Earlier this month, President Donald Trump held what was supposed to be his comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma after a months long pandemic-induced hiatus.
Despite boasts from campaign officials that supporters submitted a record number of reservations, the rally was sparsely attended, with only a little over six thousand gathering in the 19 thousand seat arena.
The rally was widely seen as a humiliation for the Trump campaign and the incongruence between reservations made and actual attendance was attributed to an unlikely group: teenagers and fans of the musical genre K-Pop on the popular video app TikTok.
Numerous TikTok influencers urged their followers to reserve tickets for the rally and not to show. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale—despite previously bragging about the volume of reservations—insisted that their efforts had no impact on rally attendance.
Nevertheless, the teens of TikTok remain undeterred, and they're launching a new initiative, stocking online shopping carts with official Trump campaign merchandise, but not actually purchasing anything.
i only used tiktok for the audio but i might’ve added $10,000 worth of trump’s merchandise to my cart so that it sa… https://t.co/p6QAMSfjMw— love, jillian ✿ ᵇˡᵐ (@love, jillian ✿ ᵇˡᵐ)1593111511.0
The tactic is known as shopping cart abandonment, and it disrupts the data accuracy of online retailers, most notoriously resulting in merchandise being labeled as "sold out" despite a wealth of actual availability. A Business Insider report estimated that it cost online retailers a total of about $4.6 trillion worth of merchandise per year.
The initiative is quickly gaining steam.
FYI: all the Trump Baseballs are sold out because I have over $9000 worth of them in a shopping cart that I have no intention on buying— jocelyn (@jocelyn)1593142041.0
Did you know that digital shopping cart abandonment annually costs retailers $4 Trillion due to inaccurate data and… https://t.co/vfF29GINBi— KayCee (@KayCee)1593083625.0
oh no what a shame! looks like I cant afford my 80 million dollars of trump merch! looks like I'll have to go read… https://t.co/q6CKjwcqXv— ❀ NoraLikesToDraw ❀ Commissions open! (@❀ NoraLikesToDraw ❀ Commissions open!)1593059744.0
oh no i cant afford my 235 million dollars worth of trump merch💔guess ill go read about the negative effects of onl… https://t.co/n2zPI1AKqx— leen (@leen)1593106850.0
so it turns out i don’t have $177,000 to spend on garbage so now i’m looking up the effects of shopping cart abando… https://t.co/ncdinMF4Al— Olivia (@Olivia)1593402864.0
People are commending their efforts.
@ZTPetrizzo @Acyn I love these kids! 🇺🇸😍— The REAL MillerFinch (@The REAL MillerFinch)1593290730.0
@ZTPetrizzo TikTokers for the Win!!!— DrLawsonNP (@DrLawsonNP)1593310426.0
@ZTPetrizzo @Acyn Our kids are fvcking brilliant! ❤️— ExCompliant (@ExCompliant)1593291170.0
@ZTPetrizzo @Acyn The young people will win!— MARGIE (@MARGIE)1593290997.0
@ZTPetrizzo @AJDelgado13 Are TikTokkers gonna be on TIME's shortlist of PERSON(S) OF THE YEAR?— Mirtika (But You Can Call Me Mir) (@Mirtika (But You Can Call Me Mir))1593301789.0
@ZTPetrizzo @MarkSZaidEsq God bless the children— DR (@DR)1593298833.0
@ZTPetrizzo @TrueFactsStated Fabulous!! Once again, the children will lead!👏— Karine (@Karine)1593304756.0
Younger generations are often accused of apathy when it comes to politics, but now people are boosting the growing popularity of TikTok trolling, wanting to know more.
Lincoln doesn't know much about K-Pop stans or TikTok Teens. But I welcome them to this great cause, and want to u… https://t.co/OhTf54vW5Q— The Lincoln Project (@The Lincoln Project)1592750958.0
Has Trump designated TikTok teens and Kpop stans a terrorist organization yet?— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen)1592724816.0
Gen Z is out here on TikTok just thinking of more and more ways to troll Trump. Now they’re messing with his surveys and merch store 😂😂😂— Angi Pratt (@Angi Pratt)1593135889.0
@ZTPetrizzo In the past few weeks, these young people have taken “Projects Based Learning” to a whole new level.— Dawn DeVere (@Dawn DeVere)1593305401.0
@ZTPetrizzo I am totally impressed with these #tiktokteens and #kpopstans Their mischief is so valuable. My deepest admiration— Rocket J Squirrel 🌊 (@Rocket J Squirrel 🌊)1593316731.0
Time will tell if this latest initiative proves effective.