Houston Matters

That political debate trending on social media? Someone might’ve paid for that.

We learn about a Texas company recruiting influencers to promote certain political agendas.


Julia Reihs
Influencers are being recruited to support suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton amid his impeachment case.


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A Texas company is recruiting young conservative social media influencers to promote a variety of things on various platforms, including, but not limited to, support for suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ahead of his impeachment trial in the Texas Senate, which is scheduled to begin two weeks from Tuesday.

Texas Tribune reporter Robert Downen covers democracy and threats to it, including extremism, disinformation, and conspiracies, and he wrote about this effort last week. In the audio above, he tells us all about Influenceable LLC — what it does, and the messages it’s trying to spread through social media influencers. He also notes that while what this company is doing may not be illegal, there are some federal guidelines about political advertising that could apply.

We also talk with Eric Tung, social media manager with A. Schulman, Inc, and senior advisor on digital and social media for Lyondell Basell. He shares how influencers gain the followings they have on social media and how often he thinks some of them are paid to share certain opinions.

Joshua Zinn

Joshua Zinn

Producer, Houston Matters

Joshua is a producer for Houston Matters on News 88.7 as well as the host of Encore Houston on Houston Public Media Classical. He joined Houston Public Media as a radio intern in 2014 and became a full-time announcer the following year. Now he prepares segments and occasionally records interviews...

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Craig Cohen

Craig Cohen

Executive Producer & Host, Houston Matters

Craig Cohen is the executive producer and host of Houston Matters, which airs weekday mornings at 9:00 on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Craig is a 20+ year veteran of broadcast journalism. He's spent the bulk of his career in public media, in roles ranging from programmer and manager,...

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