.
Startups that market sexually available virtual companions to lonely men are springing up on social media.
The ads promise “AI girlfriends” whose underlying “machine learning” architecture learns the user’s preferences.
Sites like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are concerned as these new ads have shown an uncanny ability to overcome existing content moderation hurdles to block such overtly sexual content.
Worse, certain commercials have re-purposed memes featuring well-known children’s TV characters from Cookie Monster to SpongeBob SquarePants in questionable “fair use” cases to promote the AI sex apps and their ability to generate “NSFW images.” .
Suspicious AI sex app ads are flooding Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Certain ads feature memes of well-known children’s television characters from Cookie Monster to SpongeBob SquarePants in questionable instances of “fair use” to promote their “NSFW images”.
Social media giant Meta has created an ads library that allows users, the public, regulators and academics to track the ads posted on their platforms, including Instagram and Facebook. Above, one of the hottest, problematic new AI sexbot ads published in Meta’s ads library
Other ads feature digitally or possibly AI-generated girls whose indefinite ages could read as teens or younger.
For its part, Meta has claimed to have a handle on the ads, which appear to be violating their policies.
The ads promise “AI girlfriends” whose underlying “machine learning” architecture learns the user’s preferences – building ever-greater simulated intimacy the longer the real person on the other end holds on to their fake love interest
As the company said in a statement NBC NewsMeta takes the position that the ban on adult content does not make an exception for AI-generated content.
“Our policies prohibit ads featuring adult content that is overly suggestive or sexually provocative — whether or not it’s AI-generated,” a human spokesperson told Meta.
“Our policies and enforcement efforts are designed to adapt in this highly controversial environment, and we are actively monitoring any emerging trends in AI-generated content.”
Meta also told the news channel that it is reviewing the version of its policies available to the public and advertisers to ensure their language is sufficiently clear.
For years, and in some cases over a decade, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have been at a standoff with sex workers, sex education advocates, and artists, all of whom have complained about draconian and prudish moderation policies.
Many of these advocates are alarmed at the tacit approval or lenient treatment of these app developers’ paid ads by these platforms.
“Sex workers shouldn’t monetize their image,” said Carolina Are, research fellow at Northumbria University’s Center for Digital Citizens, “but any engineer creating a similar AI image should.”
Unbound CEO Polly Rodriguez told NBC News that her company has often faced daunting obstacles when promoting with Meta.
She expressed confusion and anger at the ability of these AI chatbot ads to somehow evade content moderation, implying that the issues were evidence of inconsistent enforcement and bias.
“They don’t address the fundamental question: why are these ads being leaked in the first place?” Rodriguez said.