The war on free speech rights just got ramped up another notch Wednesday with news that social media influencer/Twitter troll Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, has been arrested on federal charges for sharing memes on Twitter in 2016. I’ll wait while you go back and read that again to make sure your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you.
Mackey is charged under a seldom-used law called “conspiracy to violate rights” because he allegedly used his popular social media site to share memes that told people to vote for Hillary Clinton by sending a text to a particular number. FYI: you can’t vote by text. You might assume that anyone would know this, since the memes were widely regarded as a joke and shared by thousands of other social media users. But Mackey is facing up to 10 years in prison for sharing them. Who knows how many others might face the same selective prosecution?
I wonder if everyone who ever told the old joke about advising supporters of legalized pot to be sure and turn out to vote on the first Wednesday in November is now going to be hit with federal charges for depriving them of their rights? Or if anyone who ever shared a hilarious satirical story from the Babylon Bee will be imprisoned for spreading “disinformation”?
Two details of this story that are worth noting: you can’t blame leftists entirely, since the case was put together under the Trump Administration by acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Seth DeCharme, a Bill Barr appointee. Also, an MIT ranking of the most important social media influencers of the 2016 election ranked Mackey (whom I’ve never heard of before) at #107, higher than NBC News, Stephen Colbert or Newt Gingrich. In my opinion, whether Americans are actually getting their information about elections from Twitter trolls who tell them to vote by text or from Stephen Colbert, either should only lead to an indictment of our schools’ civics education.
Tucker Carlson of Fox News asked what this means for the First Amendment, and he said it means it’s been suspended if “you can be arrested for saying the ‘wrong’ things.”
As the article at the link notes, we all know that Google, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube blatantly conspired to influence the last election, to boost the Biden vote and suppress the Trump vote. I demand that the DOJ immediately arrest their CEOs on federal charges that can bring up to 10 years in prison.
And here’s another frontal assault on the First Amendment: Former Trump White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro reports that he’s been banned from Twitter simply because of who he is, what he believes and what he might say. It can’t be because of anything he’s actually said lately, since he hasn’t even tweeted anything since January 14th.