Conservative Influencer Convicted for Producing Election Memes

1 min read
via Twitter

In a test of free speech on social media, a Brooklyn jury convicted a conservative Twitter influencer of spreading misinformation to Hillary Clinton supporters after he collaborated with other users to create memes about voting by text.

Douglass Mackey was convicted on a single criminal count of conspiracy against rights, which prohibits suppressing or intimidating individuals from enjoying their constitutional rights.

Prosecutors said Mackey’s memes were created with the intent to trick Hillary Clinton’s supporters into thinking they could legitimately case a ballot by texting a phone number or posting a hashtag on social media platforms.

They argued he genuinely intended to reduce voter turnout for Clinton by sharing the memes.

Mackey’s lawyer said he never intended the memes to be taken seriously and his posts amounted to satire protected under the First Amendment.

Prosecutors didn’t agree.

“Today’s verdict proves that the defendant’s fraudulent actions crossed a line into criminality and flatly rejects his cynical attempt to use the constitutional right of free speech as a shield for his scheme to subvert the ballot box and suppress the vote,” said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.

Prosecutors pointed to a report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab that ranked Mackey as the 107th most important Twitter account influencing the election at that time. The account had about 58,000 followers.

Another Twitter user who participated in the meme creation testified how he and Mackey came up with ideas for the memes in group chats. That user is reportedly also cooperating in other ongoing federal investigations.

Mackey testified in his own defense, saying the memes were hyperbole and nothing more than a quick cut-and-paste job nobody would reasonably think was legitimate.

“Especially when it comes from a Twitter account with a MAGA hat and a Bane mask,” he said, describing his profile picture. “It’s not that I didn’t think it would work. I wasn’t trying to get it to work.”

Mackey’s lawyer said they plan to appeal and are optimistic the verdict will be overturned.

He faces a maximum of ten years in prison.


  1. Proof once again the left can’t take a joke, don’t understand sarcasm, and accidentally admit everybody who thinks like them is basically stupid.

    • Yes, it is an upside down world we live in. Anyone who would believe this to be an effective way to vote, should not be voting. Stupid is as stupid does. I say this no matter their political affiliation. It parallels Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

    • Great point about leftists being basically stupid, gdblake. I wonder how many of them “voted” for Hillary using Mackey’s easy way. I’m guessing it was enough to get him convicted.

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