On July 8th, the Trump campaign chose to abandon online sign-ups to his next rally in Arizona following relentless spam of fake entries from teenage trolls on TikTok. The campaign removed the online form for the event and instead advised Trump supporters to simply turn up to the Students For Trump rally. The campaign had previously been utilizing an online form for its supporters to request tickets for his Tuesday rally.
The bold move was initiated after the debacle from the previous weekend, when Trump campaign chair Brad Parscale bragged that he had issued over one million tickets to Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which only managed to draw a paltry 6,200 people. The Trump campaign had repeatedly claimed that TikTok was unrelated to the low turnout, a fact in itself taht was reported to have irritated the president.
‘It’s a serious problem,’ says Joe Gagliese, co-founder and CEO of social media marketing firm Viral Nation. Gagliese says that after embarrassing the President in Oklahoma, the TikTok trolls are likely to target future rallies up until the election in November. ‘I think they’re going to do it again,’ he said. ‘They’re going to continue to do it throughout the term.
‘It’s the new superpower of social media’ Gagliese continues. ‘What’s become really easy is for movements to get picked up and spread. It leaves the Trump camp in a state where they have to figure out how to qualify the interest that they have, and it might not be possible in the time they have before the election.’
“…they have to figure out how to qualify the interest that they have, and it might not be possible in the time they have before the election.”-Joe Gagliese, co-founder and CEO of Viral Nation