President Trump’s kickoff rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma is said to have been tampered with by TikTok users and Korean pop music (K-pop) fans. After Trump’s Twitter account posted a tweet calling for people to register for the rally, Tik Tok and K-pop “accounts began began sharing the information with followers, encouraging them to register for the rally — and then not show.” The venue, which could seat nearly 19,000, was expected to be full, but it was estimated that between 6,200 and 12,000 attended. The Trump campaign had said almost a million ticket requests had come in before the rally.
Teenage TikTok users and K-pop fans are celebrating after what they believe to be the success of their activism. CBS News wrote that while “it’s unlikely that the TikTok campaign had any effect on the low turnout,” they did trick Trump into believing hundreds of thousands of people had requested tickets. One account user said he was “more than fed up with Trump, and we can hardly wait to vote him out, so why not mess with him now?”
“The majority of people who made [the posts] deleted them after the first day because we didn’t want the Trump campaign to catch wind. These kids are smart, and they thought of everything.”Elijah Daniel, social media campaigner
Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 21, 2020
Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud. ☺️ https://t.co/jGrp5bSZ9T
The Right discredits the online sabotage for the smaller than expected turnout. “We had legitimate 300k signups of Republicans who voted in the last four elections. Those are not [TikTok] kids. It was fear of violent protests. This is obvious with the lack of families and children at the rally. We normally have thousands of families,” a Trump official reported to CNN. A director for the Trump campaign, Erin Perrine, noted, “Leftists do this all the time,” and said that Trump’s rallies have always had ticket requests exceeding maximum capacity – not due to trolling.
“What makes this lame attempt at hacking our events even more foolish is the fact that every rally is general admission—entry is on a first-come-first-served basis, and prior registration is not required.”Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 Campaign Manager
Parscale accused the media of fear mongering prior to the rally and then celebrating “the fear that they helped create.”