Trump campaign dismisses TikTok troll, but who’s having the last laugh?

Monday - 22/06/2020 15:10
President Donald Trump's June 20, 2020 reelection campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew less-than-expected crowds. © Nicholas Kamm, AFP
President Donald Trump's June 20, 2020 reelection campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew less-than-expected crowds. © Nicholas Kamm, AFP
President Donald Trump's re-election team has dismissed claims that a social media campaign by young Tik-Tok users and K-Pop fans was behind the low turnout for his “comeback” Tulsa rally. But the denial is being taken less seriously than the original prank.

The Trump presidency kicked off with a showdown on the crowd sizeat his January 2017 inauguration, forcing news organisations to devote resources to debunk the president’s claim that his swearing-in ceremony attracted more crowds than that of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The 45th US president’s first term is winding down with another crowd size matters rumpus, sparked on a social media network dominated by teens and tweens lip-syncing to music videos and exposed largely by parents discovering what their kids were up to in a virtual space for fans of Korean popular music or K-Pop.

“TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally,” announced a New York Times headline the morning after the US president held his first reelection campaign rally since the Covid-19 crisis gripped the country.

The event at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa was expected to attract more than a million supporters. But the thin numbers and sea of empty blue seats inside the hall forced organisers to make last-minute changes on Saturday, including scrapping a plan to have Trump and Vice President Mike Pence address an outdoor overflow rally.

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 Keywords: Donald Trump, US Elections

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