Did an army of teenagers and K-Pop fans play a prank on US president Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa by "reserving" tickets they had no intention of using?
That's the question being asked by social media users after an estimated 10,000 people turned up to the much-hyped rally in Oklahoma today.
Political strategist Steve Schmidt, an outspoken critic of Trump, tweeted on Saturday night: "My 16-year-old daughter and her friends in Park City, Utah have hundreds of tickets. You have been rolled by America's teens.
"@realDonaldTrump you have been failed by your team. You have been deserted by your faithful. No one likes to root for the losing team."
He then added: "This is what happened tonight. I'm dead serious when I say this. The teens of America have struck a savage blow against @realDonaldTrump. All across America teens ordered tickets to this event. The fools on the campaign bragged about a million tickets. lol."
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised the Zoomers and K-pop allies involved in reserving tickets.
When Trump's campaign manager blamed protesters on the low turnout, Ocasio-Cortez replied: "Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations and tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID."
The Oklahoma rally was intended to be the largest indoor gathering in the world during the coronavirus pandemic that has killed almost 120,000 Americans.
Trump's campaign declared last week that it had received over a million ticket requests.
But in the hours before the event, crowds seemed significantly lighter than expected at the 19,000 seat BOK Centre. Campaign officials scrapped plans for Trump to first address an overflow space.
The apparent prank by TikTok users and K-Pop fans came after the Trump campaign tweeted to ask the President's supporters to register for the free tickets earlier this month.
The plan to sabotage the rally quickly went viral and videos telling viewers to reserve tickets and then not show up began racking up millions of views.
Many of the videos were then deleted in an attempt to keep the plan a secret, although in one which is still live, a TikTok user says sarcastically: "Oh no, I signed up for a Trump rally and I can't go, I'm sick."
The plan then spread across multiple social media platforms.
Roberto Quinlan tweeted on Saturday night: "So my teen daughter, who has Snapchat and TikTok accounts, walked in and said to me 'So did it work? Did the teens get all the tickets to the Trump rally?' She's known about this ALL WEEK and I just learned this an hour ago..."
He added: "There's an element to this that is terrifying. I consume A LOT of political twitter and I had zero inkling that this was coming down the pipeline."
On Saturday, Trump tried to explain away the crowd size, blaming it on the media for declaring "don't go, don't come, don't do anything" while insisting there were protesters outside "doing bad things", though the small crowds of pre-rally demonstrators were largely peaceful.
"We begin our campaign," Trump thundered. "The silent majority is stronger than ever before."