When Donald Trump's presidency and the toxic influence he has had on global politics is set down in the history books, a chapter will have to be dedicated to k-pop stans.
You're probably reading this thinking, you mean like very exuberant fans of Korean pop music? Yes, that's exactly who we mean. Per reporting in the New York Times and by political correspondents on the ground at Trump's first rally in months at Tulsa, Oklahoma, numbers expected to attend were vastly inflated.
This is what happened tonight. I’m dead serious when I say this. The teens of America have struck a savage blow against @realDonaldTrump. All across America teens ordered tickets to this event. The fools on the campaign bragged about a million tickets. lol. @ProjectLincoln.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 20, 2020
— elijah daniel (@elijahdaniel) June 21, 2020
Now, while it's often the case that Trump is an outright liar and exaggerates to make himself feel better and soothe the fact that his father never loved him, the Trump campaign were successfully pranked into thinking that more than a million people had requested tickets for the rally.
In fact, Trump was supposed to address an overflow crowd before the main event, which was then quietly cancelled because there weren't enough people at the overflow crowd. Indeed, the inside of the stadium was reported to be half-empty by the time Trump got on stage. Reporters on the ground stated that automatic texts were sent out asking Trump supporters to come to the inside of the rally to fill out the bleachers.
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
Has Trump designated TikTok teens and Kpop stans a terrorist organization yet?
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) June 21, 2020
What's fascinating, however, is that the event was derailed by highly-organised teenagers via TikTok and through Snapchat, all done in relative secrecy. Speaking to the New York Times, one YouTuber, Elijah Daniel, explained how the TikTok teens and k-pop stans pulled it off.
Before the rally and after the rally pic.twitter.com/GkN45452aR
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) June 21, 2020
They'd register for tickets (all of which are free, by the way) without zero intention of going, post a video telling others how to do it, then delete the video in two days so the Trump campaign never found out. "These kids are smart and they thought of everything," Daniel told the NYT. The campaign spread through social media, with an average of one person registering for ten tickets, thus inflating the Trump's campaign's belief in the numbers attending.
What makes it even better is that the Trump campaign is currently trying to pass off the rally's failure on radical protestors and not a legion of teenagers with a decent internet connection. The BOK Center, where the rally took place, has a capacity of a little over 19,000, however, estimates from those at the rally and from the Tulsa Fire Department place the number attended at somewhere around 6,000.
All of it done by teenage k-pop fans. Incredible stuff.