Pro-Trump meme maker Douglass Mackey, AKA, Ricky Vaughn, was sentenced to 7 months in prison for trolling Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
Mackey was facing a maximum of 10 years in prison for speech crimes.
Douglass Mackey, the man “on trial for memes,” was sentenced to seven months in prison Wednesday for his efforts to trick Hillary Clinton voters into staying home on Election Day in 2016. @NikaSchoonover https://t.co/0u8YsjmGdG
— Courthouse News (@CourthouseNews) October 18, 2023
Douglass Mackey was indicted in January 2021 by the feds for using the social media platform to ‘spread election disinformation’ to Hillary Clinton voters in 2016.
“Ricky Vaughn” AKA, Douglass Mackey, used Twitter to post memes and troll Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election cycle.
34-year-old Mackey was arrested in West Palm Beach in 2021 on one charge of conspiracy against rights.
According to the unsealed indictment, Mackey conspired with others on Twitter to encourage black people to cast their votes via text message.
The Eastern District of New York said in its indictment that one week before the 2016 election, Mackey tweeted an image of a black woman in front of an “African Americans for President Hillary” sign.
Emblazoned on the picture was the message: “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home. Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925. Vote for Hillary and be a part of history”
According to the complaint, more than 4,900 people ‘cast their vote via text message.’
Buzzfeed News said they sent a text message to the number and Hillary Clinton’s campaign actually responded and redirected people to the proper channels.
So how many people just sent a text message out of curiosity and didn’t actually fall for the meme?
The most chilling part of the indictment is the criminalization of normal political speech and banter:
“Starting in at least 2015, MACKEY participated in numerous Group DMs. These groups, which at times included dozens of individuals, and at times had overlapping membership, served as forums for the participants to share, among other things, their views concerning how best to influence the Election. Among other things, MACKEY and the members of these groups used the Group DMs to create, refine and share memes and hashtags that members of the groups would subsequently post and distribute.”
An example of the criminal behavior describes Mackey and his friends on Twitter joking around in private groups about trolling “shitlibs” with memes:
“For example, on or about December 22, 2015, MACKEY and his associates exchanged messaged in the Fed Free Hatechat relating to memes suggesting that certain voters were hiding their desire to vote for a Presidential candidate from on of the two main political parties (“Candidate 2”). MACKEY stated, using MACKEY Account 1, “It’s actually a great meme to spread, make all these shitlibs think they’re (sic) friends are secretly voting for (Candidate2)”. A participant in the group conversations, a Twitter user, described it as “perfect psyops” to which MACKEY later replied, “We’ve hit upon meme magic motherlode.” The next day, MACKEY used MACKEY Account 1 to retweet a tweet that contained one of the discussed memes with the following text: “If you need support, I am here for you #(Candidate 2)Closet.”
The feds have criminalized political speech in order to lock up Trump supporters.
A Democrat activist posted the exact same tweet as Douglass Mackey and her tweet is still on X. Only conservatives get prosecuted.
— Kristina Wong (@mskristinawong) November 8, 2016
** Please donate to Douglass Mackey’s GiveSendGo page here to help with attorney’s expenses.
— Douglass Mackey (@DougMackeyCase) March 31, 2023