Ricky Vaughn, Alt-Right Personality: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Ricky Vaughn banned, Ricky Vaughn twitter, Ricky Vaughn free ricky

Supporters of Ricky Vaughn feel that his banning is an example of censorship. (Twitter/nes709)

An anonymous internet personality primarily known by those on the alt-right became the #1 trending topic on Twitter this week.

On Wednesday, #FreeRicky rose to the top of Twitter, with thousands of users complaining about what had happened to a man named Ricky Vaughn. That isn’t his real name, but this political Twitter account has in recent months become quite popular, particularly among Donald Trump supporters.

The ban once again sparked a conversation about the extent to which Twitter should step in and issue bans, with some arguing that CEO Jack Dorsey is far too aggressive in censoring content he does not agree with, while others argue he isn’t nearly aggressive enough in protecting users, particularly women and minorities, from harassment.

Here’s what you need to know about the man at the center of this latest controversy, Ricky Vaughn.

1. He is a Popular Alt-Right Personality

Donald Trump Pepe, Trump Pepe the Frog, pepe the frog meme trump

Members of the alt-right often make use of the Pepe the Frog meme, combining it with Donald Trump imagery. (Reddit/a_bacon)

Ricky Vaughn is popular among those on the alt-right, a movement whose members’ ideologies differ but who are generally united in their hatred of political correctness and love of Donald Trump.

The group makes heavy use of internet memes like Pepe the Frog and of trolling, i.e. deliberately saying outrageous things in an attempt to provoke. Sometimes this takes the form of innocent cartoons spread around social media for laughs, while other times it escalates into Twitter users with egg avatars spamming Jewish journalists with pictures of gas chambers.

The alt-right gained a significant amount of attention in August when Hillary Clinton mentioned the movement by name in a speech.

“This is not conservatism as we have known it,” Clinton said. “This is not Republicanism as we have know it. These are race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas, anti-woman – all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.’”

Ricky Vaughn is an avid supporter of Donald Trump, with the majority of his social media posts being related to the Trump campaign and with his profile picture featuring a red Make America Great Again hat. He has described himself as a “right-wing nativist,” according to The Daily Beast.

2. Nobody Knows Who He Is

Trump Hat, Donald Trump pin, Donald Trump red hat

A supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wears a hat with a campaign button on the back of it during a campaign rally at the Henderson Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada. (Getty)

Of course, Ricky Vaughn is not his real name. His profile picture on social media is a black and white image of Charlie Sheen’s character from the movie Major League wearing a Make America Great Again hat. Why’d he go with Ricky Vaughn as a pseudonym? There isn’t really a deep meaning behind it, as he explained in an Ask Me Anything on Reddit.

“It was just a good avatar at the time, simple and recognizable,” he wrote. “I didn’t expect that the account would become one of the Big Accounts.”

Vaughn has also said that he finds this anonymity to be freeing, although he believes that Donald Trump has made it more acceptable for people like him to voice his controversial opinions.

“But I feel that Donald Trump has sort of broken a spell, the spell of political correctness that was hanging over everyone’s heads, and I’ve been much more frank with my views in meatspace in the last three months, and it’s very liberating,” he said in an interview with Radix.

The idea of feeling liberated by total anonymity is part of what has driven many to 4chan, an internet community on which users have no screen names and no permanent accounts. Its politics board, /pol/, is one of the central hubs of the alt-right.

3. He Was Banned From Twitter on October 5th

twitter ban, twitter banned, twitter ban error

Users who tried to visit Ricky Vaughn’s Twitter account on Wednesday were met with this error message. (Twitter)

Late in the day on October 5th, Twitters users discovered that Ricky Vaguhn’s account had been suspended.

It’s not clear at this time if there was any tweet in particular that lead to the ban, and Vaughn has said that he was not contacted by Twitter about it. He also said that he has filed a ban appeal and is waiting to hear back.

