A Trump fan and Twitter influencer, who had over 58,000 Twitter followers during the 2016 Election Campaigns, convinced nearly 5,000 Clinton supporters to vote via text, which later turned out to be a fake voting method. Now, he’s facing dire consequences for his “prank.”
Influencer’s Guilty Verdict Unveiled
A prominent Twitter influencer, known as ‘Ricky Vaughan’ and linked to the Trump camp, was found guilty of conspiring to undermine citizens’ voting rights during the 2016 presidential election.
Memes, Tweets, and an Insidious Plot
Douglass Mackey, 33, was convicted for his involvement in a disturbing online campaign that encouraged Hillary Clinton supporters to cast what turned out to be meaningless votes via text messages rather than at the ballot box.
An Unexpected Jail Sentence
Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Ann Donnelly handed Mackey a seven-month jail sentence, making it clear that it was not his conservative views being punished but rather his ‘insidious’ endeavor to obstruct true voting.
Judge Rules “Assault” on Democracy in the US
Judge Donnelly characterized it as ‘nothing short of an assault on our democracy.’
The Emotional Toll on Wife and Kids
Mackey’s looming imprisonment comes with the heartbreaking burden of leaving behind his wife and their newborn child, as he must report to jail on January 18 while awaiting an appeal.
Strong Words from the Justice System
Assistant US Attorney Erik Paulsen emphasized the necessity of Mackey’s prison sentence as a powerful message to those who celebrated his actions and potential imitators.
Online Trash-Talking Claims
Mackey’s attorney, Andrew Frisch, argued that the memes encouraging text-based voting were merely a form of ‘online trash-talking,’ aimed at gaining online clout.
Challenging the Idea of Text Voting
Frisch contended that the concept of voting by text was so absurd that any American citizen with a brain cell would dismiss it.
Mackey’s Alleged Intentions
Mackey’s provocative posts were actually intended to incite reactions from online adversaries, “Mr. Mackey did not share the memes as some sort of grand plan,” argued Frisch.
The Manipulative Campaign Ads
Mackey and his co-conspirators created deceptive campaign ads purporting to be from the Clinton campaign, urging voters to ‘Vote from Home. Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925.’
False Claims Send Mackey Straight to The Slammer
The fine print falsely stated they were ‘Paid for by Hillary for President 2016.’
A Misleading Response
The fraudulent ads led to over 4,900 text message responses, with some originating from New York, further fueling the prosecution’s case that this wasn’t about changing votes but making them vanish.
An Attempt to Remove Clinton Votes
“This wasn’t about changing votes. This was about vaporizing votes, making them disappear,” claimed Assistant Attorney Turner Buford.
Nothing Funny About “Vote By Text”
Jessica Morales, Clinton’s digital organizing director in 2016, testified that the ‘vote by text’ tweets were “sneaky” and that they were neither a joke nor a parody, “No, not a joke. Not for me. Not a parody,” she said.
The Ingenious Deception
She described the graphics as ‘very sneaky’ because they were designed to appear as if they were part of the campaign’s efforts, deceiving voters.
An Influential Online Figure
Mackey had a substantial online presence with 58,000 Twitter followers during the 2016 election, earning him the title of an ‘important influencer.’
A Clever Conspiracy Theorist
He was firmly aligned with Donald Trump’s campaign and propagated conspiracy theories regarding voter fraud.
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