“Weaponized Disinformation” – Far-Right Trump Supporter Sentenced to 7 Months in Prison for Deceptive Text Voting Scheme Targeting Black Voters

A far-right Donald Trump supporter named Douglass Mackey was just sentenced to 7 months behind bars for trying to trick Hilary Clinton supporters into voting for her via text during the 2016 Presidential Election. Voting through text message is, of course, not permitted, but Mackey allegedly conspired to try to convince Black voters, in particular, to cast votes in this way by sending out a series of tweets between September 2016 and November 2016.

Douglass Mackey Used to Be a Social Media Influencer

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Back in 2016, Douglass Mackey was a fairly well-known social media influencer who went by the name “Ricky Vaughn” on Twitter (now X). He had more than 58,000 followers on the social media site.

He Was Also a Huge Donald Trump Supporter

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In addition to being a social media influencer, Mackey was also a big Donald Trump supporter with far-right beliefs.

His Twitter avatar featured a photo of Charlie Sheen’s “Ricky Vaughn” character from the movie, ‘Major League,’ wearing a MAGA hat.

He Put Up a Series of Controversial Posts on Twitter in 2016

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Mackey earned a reputation for putting up posts that took aim at African-Americans, women, and other marginalized groups.

In one of his many posts, he wrote, “Black people will believe anything they read on twitter, and we let them vote why?” In another, he referred to women as “children with the right to vote.”

He Tried to Trick Hillary Clinton Supporters Into Voting Via Text

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Between September 2016 and November 2016, Mackey also sent out a number of tweets that were designed to try to trick Hillary Clinton supporters into voting for her via text.

These tweets were made to look like the marketing materials that were being used by Clinton herself at the time.

He Targeted African-American Voters With His Tweets

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Mackey appeared to be trying to convince African-American voters, in particular, to vote for Clinton via text. On November 1, 2016, he sent out a tweet that featured an African-American woman standing near a sign that said “African Americans for Hillary” on it.

It also included the line, “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home,” as well as the line, “Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925.” There was fine print at the bottom, too, that said, “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.”

He Used One of Hillary Clinton’s Hashtags With His Tweets

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Outside of sending tweets that suggested Hillary Clinton supporters should vote via text, Makey also included the hashtag #ImWithHer with the tweets he sent out.

It made them appear as though they may have come directly from Clinton’s camp or at least from one of her supporters.

His Plan Worked to Some Degree

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Mackey wasn’t able to fool too many people with his tweets. However, an FBI investigation later found that thousands of people attempted to text the number he provided on Twitter to vote for Clinton.

He Also Tried to Trick Clinton’s Spanish-Speaking Supporters

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Mackey didn’t just target African-American voters with his tweets. He also created one that featured a woman typing on her cell phone along with lines that were written in Spanish.

They encouraged Clinton’s Spanish-speaking supporters to vote via text.

He Was Eventually Arrested

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Following an FBI investigation into Mackey’s tweets, he was arrested and charged with Conspiracy Against Rights.

It was a very controversial case, with many of Mackey’s supporters arguing that he shouldn’t face legal repercussions for posting memes on social media.

A Trial With a Federal Jury

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Despite the controversy that Mackey’s arrest caused, he would eventually have a trial with a federal jury in Brooklyn, N.Y., in March 2023.

He was convicted by the federal jury on the Conspiracy Against Rights charge.

He Was Sentenced to Prison

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Mackey’s case has been hanging in the balance ever since he was convicted on the Conspiracy Against Rights charge.

But he appeared in court this week to face a judge and receive his sentence. The judge sentenced him to 7 months in prison.

Political Beliefs Weren’t the Issue

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The judge in Mackey’s case spoke after sentencing him to jail time and let it be known that he was not being sent to prison for his political beliefs. “You are not being sentenced for your political beliefs or for expressing those beliefs,” the judge said. “Each one of us has the right to hold opinions and express those opinions.”

Instead, the judge said he was being sentenced to prison because of how he intentionally tried to deceive many American voters.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Chimed In

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Breon Peace, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced Mackey’s sentence following the judge’s ruling. Peace echoed the judge’s sentiments.

“One of the foundational rights we hold as Americans, a right that many fought so hard to obtain, is the right to vote,” Peace said.

“The defendant weaponized disinformation in a dangerous scheme to stop targeted groups, including black and brown people and women, from participating in our democracy.”

Mackey Will Start Serving His Sentence Soon

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Mackey’s wife just gave birth to the couple’s child. But he is still expected to start serving his 7-month sentence very soon.

His Case Continues to Make Waves

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Although Mackey’s case is now complete, it’s still stirring up its fair share of controversy. Marjorie Taylor Greene posted her reaction to his sentence on X a short time after it was announced.

“The Communist Gulags are here in America,” she wrote. “Douglass Mackey was just sentenced to 7 months in federal prison for the crime of posting memes. Biden’s Department of Justice is fully weaponized against any political opposition. Who’s next? You?”

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The post “Weaponized Disinformation” – Far-Right Trump Supporter Sentenced to 7 Months in Prison for Deceptive Text Voting Scheme Targeting Black Voters During 2016 Election via Text first appeared on Mama Say What?!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Robert P. Alvarez. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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Chris Yuscavage is a distinguished writer with a deep understanding and expertise in global news and politics. He has built a reputation for insightful analysis and comprehensive coverage of international events, showcasing an ability to dissect complex political scenarios with clarity and precision.