Trump's Rally Trolled By TikTok Teens And K-Pop Fans

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
MAGA Trump supporter alone in stands
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

His outdoor speech was canceled last minute due to low attendance, too

Trump held a campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa yesterday, the first since the coronavirus pandemic. After bragging that there were more than one million ticket requests, the actual number in attendance was far less. Some K-pop and Tik Tok users said they’re partially responsible.

TikTok users and fans of Korean pop music say they registered potentially hundreds of thousands of tickets for Trump’s campaign rally as a prank, the New York Times reported. When his campaign tweeted in early June that people could register for free tickets to the rally, K-pop fan accounts shared the information with their followers asking them to register and not show.

Apparently, it worked.

“It spread mostly through Alt TikTok — we kept it on the quiet side where people do pranks and a lot of activism,” said YouTuber Elijah Daniel who bought a ticket. “K-pop Twitter and Alt TikTok have a good alliance where they spread information amongst each other very quickly. They all know the algorithms and how they can boost videos to get where they want.”

Many users deleted their posts after 24 to 48 hours in order to conceal their plan and keep it from spreading into the mainstream internet.

“The majority of people who made them deleted them after the first day because we didn’t want the Trump campaign to catch wind,” Daniel said. “These kids are smart, and they thought of everything.”

The arena, which holds 19,000, was not filled to capacity and pictures show empty chairs in the upper deck and standing-room only area near the stage. The outside overflow where Trump was set to talk to supporters beforehand was canceled for lack of participants.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh blamed protesters for the low turnout, claiming protestors blocked access to metal detectors so people couldn’t enter the venue. “Radical protesters, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President’s supporters,” Murtaugh said.

Trump tweeted earlier in the week that protestors would be dealt with if there were problems. “Please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!” he wrote on Friday morning.

A woman who said she had a ticket to Trump’s event and was wearing a shirt that read “I can’t breathe” was handcuffed and physically removed from the grounds at the request of campaign staff Buzzfeed News reported.

There were some other minor incidents between Trump supporters and protesters gathered outside the BOK Center, but there were no major violent confrontations in the lead-up to the event.

Though Trump didn’t mention George Floyd or Juneteenth during his hour-long speech, he did say he’d “done more for the Black community in four years than Joe Biden has done in 47 years.”

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