K-pop fans and users of TikTok claimed tickets to Donald Trump’s Saturday night rally in Tulsa then did not use them, as part of a coordinated effort which helped to leave hundreds of seats empty in a 19,000-capacity venue, according to The Guardian.
Trump 'played' by K-pop fans and TikTok users who disrupted Tulsa rally
STEPANAKERT, JUNE 22, ARTSAKHPRESS: As reported by the New York Times, the scheme stemmed from a 11 June tweet from the Trump campaign promoting free registration online and via cellphones. The scheme exploded on the TikTok app, where young users implored followers to join in.
“Trump has been actively trying to disenfranchise millions of Americans in so many ways, and to me, this was the protest I was able to perform,” Erin Hoffman, an 18-year-old New Yorker, told the Times, adding that she reserved two tickets and persuaded a parent to book two more.
Following Saturday’s abysmal turnout, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale blamed Black Lives Matter protesters outside the BOK Center for the small crowd, claiming they “even blocked access to the metal detectors, preventing people from entering”.
In a statement on Sunday, Parscale rubbished reports of the TikTok campaign, criticised reporters and insisted attendance had been dampened by “a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of Covid and protesters, coupled with recent images of American cities on fire”.
But politicians and analysts, many with children who participated, confirmed the scheme to disrupt the rally.
“He was played by young people and K-pop fans who ordered tickets with no intention of going,” said Joy Reid of MSNBC on air, following Trump’s speech.
As Trump and his campaign gloated that more than a million tickets had been requested, on TikTok, young people shared screenshots of themselves using Tulsa-area zip codes to reserve seats with no intention of showing up.