On the 11th of June, a @TeamTrump Twitter account shared a post advertising an upcoming Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the 19th of June. According to the post, the event was free to attend but required a ticket. So, K-Pop stans began to share the info and encourage their followers to sign up and not attend.
Then, the alt-TikTok community, which intersects prank culture and social activism, quietly shared the plan. They created videos sharing info and what to do before deleting them a day or two after posting so Trump fans couldn’t catch on. As one woman in a now deleted TikTok video posted on the 16th of June featuring her with a fake cough said, “oh no, I signed up for a Trump rally, and I can’t go!”
“K-pop Twitter and Alt TikTok have a good alliance where they spread information amongst each other very quickly,” YouTuber Elijah Daniel who participated in the campaign told the New York Times. “They all know the algorithms and how they can boost videos to get where they want.”
“The majority of people who made them 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.”
Trump’s 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale claimed that they had received over a million requests, and set up an indoor and outside stadium. But, according to the New York Times, on the actual day, only 6,200 tickets were scanned. The organisers had to dismantle the outdoor stadium and the indoor stadium was full of empty blue seats.
And, honestly, we love to see it. Twitter began to compare photos of the poorly RSVP’d alt-right political gathering with packed out crowds at music concerts and the country-wide turnout for the current Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Lives Matter protests.
A few days later, Trump was seen leaving his personal private jet like a grumpy baby, sulking and stomping on the White House lawn with his top buttons undone and his tie hanging untied, clenching a “Make America Great Again” cap. Analysts say they’ve never seen him like this before.
At the rally, Donald Trump claimed that, after experts told him the country was seeing a rise in cases, he told them to “slow down” testing. Obviously, slowing down the testing of COVID-19 won’t actually stop the spread of the virus or number of cases in the community, it just means the U.S. will know about less cases which could actually risk more carelessly spread cases of people who are asymptomatic (duh).
Trump’s comments come as the World Health Organisation reports that yesterday saw the most new cases of COVID-19 in one day—more than 183,000—with the United States confirming up to 36,617 cases.