Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Douglass Mackey, a Twitter user who posted memes and misinformation throughout the 2016 election, was sentenced this week to seven months in prison. Mackey was originally charged in early 2021, was convicted in March of conspiring to deprive others of their right to vote, and faced up to 10 years in prison.

Mackey, who was known as “Ricky Vaughn” on Twitter, spent the months leading up to the 2016 election posting misinformation to his more than 58,000 followers and working with other Twitter users to figure out how to swing the election in favor of Donald Trump. Most of what Vaughn and others posted was just memes, and most of the activity was free speech covered by the First Amendment.

But one of Mackey’s tactics crossed a different…

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