According to Newsweek, a 31-year-old Florida man named Douglass Mackey, a social media influencer known online as “Ricky Vaughn,” was charged by the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York with conspiring to spread disinformation designed to “deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.”
“There is no place in public discourse for lies and misinformation to defraud citizens of their right to vote,” Seth DuCharme said in a statement.
Florida man charged with election interference for spreading disinformation, usually via memes https://t.co/F6Y9Z8iCAX
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 28, 2021
— FBI (@FBI) January 27, 2021
The complaint cites this meme:
Douglass Mackey, aka far-right influencer "Ricky Vaughn," has been charged in Brooklyn Fed with 2016 election interference, with a scheme to limit black turnout.
The complaint cites this meme and BuzzFeed story. https://t.co/gN6AzrfSVW
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) January 27, 2021
Before we get to The Federalist’s Sean Davis, credit to @penelopesire, @roblynnm, and @HurtonMarius for pointing out this video urging Trump voters to text their votes or turn out on Wednesday, Nov. 9. It’s still up and has more than 165,000 views:
— Kristina Wong ❄️ (@mskristinawong) November 8, 2016
Huh … the feds should be knocking on her door any minute if there is no place in public discourse for lies and misinformation to defraud citizens of their right to vote.
This is insane. Hillary Clinton paid a foreign operative to defraud the FBI, which then defrauded a federal court, to sway the 2016 election. No charges there. But a vile internet troll who peddled a dumb meme in 2016? That’s a federal crime in 2021. https://t.co/Rq322uMuTW
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 27, 2021
— Caleb Clark (@Tr56dr) January 28, 2021
How can anyone take this administration seriously?
— Millie Springer (@SpringerMillie) January 28, 2021
DC is under martial law and five year old Taylor Swift memes are now federally criminal.
Was I in a coma for like 50 years and just woke up?
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) January 27, 2021
They allege he deprived people of their right to vote by posting memes. Absurd on its face. If you were tricked out of voting because you saw a meme, that's on you. Nobody took your rights away.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 27, 2021
Color me shocked another New York City prosecutor found a way to weaponize their power against their political opponents, this time going after an out of state meme maker with a small following, seeking a potential 10 year federal prison sentence for an obvious joke. #RickyVaughn
— Robert Barnes (@barnes_law) January 27, 2021
But we all know what social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have done to protect election integrity, like deep-six that Hunter Biden scoop that was clearly Russian disinformation and prevent users from sharing it.
Is this real? There has to be more to this.
— Matt Pickell (@mattpickell) January 27, 2021
Honestly if you can be conned into thinking “texting your vote,” is real, you shouldn’t be voting anyway. You’re just too dumb.
— Lamont Cranston (@LamontC22135318) January 27, 2021
The major difference is that one party's constituents are dumb enough to believe a meme. The same party trying to rope in social media by the way.
— jd_nocal (@NocalJd) January 27, 2021
Our FBI is upside down.
— Writer, CR HIATT⭐⭐⭐ (@CR_HIATT) January 27, 2021
Quicker way to get to people's 2A rights.
— ரிபப்ளிக்கன் (@Milagaai) January 27, 2021
This is just the beginning. This is about outlawing "false" information with "false" being defined by them.
Comrade Stalin smiles.
— Corner Pundit – AlwaysTrump (@Corner_Pundit) January 27, 2021
And as we’ve pointed out in other posts, it’s always liberal journalists like Max Boot leading the charge to censor right-wing outlets claiming “misinformation.”
CNN lies daily. No accountability there.
— ?The Office of the Former Hysterical Leftist? (@Mindstream) January 27, 2021
— Jennay? (@jennayy1685) January 28, 2021
It does sound like he deliberately committed fraud.
That being said, Hillary and everyone involved in spying on Trump, his campaign and his administration belong in jail
— Gringo Taco – Make China Great Again (@CNN_Sucks_) January 27, 2021
Sean, the entire apparatus of the FBI and the DOJ is corrupt and can’t be trusted anymore! They are now a weapon of the Democrats and the ruling elite in this country!
— john daley (@johnmsm49170128) January 28, 2021
@TheJusticeDept is a national disgrace and corrupt to the core.
— Jack Gertz (@GertzJack1) January 28, 2021
Exactly what the hell is going on ??
— Mike mccann (@Mikeemccann) January 27, 2021
The government is the enemy of the people.
— FiatJustitiaRuatCaelum (@fredurfnik) January 27, 2021
Doesn't this make the social media platform used to carry this out culpable and just as guilty of election interference for allowing it?
This is a low rung in the ladder. When will they charge and arrest those who aided and abetted?
The higher rungs.
— ?? MATT ?? w/ 20/20 VISION…YOU? (@ks122085) January 28, 2021
Sign of the times. Heartbreaking how it has come to this. ?
— Rj (@rebeccajannette) January 28, 2021
So a misleading meme led to his arrest? No slippery slope there. Twitter already banned pro-Trump meme-maker @CarpeDonktum, but at least he didn’t face prison time.
Conservative meme maker Carpe Donktum ‘permanently suspended’ over repeated copyright complaints https://t.co/00kZBdHNIM
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 24, 2020