A Twitter troll and influencer, from Florida, Douglass Mackey, known better by his alter ego, Ricky Vaughn, was arrested and charged with Election Interference and Misinformation.
Mackey was arrested in West Palm Beach on Wednesday and later released on a $50,000 bond.
Mackey reportedly used Twitter and Facebook accounts that under the alias “Ricky Vaughn” to spread disinformation in the form of memes, messages, and hashtags to influence the 2016 election.
MIT’s Media Labs said that Mackey was among the top 150 influencers of the 2016 presidential election.
Mackey reportedly used a chatroom called the “War Room,” to plot with other alt-right figures on how to influence the election.
Mackey has allegedly tricked voters that they could cast their vote by posting on Facebook or Twitter or by voting through text message.
“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.
Mackey’s true identity was unknown until he was exposed in April of 2018 by Paul Nehlen, a Wisconsin congressional candidate.
The charges against Mackey were filed in New York and he is expected to appear before the judge via teleconferencing.
If found guilty of actions “amounted to ‘injuring’ or ‘oppressing’ the right to vote”, Mackey could face up to ten years in prison.
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