OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Teenagers, TikTok users and Korean pop music fans may have trolled the president of the United States.
For more than a week before Donald Trump’s first campaign rally in three months on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, these tech-savvy groups have been mobilizing to reserve tickets for an event they had no intention of attending.
While it’s unlikely they were responsible for the low turnout, their antics may have inflated the campaign’s expectations for attendance numbers. Democrat Joe Biden's campaign says the turnout was a sign of weakening voter support.
The Trump campaign blamed the “fake news media” for “warning people away from the rally” because of the coronavirus.
“My 16 year old daughter and her friends in Park City Utah have hundreds of tickets. You have been rolled by America’s teens,” veteran Republican campaign strategist Steve Schmidt tweeted on Saturday. The tweet garnered more than 100,000 likes and many responses from people who say they or their kids did the same, AP reports.
According to the Associated Press, K-Pop fans — who have a massive, coordinated online community and a cutting sense of humor — have become an unexpected ally to American Black Lives Matter protesters.
In recent weeks, K-Pop fans have been repurposing their usual platforms and hashtags from boosting their favorite stars to backing the Black Lives Matter movement. They flooded right-wing hashtags such as “white lives matter” and police apps with short video clips and memes of their K-pop stars.
Many of the early social media messages urging people to sign up for tickets brought up the fact that the rally had originally been scheduled for Friday, June 19, which is Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.