Feds Indict Pro-Trump Twitter Troll ‘Ricky Vaughn’ over Tweets During 2016 Election

Meme advocating for people to vote via "text"
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Twitter troll Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, was arrested last week and faces ten years in prison for accusations of “tweeting” memes prior to the 2016 election that poked fun at Hillary Clinton. The indictment says “at least 4,900 unique telephone numbers texted or some derivative to the Text Code on or about and before Election Day, including many belonging to individuals located in the Eastern District of New York.” Based on this, Mackey is charged with interfering with an election. -GEG

Twitter troll Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, was arrested on Wednesday and faces ten years in prison for “tweeting” and “retweeting” joke memes on Twitter telling people they can “text” in their votes.

From The US Department of Justice:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign

Defendant Unlawfully Used Social Media to Deprive Individuals of Their Right to Vote

A Florida man was arrested this morning on charges of conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.

Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, 31, of West Palm Beach, was charged by criminal complaint in the Eastern District of New York. He was taken into custody this morning in West Palm Beach and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart of the Southern District of Florida.

“According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendant exploited a social media platform to infringe one the of most basic and sacred rights guaranteed by the Constitution: the right to vote,” said Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This indictment underscores the department’s commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who would undermine citizens’ voting rights.”

“There is no place in public discourse for lies and misinformation to defraud citizens of their right to vote,” said Seth D. DuCharme, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “With Mackey’s arrest, we serve notice that those who would subvert the democratic process in this manner cannot rely on the cloak of Internet anonymity to evade responsibility for their crimes. They will be investigated, caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

“Protecting every American citizen’s right to cast a legitimate vote is a key to the success of our republic,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “What Mackey allegedly did to interfere with this process – by soliciting voters to cast their ballots via text – amounted to nothing short of vote theft. It is illegal behavior and contributes to the erosion of the public’s trust in our electoral processes. He may have been a powerful social media influencer at the time, but a quick Internet search of his name today will reveal an entirely different story.”

The complaint alleges that in 2016, Mackey established an audience on Twitter with approximately 58,000 followers. A February 2016 analysis by the MIT Media Lab ranked Mackey as the 107th most important influencer of the then-upcoming Election, ranking his account above outlets and individuals such as NBC News (#114), Stephen Colbert (#119) and Newt Gingrich (#141).

As alleged in the complaint, between September 2016 and November 2016, in the lead up to the Nov. 8, 2016, U.S. Presidential Election, Mackey conspired with others to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages designed to encourage supporters of one of the presidential candidates (the “Candidate”) to “vote” via text message or social media, a legally invalid method of voting.

Read full article here…

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MJ Raichyk
MJ Raichyk
1 year ago

..so the US school systems are SO BAD that such TRANSPARENTLY HILARIOUS MEMES are causing some actual vote-eligible americans to text their ‘vote’ to a phone number…. ?!?!? rotflmhoakasac

it would be credible to say that the phones owners were ill-served to say the least but such a ‘court case’ is NOT believable.. nor the FOUR YEAR DELAY for action in defense of the phone owners..

are liberals so dumb as to think the conservatives will believe justice and election integrity are on the DOJ’s list to save us……….

Karl McGaugh
Karl McGaugh
1 year ago

The FBI is insane. How many legal voters would believe they were voting in THE REAL ELECTION by text message. The FBI is framing an innocent person for participating in protected free speech