The internet is an unruly place.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump prepared to hold his first rally after the COVID-19 lock-downs. The event, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, expected a full venue after more than one million tickets were requested for the event.
But when the day came, what stood out was not the massive turnout but the exact opposite; rows and rows of empty seats greeted the President as he entered the Bank of Oklahoma Center. What happened? The internet happened.
Trump’s re-election campaign team had previously announced the tickets for his rally were free. After hearing this, countless K-pop fans and TikTok users schemed a not-so-innocent plan. They carefully explained to their audiences how to sign up to get tickets—and then asked them to not attend.
Thousands of people thought this was a brilliant plan and followed it. All they had to do was register at the official website, and after confirmation through an SMS code, they got two free tickets. Some people even got their friends and family to do the same since they only gave two tickets per phone number. The trend went viral and was followed by many.
They also commented why they unfortunately would not be able to make it to the rally. Among our favorite reasons are “I gotta pet my cat that day”, “I forgot I live in Canada and can’t make it!”, and “I have to pick every piece of lint off of my room floor and sort them by size!”.
When the day came, attendance was so low that the President’s team had to cancel their plans of holding the rally outside the venue and moved it inside. In a stadium that holds 19,000 people, only 6,200 witnessed Trump’s speech.
Tim Murtaugh, the Communications Director of the Trump campaign, blamed “radical protestors” when asked why the attendance number was so low. “Sadly, protestors interfered with supporters, even blocking access to the metal detectors, which prevented people from entering the rally. Radical protestors, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President’s supporters. We are proud of the thousands who stuck it out,” Murtaugh told CNN.
Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared her thoughts on this, stating the President’s campaigned “just got ROCKED”, replying to Murtaugh’s comments on Twitter. She ended her statement by expressing how proud Zoomers (a nickname to refer to members of Generation Z) make her.
Once again, K-pop fans and TikTok users have proven everyone they go hard–really hard, and they’re not afraid to take a political stance. This situation is proof of what a powerful tool the internet is. It gives us a new perspective on how politics are being handled in the age of technology, and how today, the power is in the hands of the people.