On Monday, attorneys gave their opening arguments in the trial of internet meme maker Douglass Mackey, also known as Rickey Vaughn, with his lawyer Andrew Frisch telling a federal jury that Mackey wasn’t looking to trick voters when he posted Hillary Clinton memes in 2016 telling supporters to “vote from home” via text messaging.
Frisch said that Mackey was merely attempting to go viral, according to the New York Daily News, stating that Mackey was “sh*t-posting,” or “stuff-posting” as he told the jury.
“It means what it says — he was posting stuff,” Frisch said. “A lot of it was online trash-talking. Juvenile, sure, and some of it was vulgar.”
“Whatever your reaction when you hear his views … whether he was a great thinker or a neanderthal caveman, you will see that none of it is proof of a criminal conspiracy.”
According to Rolling Stone, Frisch argued that people had begun texting the number only after media outlets began covering the meme. He noted that two people texted “Hillary for prison” to the number.
Federal prosecutors claimed that Mackey worked with fellow meme makers to create the Twitter posts and make them as real as possible.
“This wasn’t about changing votes. This was about vaporizing votes, making them disappear,” said Assistant US Attorney Turner Buford.
“The number was real and set up to receive incoming messages,” he explained. “The release of these fake campaign ads was timed to flood the internet before Election Day.”
Mackey posted the memes on November 1, a week before the election, and Frisch said that the meme’s message was “ludicrous to anyone with a basic knowledge of how presidential elections work,” the New York Daily Mail reported.