Twitter’s rules forbid abusive behavior, with its terms and conditions stating that “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.”

Ricky Vaughn has said that he believes in the creation of all-white communities and that he shuns interracial marriages.

4. After His Ban, #FreeRicky Began Trending on Twitter

Ricky Vaughn trending, free ricky twitter, #freericky

#FreeRicky was one of the top trending topics on Twitter on Wednesday. (Twitter)

At the moment, #FreeRicky is trending in the United States, with thousands of users complaining about the alt-right icon being banned.

Many of these people claimed that this was just the latest example of Donald Trump supporters and conservatives in general being censored by Twitter.

At the same time, others chimed in to thank Twitter for banning Ricky, saying that it is a great step towards addressing the social media platform’s issues with abuse and harassment.

Ricky Vaughn has previously spoken about what he deems to be internet censorship, speculating that the web will become increasingly less anonymous if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

“I think they will move to end internet anonymity,” Vaughn wrote in his Reddit Ask Me Anything. “You will need a government ID, like a driver’s license, to log on.”

After finding out that he was the #1 trend on Twitter, Vaughn wrote on Facebook, “Feels good man.” This is the catchphrase of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon that has been around as a meme for years but that has recently been used mainly by the alt-right. The Anti-Defamation League has declared it a hate symbol.

5. Twitter Has Previously Banned Alt-Right Icon Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo Yiannopoulos, Milo Yiannopoulos press conference, Milo Yiannopoulos pulse nightclub

Milo Yiannopoulos, holds a press conference down the street from the Pulse Nightclub three days after the deadly Orlando shooting. (Getty)

This move comes three months after Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos, a Brietbart editor and another icon on alt-right internet communities. Yiannopoulos had mocked comedian Leslie Jones following the release of Ghostbusters, and Jones subsequently received thousands of racist tweets from Yiannopoulos’ followers.

The hashtag #FreeRicky is seemingly a callback to Yiannopoulos’ ban; when that news came out back in July, #FreeMilo started trending worldwide.

At the time, Twitter said that Yiannopoulos had been banned for violating the company’s rules that prohibit “participating in or inciting targeted abuse of individuals,” according to The Washington Post. Yiannopoulos claimed he did not target Leslie Jones and is not responsible for what his followers do.

At this time, Ricky Vaughn’s Facebook account is still active.

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  2. ;(

  3. Lol Milo an Icon of the Alt-RIght… He even admits he has nothing to with the Alt-Right other than working at Breitbart which has Alt-Right sympathies.

  4. I’m calling BS on the claim that Jones received thousands of racist tweets from Yiannopoulos’ followers. First, the author doesn’t know who sent them. Second, racist tweets? Surely you can give us a half dozen or so samples of these thousands of racist tweets, no?

  5. People upset about Twitter bans on free speech: Twitter is a business. With most businesses, if u say hurtful, stupid, racist things, they have the right to kick u out. Because why, you’re bad for business.

  6. Ricky was banned because he ran an account that amassed a large following while speaking the truth about race. That’s why liberals are so scared of us in the alt right, because we speak the truth about race and more and more people are beginning to see that the liberal explanation for the way things are is actually bat shit insane.

    Liberals and conservatives can pretend that they oppose each other, but the reality is that conservatives live in the shadow of the liberals, sheepishly opposing them but never stopping the “progressive” liberals. (What are we even progressing towards?) Liberals are the establishment now, and they’ve established a system where instead of addressing their oppositions arguments, they can call them names and this is enough to discredit them. The conservatives are too weak and don’t see this for what it is. The alt right is a legitimate push back against this fantasy world the liberals have established, and we’ll only grow as people come to see our ideas as the truth and liberal orthodoxy as nothing but an elaborate fairy tale.

  7. (((Milo))) stole money from his supporters (the White male scholarship fund) to spend on meth fueled gay sex orgies. He’s a total degenerate and a thief.