The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of TrueDaily.News
“Twitter Troll” Ricky Vaughn aka Douglass Mackey has been arrested under the allegation that he interfered in the 2016 election. How exactly did he interfere in the election? posting memes.
In 2016 under the online alias Ricky Vaughn, Douglass Mackey, began posting memes about voting via text. The images he shared showed an African-American woman in line to vote and read “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home. Text ‘[The Candidate]’ to 59925[.] Vote for [The Candidate] and be a part of history.”. At the bottom of the meme read this text: “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by [Hillary] for President 2016.”
Obviously, you can not vote by text, sending the name of your preferred candidate to a number is not going to count as a vote in any election, it is ridiculous to assume that this would work and anyone who would actually fall for this likely is not old enough to vote. The joke being made in the meme is that voters of “The Candidate”, who many believe to be Hillary Clinton, are dumb enough to believe this. To be clear, this was a joke, it was supposed to be a harmless bit of fun at the expense of a political base, but according to the DOJ, this was a coordinated effort on behalf of a third party to manipulate the outcome of an election.
From the Department of Justice:
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 complaint, 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 complaint 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.”
Ironically enough a left-wing comedian did a similar bit. Kristina Wong posted a video of her in a MAGA hat with Trump signs behind here claiming that she was a Trump supporter and people needed to get out and vote. Here is the initial video:
— Kristina Wong ❄️ (@mskristinawong) November 8, 2016
Many online are calling for her arrest now that someone else was arrested for the same thing but targeting a different candidate. Under the original tweet, you can find numerous users tagging the FBI and DOJ.