The 'TikTok grandma' who started the prank targeting Trump's Tulsa rally has only been a Democrat for one year and voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2016
The noticeably low participation in Trump's Tulsa rally after the campaign boasted of the expected turnout was credited to an Iowa woman.
Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images; @ MaryJoLaupp / TikTok
After attendance at President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign in Tulsa on Saturday was low, TikTok's teenagers and k-pop stands took a victory lap, claiming that their prank, which flooded the event with incorrect ticket requests, was one of them campaign's excessive expectations.
Mary Jo Laupp, the newly dubbed "TikTok Grandma" with volunteer experience in Pete Buttigieg's democratic nomination campaign, started the trend.
Laupp, who only became a democrat in 2019 to promote Buttigieg and says she "voted everywhere", will soon start volunteering with a grassroots group that supports Joe Biden's 2020 campaign.
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Video: what's wrong with TikTok?
Many have praised TikTok teenagers and K-Pop stans for seemingly increasing the Trump Campaign's expected attendance at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. But it was a grandmother from Iowa who came up with the idea of using the free tickets for the event as a massive trolling effort.
Before the rally, Trump's 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said on Twitter that the campaign had received over a million free ticket requests for the event, which allowed guests to be admitted based on availability.
However, the nearly 20,000-strong Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center was noticeably empty on Saturday, and at least a third of the venue's seats were empty, the New York Times reported. The campaign had set up a second phase outside the arena, with which Trump and Vice President Mike Pence could have spoken directly to an abundance of participants. This idea was thwarted when it turned out that the actual number of participants was much smaller than projected.
Mary Jo Laupp, dubbed "TikTok Grandma" and previously volunteered for Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, appeared to be one of the first TikTok users to spread the idea. She said she knew that the best way to harass Trump was to have vacancies at his first rally, which Tulsa's public health director described as "the perfect storm of potential exaggerated disease transmission" and the possible spread of COVID- 19th
Did you know that you can make sure there are vacancies at Trumps Rally? ## BLM.
♬ Original sound - Maryjolaupp
In a TikTok video released on June 11th, Laupp stated that people could book the free tickets for the rally originally planned for June 19th without intending to attend, since the rally on June 19th in Tulsa, the The location of the 1921 Tulsa massacre was "a slap in the face of the black community". The campaign later settled for outrage at the rally on June 19 and postponed it to the following day, Saturday.
"I recommend to all of us who want to see this barely full or completely empty auditorium with 19,000 seats, reserve tickets now and leave it alone on stage," said Laupp, 51, in her original video. Thousands of people on TikTok answered the call, claiming to have reserved their two free spots at the rally with their cell phone numbers or numbers created by Google Voice.
TikTok users largely praised the overwhelming turnout and claimed they reserved free tickets online to annoy Trump and reduce the amount according to Laupp's video, although the actual impact of the reservations on actual turnout is unclear. Anonymous Trump campaign officials told the New York Times that many of the reservations about the event were trolls, which in theory would have inflated visitor expectations, although the campaign claims they took them into account in their estimates.
Mary Jo Laupp was a lifelong independent voter who voted for Gary Johnson in 2016 until Pete Buttigieg changed her mind.
Mary Jo Laupp poses with Pete Buttigieg in Iowa in November 2019.
Courtesy of Mary Jo Laupp
Laupp only registered last year after being lifelong as an independent voter as a democrat, during which she "voted everywhere".
"I've never been an official member of a political party," she told Insider. But then, in 2019, she decided to register so she could meet for Buttigieg in Iowa. "That prompted me to make this decision," she said. Although she has no plans to leave the Democratic Party, Laupp said she has never voted for a straight party ticket, and probably not in November. In the 2016 elections, she said she voted for Gary Johnson.
Since her new viral moment, Laupp Insider has confirmed that she will support Joe Biden in the 2020 elections and is working with a grassroots organization called Bidens Digital Coalition to support the campaign. (The group is not officially associated with Biden's campaign, which has its own digital team.)
While many TikTokers who spread the ticket prank said they wanted to annoy the president, Laupp said she didn't do it to harm Trump, but on behalf of her friends in the Black Community, who dealt with the trauma of the rally dealt in Tulsa near Juneteeth.
"For me, it was always about the place and the date," she said, adding that Black Wall Street, the site of the 1921 massacre, was close to the BOK center, where "an entire neighborhood was wiped out due to racism." has been . "
When asked about her opinion of Trump, Laupp said, "I think there are times when he says things without thinking carefully."
"I think he's trying to become president like a CEO would run a company," she continued. "America is not a company."
The trend's popularization has also largely been attributed to the K-pop fandom community, which was a major source of activism during the worldwide protests against racism and police brutality triggered by the assassination of George Floyd on May 25. Laupp, a musician who has always worked with local high school students, was impressed by the activism of the teenagers, especially at TikTok during the protests against Black Lives Matter.
"It is important for them to see that the older generations support the material because they hear so much about how useless they are, how lazy they are, how justified they feel. And I don't see that from this [generation] at all, "she said.
TikTok teenagers say they fueled Trump's comeback rally in Tulsa by reserving thousands of tickets and then not showing up
Trump officials anonymously admit that TikTokers and K-Pop fans may have helped fuel his Tulsa rally, despite vigorously contesting this in public
K-Pop-Stans have been announced as digital heroes for the online fight against racists, but black fans are still being excluded from the conversation
Teenagers on TikTok are trying to save Barron Trump from the White House and have started a petition with thousands of signatures
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