TikTok users have been trolling the Trump campaign by reserving tickets for a rally this coming Saturday that they have no intention of actually attending. The rally, which will take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has reportedly registered more than one million attendees after popular K-pop accounts called on fans to join the trolling. The stadium where it's being hosted has about 20,000 seats.
Unfortunately, the subversive behavior, while funny, won't actually result in an empty stadium. That's because the rally is a first-come, first-served event and physical tickets aren't required to get through the door. Registrations are meant to give the campaign an idea of how many people might attend. Presumably, plenty of Trump fans will come out and should have no problem getting in.
The history of Tulsa — The rally was originally scheduled for Friday, June 19, or Juneteenth, a day of celebration for Black emancipation, before being pushed to the 20th following complaints. And in 1921, Tulsa was home to one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. Coincidence, probably not. It's just the sort of tasteless power move you can rely on Team Trump for.
Organizers of the trolling campaign told CNN that the real goal wasn't to disrupt the event. The real aim was to raise awareness about why hosting it in Tulsa at this time is problematic considering the history and current racial tensions facing the country, and Trump's recent incitements of violence against peaceful protesters rallying in response to the murder of unarmed Black man, George Floyd.
Troll, then unsubscribe — Trump's campaign, for its part, says that the trolling backfired, as RSVPing requires providing phone numbers that the campaign can use for outreach and analysis. After registrations passed 800,000, Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted, "Biggest data haul and rally signup of all time by 10x." It seems unlikely many of those trolls would be receptive to any targeted messages from Trump's campaign, however. But, fortunately, if people who signed up decide to unsubscribe from future communications, the campaign is legally obliged to stop contacting them.