Paul Nehlen has long been a gateway between mainstream “normie” conservatives and the Alt-Right. The Republican candidate from Wisconsin, running against House Speaker Paul Ryan, is one of Gab’s most avid supporters after Facebook, Twitter and YouTube joined forces to censor Rightwing views.
Which makes it all the more ironic that Nehlen was banned from Gab earlier today. The free speech absolutist doxed notorious Alt-Right troll and meme propagandist “Ricky Vaughn” in a post on Gab, sharing details on the real identity of the man behind the eponymous pseudonym. Nehlen was subsequently banned for violating Gab’s policies on sharing the personal information of other Goyim on the platform without their consent, in a statement from Gab’s CEO, Andrew Torba.
So who is Ricky Vaughn? The enigmatic persona who managed to gain a bigger reach on social media than NBC did so behind an amusing avatar based on Charlie Sheen’s character in “Major League,” frustrating liberal users and staff alike on Twitter and Facebook with his edgelord tactics and no-holds-barred trolling of SJWs and progressive pundits.
The 28-year-old has done a good job keeping any clues related to his identity off the internet. Either before or immediately after Nehlen published his name, he deactivated all his personal social media accounts, traces of which remain online for those who know where to look. But here’s what we know so far.
Vaughn, whose real name is Douglass Mackey, is a Vermont-native WASP, last known to be working at a swanky New York economics firm and living it up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The Ricky Vaughn persona rose to prominence during the 2016 presidential election campaign, joining the likes of Milo and other pundits in “redpilling” Americans and promoting Trump’s candidacy. More recently, he’s faced heavy criticism due to his views on using a softer approach of intellectual discourse and propaganda to recruit “normies,” while his detractors say the movement needs to focus on more extreme measures. This has led to in-fighting and a growing divide between those who feel Vaughn’s methods are more effective, and far-right hardliners such as Christopher Cantwell. “I’m dividing the movement between effective people and dumb losers,” Vaughn posted on Gab before being doxed.
On Tuesday, Cantwell posted a recent photo of Mackey to Gab that wasn’t readily available online, likely sourced by his followers. It seems the Alt-Right has lost two great voices today, as Nehlen has lost the only social media platform he hadn’t already been banned from, and Ricky Vaughn has vanished into the digital abyss.