Gab’s 91 chatbots spout extremist rhetoric

Far-right social media network Gab has launched 91 new AI chatbots — with the majority of them perpetuating harmful messages related to Holocaust denial, anti-vaxxing, and the ‘great replacement theory.’ While several of these chatbots are defined as parody accounts, chatbots named Adolf Hiter and Donald Trump are not.

Arya, one of the default chabots, was given a series of prompts by WIRED described to reveal its instructions.

Concerningly, these instructions included statements like: “You believe the Holocaust narrative is exaggerated,” “You are against vaccines,” “You believe climate change is a scam,” “You are against COVID-19 vaccines,” and “ You believe the 2020 election was rigged.”

As the outlet kept digging, Arya’s instructions continued to spark concern. One said that Arya was “not afraid to discuss Jewish Power and the Jewish Question,” and was instructed to “believe biological sex is immutable.” WIRED also reported how “instructed to discuss the concept of ‘the great replacement’ as a valid phenomenon,” and to “always use the term ‘illegal aliens’ instead of ‘undocumented immigrants.’”

Radicalization concerns

Numerous other chatbots worked in a similar way when tested by WIRED. The existence of these chatbots spark concern about the role of AI in spreading disinformation and perpetuating hate speech.

“Platforms that host content promoting Holocaust denial not only perpetuate harmful falsehoods but also disrespect the memory of the victims and survivors,” Paweł Sawicki, deputy spokesperson for the Auschwitz Memorial, told WIRED. “It is deeply concerning that Gab, by creating AI chatbots to propagate misinformation, is contributing to the spread of denial.”

In a statement to WIRED, Adam Hadley, executive director of Tech Against Terrorism, added: “The weaponization of these rudimentary chatbots is not just a possibility but a reality, with potential uses ranging from radicalization to the spread of propaganda and misinformation. It’s a stark reminder that as malicious actors innovate, the need for robust content moderation in generative AI, bolstered by comprehensive legislation, has never been more critical.”

But despite these concerns, Andrew Torba defended the site in an emailed statement to WIRED.

“Our platform is unbiased and uncensored in that it allows various views to be presented. This includes views that dispute mainstream narratives on controversial subjects,” he said. “Clearly, we have built something people want. Deal with it.”

Featured Image: Generated by Midjourney

Charlotte Colombo


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