An alt-right social media influencer on Wednesday was arrested and charged with interfering in the 2016 election for allegedly fraudulently telling Black supporters of Hillary Clinton, they could vote by text.
Prosecutors say that in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Mackey conspired with others to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to encourage Clinton supporters to cast their vote by text message.
“Avoid the Line. Vote from Vote from Home. Text [Candidate’s first name] to 59925. Vote for [the Candidate] and be part of history,” he allegedly wrote.
The text included fine print claiming it was paid for by Mrs. Clinton‘s campaign.
At least 4,900 different telephone numbers texted Hillary or some derivative of her name to the text number in the ad, according to court documents.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
One of those memes, according to prosecutors, included the #draftourdaughters campaign alleging that Ms. Clinton would start a global war and draft women to fight in it.
In February 2016, MIT Media Lab ranked “Ricky Vaughn” the 107th most important influencer of the upcoming election. His account ranked ahead of NBC News, Stephen Colbert and Newt Gingrich.
Donald Trump Jr. was among his 58,000 followers.
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