Social Media Influencer Sentenced to 7 Months in Prison for Sharing Hillary Clinton Meme

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Social Media Influencer Sentenced to 7 Months in Prison for Sharing Hillary Clinton Meme  Douglass Mackey

A Conservative social media influencer who told Hillary Clinton supporters in a meme they could vote online during the 2016 election has been sentenced to seven months in prison.

Douglass Mackey, 34, was sentenced Tuesday after the Department of Justice confirmed his conviction on a charge of Conspiracy Against Rights.

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, said Mackey, who indicated he aimed to limit the “black turnout,” crossed the line after targeting the wrong people, according to a statement from the DOJ.

“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.”

“This groundbreaking prosecution demonstrates our commitment to prosecuting those who commit crimes that threaten our democracy and seek to deprive people of their constitutional right to vote,” he added.

Mackey was listed by the MIT Media Lab as a significant influencer with 58,000 followers in 2016, the Justice Department said.

The influencer was convicted of posting a meme on X, previously known as Twitter, telling supporters of Hillary Clinton they could vote for her by text message or social media.

On November 1, 2016, Mackey posted an image of a black woman with an “African Americans for Hillary” sign.

The post stated:

“Avoid the Line. Vote from Home,” “Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925,” and “Vote for Hillary and be a part of history.”

The meme said in small print:

“Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text is not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska, or Hawaii. Paid for by Hillary For President 2016.” The post included the hashtag “#ImWithHer,” which was used to support Clinton in her failed attempt for the White House.

In another post, a woman was shown typing on her cell phone.

It was written in Spanish and used a font similar to that used by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

At least 4,900 unique phone numbers texted “Hillary” or a similar message on 2016’s Election Day, NBC reported.

US District Court Judge Ann Donnelly said Mackey’s actions were “nothing short of an assault on our democracy,” The New York Times reported.

Mackey’s defense lawyer, Andrew J. Frisch, said during the trial that Mackey was trying to gain attention.

“Mr. Mackey did not share these memes as some sort of grand plan,” he said, noting that it was “not a crime to vigorously support your candidate of choice.”

Tucker Carlson called the trial “the single greatest assault on free speech and human rights in this country’s modern history.”

Mackey claimed he did not believe anyone would actually think they could vote in an election by text, Courthouse News Services reported.