Donald Trump’s idea to stage a massive indoor rally in the middle of a global pandemic failed to attract huge crowds. Officials reported that fewer than 6,000 tickets had been scanned for the 19,000-capacity BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Trump‘s team blamed the media and protesters for scaring off his supporters. But reporters on the ground noted few protests outside BOK Center in Tulsa. Nor did they spot many people being turned away from the event.
Thousands of TikTok videos and tweets encouraged followers to register for free tickets — and then no-show the event. Many users then deleted their posts to hide their plans.
“It spread mostly through Alt TikTok — we kept it on the quiet side where people do pranks and a lot of activism,” YouTuber Elijah Daniel told the NYT. “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.”
Brad Parscale, the chairman of Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, downplayed their impact, attracting a withering response from New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
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
Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud. ☺️ https://t.co/jGrp5bSZ9T
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 21, 2020
The entire piece is worth a read, as it illustrates how protestors can harness social media to make an impact on politics — even if they’re still not old enough to vote. Find it here on NYT.