This week, Douglass Mackey was sentenced to jail and a nice for creating and posting a meme in 2016. The meme was a picture meant to look from the Hillary Clinton marketing campaign, encouraging voters to submit their vote for Clinton by way of textual content message as an alternative of by poll.
An apparent joke… if we didn’t dwell in a rustic the place drug corporations are required to inform folks they shouldn’t take issues they’re allergic to, or that Ikea’s scorching canine are usually not, the truth is, seven ft lengthy and don’t weigh 200 pounds.
The prosecution argued that Mr. Mackey’s participation wasn’t satire however a concentrated, severe effort to affect the presidential election. The case of a meme-maker who was a pro-Trump constituent receiving jail time for posting what some may name a joke and others may argue as disinformation meant to intrude with the constitutional rights of People raises legitimate considerations in regards to the state of our justice system.
Billionaire and prolific meme-sharer Elon Musk, in a single easy X submit, boiled down the double normal executed this week within the sentencing of Douglass Mackey. For if what Douglass Mackey did was election interference worthy of jail time, there are many others who must be dealing with the identical destiny.
— Kristina Wong 🍆 (@mskristinawong) November 8, 2016
Social media was thick with political memes main as much as the 2016 presidential election. A meme is, as well-known atheist and coiner of the phrase Richard Dawkins states, any sort of data that’s unfold by imitation and carries symbolic that means.
In sensible utilization, meme now can imply many issues, however is most frequently a humorous or darkish picture or video meant to convey a selected message.
Douglass Mackey is one such meme-maker. He used his meme mastery to create faux ads encouraging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton by way of textual content messaging.
These memes have landed Mr. Mackey a seven-month jail sentence and a $15,000 nice. In keeping with the courtroom, his crime isn’t merely being a meme-crafter making an attempt to poke enjoyable at Clinton supporters.
His crime is officially “Conspiracy Towards Rights,” no matter meaning.
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Mr. Mackey’s sentencing elicited a spread of reactions, however the perfect got here from Elon Musk, who wrote on X:
“What jail sentences got out to those that suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop computer data? That *did* have a cloth impression on the election.”
Now, that’s an fascinating level; let’s discover that additional.
Elon Musk responds to 7-month sentencing of meme artist Douglass Mackey. pic.twitter.com/LpEbMQhrU1
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) October 18, 2023
Precise election interference
When the New York Put up broke the story of the Hunter Biden laptop computer that contained proof of shady dealings which will have concerned then-presidential candidate and Vice President Joe Biden, main media shops and the USA authorities suppressed the story, falsely calling it “Russian disinformation.”
Mainstream media used the phrase of 51 intelligence officers who claimed the laptop computer was a Russian device to intrude with the election.
The letter stated partially that the laptop computer had:
“…all of the traditional earmarks of a Russia data operation.”
This letter and its elevation on the main networks and information publications not solely discredited the New York Put up however was blatant disinformation explicitly geared toward suppressing this crucial true story and influencing the presidential election.
As found in a listening to earlier than Congress, one of many signers of the letter, former deputy director of the CIA, Michael Morell, stated:
“…the Biden administration helped to strategize in regards to the public launch of the assertion.”
Moreover, the FBI and different authorities businesses used their affect over Twitter and Fb executives to pressure them to suppress posts concerning the Hunter Biden laptop computer. A whopping 16% of voters have since said had they been conscious of the laptop computer scandal, they’d not have voted for Joe Biden.
That’s what we name election interference. But not one of the letter’s signers nor those that participated in suppressing the story on-line or within the media have been sentenced, not to mention even charged with the crime.
And if mere disinformation – intentionally mendacity – is an election crime, how have any of our 537 elected officers escaped jail time?
Right here is Douglass Mackey’s tweet from the 2016 election that simply received him 7 months in jail vs one other tweet from a liberal activist throughout the identical time that did not get her 7 months in jail. https://t.co/1g7ADnD4g7 pic.twitter.com/BenA34PwHr
— Greg Worth (@greg_price11) October 18, 2023
Name it what it’s
Assistant director of New York’s FBI area workplace William Sweeney Jr. said the next concerning Douglass Mackey:
“What Mackey allegedly did to intrude with this course of – by soliciting voters to forged their ballots by way of textual content – amounted to nothing wanting vote theft.”
Mr. Sweeney goes on to state:
“It’s unlawful habits and contributes to the erosion of the general public’s belief in our election processes.”
It ought to elevate large pink flags that an FBI chief believes what Mr. Mackey did was unlawful. Mr. Mackey created a bit of satire, which is protected speech, due to the Supreme Court docket’s choice in 1988 in Hustler v. Falwell. Or, no less than it was.
On this Supreme Court docket case, the justices dominated that parody, which no cheap particular person expects to be true, is protected free speech. No cheap particular person would consider they may vote for the President of the USA by way of textual content message, would they? Who’re these folks? Can we speak to them?
If any greater than a handful of People are utterly unaware of how one can vote, the crime falls to the training system and election officers.
The prosecution argued that since 4,900 folks texted the quantity, it proves Mackey interfered with the election. Not solely did that small quantity not impression the election, as Elon Musk identified in his submit yesterday, however the actuality is almost all of these textual content messages had been from Mr. Mackey’s social media followers, adding to the joke with texts equivalent to “Hillary for Jail.”
Gulags are right here, as professional Trump meme maker is sentenced to 7 months in federal jail for a joke. Rule is regulation is on the best way out. Inside 5-10 years, we gained’t have a authorized system. Stalin is smiling down on his demon “judges.” https://t.co/e7fQeDaEaI
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) October 18, 2023
To meme or to not meme
Justice will not be blind, neither is it honest. The US has turn into a banana republic the place political opponents and those that assist them might be persecuted for exercising their constitutional rights.
The prosecution used racist and sexist remarks by Mr. Mackey as proof that his meme was meant to suppress the votes of black, Hispanic, and feminine voters.
The prosecution labeled Mr. Mackey as a “social media influencer,” shrouding him in a cloak of common affect energy that, with simply 58,000 followers, he simply didn’t have.
Douglass Mackey may need unsavory opinions of minorities and have an excessive amount of time on his palms to create memes. Nonetheless, a person with large affect bent on altering the course of democracy, he isn’t.
The previous and present authorities officers who wielded their prior titles and experience to stitch disinformation and silence the reality behind the Hunter Biden laptop computer did have affect and used it to alter the course of our democracy.
Whereas Mr. Mackey sits in jail, they sit on coverage panels and as media contributors. Justice and democracy are lengthy gone on this nation.
Two assaults on Free Speech that you will have missed..
🤡 Douglass Mackey – 7 months in jail for sharing anti-Clinton memes through the 2016 Election.
📢 Owen Shroyer – 2 months in jail for his actions on J6. Owen didn’t enter the Capitol. His crime? Yelling “1776” via a… pic.twitter.com/nst2HCYK3N
— Smart Squirrel (@WiseSquirrel_) October 19, 2023
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