Facebook is filling up with AI-generated spam — and you’re eating it up

FILE-A person holds an iPhone displaying the Facebook app logo in front of a computer screen showing the facebook login page. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

AI-generated spam posts are starting to appear on some Facebook users' accounts, making it challenging for them to tell the difference between real and fake content. 

Reporters at 404 Media, a tech industry website, have monitored the recent rise in AI-generated posts on Facebook. These AI-generated images are popping up on Facebook, and other social media platforms like Threads, which is owned by Meta, and LinkedIn.

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News of the AI-generated posts comes several months after Meta said in February that Facebook and Instagram users would start seeing labels on AI-generated images that appear on their social media feeds as part of a tech industry plan to filter out fake posts. 

"We work to reduce the spread of content that is spammy or sensational because we want users to have a good experience, which is why we offer them controls to what they see in their feed," a Meta spokesperson said in a statement to FOX Television Stations.

Recently, TikTok started applying similar labels to some AI-generated posts on its platform. 

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NPR reported that researchers at Georgetown and Stanford universities probed over 100 Facebook pages that regularly post AI content and learned that the social media platform recommends some of this content to users' feeds so the posts can get higher engagement. 

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The researchers also discovered that some Facebook pages are spam, posting links to websites where Meta can collect ad revenue. NPR noted that other posts are from scammers, promoting AI-generated items that don’t exist. 

Meta already puts an "Imagined with AI" label on photorealistic images made by its tool. But most of the AI-generated content on its social media services comes from other places, the Associated Press reported. 

Additionally, several tech industry collaborations have been working to set standards. The push for digital watermarking and labeling of AI-generated content was also part of an executive order that President Joe Biden signed in October 2023.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.