The young people admit that they registered hundreds of thousands of attendees to see the empty towns. Expectation surrounded the return to the road of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, in what would be the first act of the campaign after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. His team had anticipated crowds for their first rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it was even decided to set up a stage outside the compound so that those who stayed outside could at least see their hero. But Saturday night, at least in terms of attendance, was a real puncture. And hundreds of teenage users of the TikTok social network and fans of K-pop, the Korean pop that draws crowds on the Internet, have claimed some of the responsibility.
Many TikTok users and those known as Koppers claimed to have registered hundreds of thousands of attendees for the Trump rally, with no intention of attending but wanting to see empty locations, after the president’s re-election campaign invited your followers to register with their mobiles to get free tickets for the event. Popular Kpopers accounts virtualized the initiative, which became trending on TikTok, the popular Chinese-owned social network, with millions of user videos inviting others to sign up for the Trump event.
On Monday, Brad Parscale, president of the president’s re-election campaign, said on Twitter that they had received more than a million ticket requests. But, on Saturday, the empty seats on the premises, with a capacity for 19,000 people, were evident, and the organization decided that, given the lack of attendance, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would not attend the stage placed abroad. From the venue for crowds expected to run out of tickets.
The Trump campaign has attributed the disappointing call to alleged protesters against the president who were preventing supporters from accessing the rally. Protests had been called, related to the anti-racist mobilization in the country since the death of the African-American George Floyd a month ago at the hands of the police. But the journalists who covered the event reported that the protests were few and, in any case, insufficient to prevent people from entering the venue.
Parscale himself has released this Sunday a statement denying any eventual influence of youth mobilization on social networks in attendance at the event, “The leftists and Internet trolls who claim victory, thinking that in some way they impacted attendance at the rally, they don’t know what they are talking about or how our rallies work,” he explains. “We constantly remove fake phone numbers, as we did tens of thousands at the Tulsa rally, to calculate the possible number of attendees.”
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