AI, media and disinformation in Morocco

Morocco's media regulator has published a report on AI in the media sector. Also, the French-speaking network of media regulators has signed a voluntary commitment protocol with major online platforms on transparency, moderation and cooperation.

In Morocco, the Haute Autorité de la Communication Audiovisuelle (High Authority for Audiovisual Communication) (HACA) is an independent administrative body responsible for regulating the audio-visual communication sector. HACA published a report in March 2024 which explores the potential benefits, challenges and regulatory actions arising from the use of AI for the sector. In addition, HACA released a Guide to Combating Disinformation in 2022. HACA is a member of the Réseau francophone des régulateurs des médias (French-speaking network of media regulators) (REFRAM) which has signed a Protocole d’engagement volontaire avec les grandes plateformes en ligne (Voluntary commitment protocol with major online platforms) with Meta, TikTok and X/Twitter. More details on all of these below.

AI use cases in the media sector

In the 2024 report, various use cases for AI are identified across the spectrum of media platforms. In radio, for example, some of these use cases on page 25 (extracted and translated from the snapshot below) include:

  • Automated weather reports generated by artificial intelligence and read by synthetic voices
  • Online radio stations using synthetic voices to broadcast live streams with audio translations in multiple languages
  • Rapid production (design-writing, production, editing, etc.) of complete advertisements in two minutes with tools such as or
  • Czech Public Radio has been using artificial intelligence (GPT-2 & 3) since 2020 to write and produce short radio stories

Risks and regulation

One of the key concerns for the media sector is the impact of AI on content creation. Some of the issues raised include reproduction of biases and the reinforcement of existing prejudices, deepfakes and disinformation, job losses due to automation, and copyright infringement, amongst others. This snapshot translated from page 46 addresses questions related to attribution and plagiarism, such as ensuring AI-generated content has properly cited sources. It also notes questions related to liability, specifically: Can liability be placed on the AI developer, the user of the system, or the AI system itself?

In response, HACA outlines various regulatory responses, from AI-enhanced monitoring of media content using its HMS+ system, to educating citizens on algorithmic literacy and industry actions such as watermarking and certifying content.

Survey of media experts and researchers

The 2024 report also includes results from a survey of 32 media experts, producers and researchers in Morocco to understand how they see AI being implemented and possible harms arising from its use. In one of the survey charts on page 76 (translated from snapshot below), those interviewed explained the threats that artificial intelligence could pose as:

  • 66.7% of respondents say that such threats relate to noncompliance with ethics
  • 41.7% are concerned about disinformation and the endangerment of democracy from deep fakes
  • 33.3% highlight threats to employment and the disappearance of professions
  • 25% fear that artificial intelligence will harm imagination and creativity
  • 16.7% don’t know

Guidelines for combating disinformation

As mentioned above, HACA also published a guideline on combating disinformation in 2022 which helps citizens identify manipulated or fake content and provides pointers on how to protect oneself. For example, the snapshot below outlines four steps for verifying information including (1) identifying the author of the message, (2) finding the source of the message content, (3) going back to the original or first source, and (4) using search engines or other verification tools to check the content.

Regional regulation and other countries

Morocco's HACA is a member of the Réseau francophone des régulateurs des médias (French-speaking network of media regulators) (REFRAM) which held a conference* in Abidjan during April 2024. One of the major outcomes of the conference was the Protocole d’engagement volontaire avec les grandes plateformes en ligne (Voluntary commitment protocol with major online platforms) which was signed by Meta, TikTok and X/Twitter and covered various commitments (e.g. transparency for users, moderation of content, multi-sector regulation) and paves the way for strengthened dialogue between regulators and platform companies.

*Recordings from the conference are available here

Another activity connected to the conference was a statement by the HACA equivalent from Côte d'Ivoire which indicates that, going forward, the broadcasting of any audiovisual production involving the use of AI must indicate the use of such technologies. This is largely driven by a concern that AI enables enhanced levels of deception and manipulation of audiences through fake images and content. At the same time, the Réseau des Professionnels de la Presse en Ligne de Côte d’Ivoire (Network of Online Press Professionals of Cote d’Ivoire) (REPPRELCI) held a Workshop on Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a public good: guaranteeing a democratic control of AI in the information space which sought to raise awareness amongst journalists about these issues.

Finally, following on from the Continental Conference for Election Management Bodies held in Cape Town in March 2020 on “Safeguarding Electoral Integrity in the Digital Age: Strategies for Combatting Digital Disinformation”, the General Assembly of the Association of African Electoral Authorities (AAEA) held in Maputo, Mozambique, and coordinated by the AUC, endorsed a plan to develop a set of Principles and Guidelines for the Use of Digital and Social Media in Elections in Africa. The General Assembly mandated the Electoral Commission of South Africa to lead the initiative, working closely with the AUC and AAEA. These principles and guidelines are central to how the media sector uses AI by focusing on the implications of this and closely associated technologies for elections on the Continent.