Twitter troll faces 10 years in prison for spreading vote-by-text hoax

Twitter troll faces 10 years in prison for spreading vote-by-text hoax


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The United States Department of Justice announced today that it has charged a Twitter user who allegedly spread misinformation during the 2016 presidential election using Twitter.

Douglass Mackey of West Palm Beach, Florida, is accused of conspiring with others to spread election misinformation in 2016, which was designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote. He has been charged with violating the civil rights conspiracy statute and, if convicted, will face up to 10 years in prison.

The complaint alleges that between September 2016 and November 2016, Mackey (who used the alias “Ricky Vaughn” on Twitter) spread fake information to his followers, trying to convince voters that it was possible to cast their vote by…

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