- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 21, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spiked the football on what was reportedly a well-planned sabotage of President Trump’s rally by teenage users of TikTok and fans of Korean popular music.

The Tulsa rally had received close to a million ticket requests and planned events for the expected overflow crowd, but attendance was far below expectations and many of the ticket requests were bogus, from trolls who never intended to show.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez loved it.

“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,” she wrote at the Trump campaign on Twitter.

According to a report Sunday in the New York Times, also picking up on remarks made by “Never Trump” Republican strategist Steve Schmidt about his children, the fake requests were spontaneously planned and spread.

The Times reported that the plan began on K-Pop fan accounts and spread to the TikTok application.

“It spread mostly through Alt TikTok — we kept it on the quiet side where people do pranks and a lot of activism,” Elijah Daniel, who participated in the social media campaign, told The Times. “K-pop Twitter and Alt TikTok have a good alliance where they spread information amongst each other very quickly. They all know the algorithms and how they can boost videos to get where they want.”

The Chinese video-sharing social networking service lets people make short videos that delete quickly, but go “viral” within a defined community, allowing a message to spread without much footprint for others, such as in this case the Trump campaign, to pick up on.

“The majority of people who made them deleted them after the first day because we didn’t want the Trump campaign to catch wind,” Mr. Daniel said. “These kids are smart and they thought of everything.”

Congress’s most conspicuous millennial applauded the prank.

“Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud … KPop allies, we see and appreciate your contributions in the fight for justice too,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez wrote over two tweets.

Her congratulatory tweets had been retweeted more than 140,000 times and garnered more than 700,000 “likes” by mid-day Sunday.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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