Social Media Influencers Would be Required to Report Being Paid to Create or Post Political Ads

Proposed rule is open for public comment; next TEC meeting scheduled for June 17-18, 2024

At its March 2024 meeting, the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) proposed an amendment to Texas’ rules that would require social media users to disclose when they have been paid to create or post political content. The TEC is the agency responsible for administering and enforcing Texas election code and rules related to political contributions and expenditures.

A Texas Tribune article reports that this rule change is likely in response to “a secretive and politically-connected company, called Influenceable LLC, [that] paid internet influencers to defend Attorney General Ken Paxton ahead of his Senate impeachment trial.” The article goes in depth on Influenceable’s efforts to leverage social media users with high follower counts to benefit Ken Paxton and harm House Speaker Dade Phelan, as well as the company’s connections to conservative Republican mega-donors and Paxton allies.

The text of the proposed rule can be found here and a description of the proposed change can be found in English and Spanish here.

Procedures for submitting public comment to the Texas Ethics Commission can be found here and are as follows:

  • The Commission invites public comment on new rule proposals. A written statement should be emailed to public_comment@ethics.state.tx.us, or mailed or delivered to J.R. Johnson, Texas Ethics Commission, P.O. Box 12070, Austin, Texas 78711-2070. A person who wants to offer spoken comments to the Commission concerning a proposed rule may do so during the public comment period at any Commission meeting when the Commission considers the proposed rule.

We understand the public comment window to extend until the next Commission meeting scheduled for June 17-18, 2024.

Cody Meador

Similar Posts