It's hard not to note the fiasco that befell the Trump campaign in Tulsa last weekend.
We’re not talking about the attendance or lack thereof. This is about the fact that the campaign apparently got jobbed by Tik-Tok teens and K-pop fans.
These young activists reserved tickets to the event. And they didn’t attend, although the exact numbers are not yet available.
“Whether that prank really depressed turnout is up in the air, but one thing it did accomplish was feeding the Trump campaign a whole lot of bad data,” Marketplace writes.
Indeed. You may recall our June 15 post that the Trump campaign was boasting about its early sign-ups. “Just passed 800,000 tickets,” campaign chairman Brad Parscale reportedly tweeted. “Biggest data haul and rally signup of all time by 10x.”
Republicans were cheered by that news and Democrats were depressed. But it turned out to be untrue.
“Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) tweeted after the rally in response to Parscale, according to The New York Times.
At the least, the Trump campaign has to sift through its email list and separate the phonies from the real Tulsa sign-ups. No small task.
Yes, it is very amusing. But this could happen to Democrats, too. And we’re sure the GOP’s own Tik-Tok terrorists are working on it. For that matter, it can be done to ecommerce brands that raise consumer ire.
Surely there is a security tool that can prevent these kinds of attacks. Any digital-savvy campaign should have been prepared to verify incoming email addresses and conduct basic identity resolution.
The downside for the teens is that they're likely to start being barraged by Trump fundraising appeals.
Consumer privacy advocates have long turned the tools of the trade against marketers who annoy them. For example, activists obtained the home address of the so-called Godfather of Spam Alan Ralsky and signed him up on hundreds of mailing lists.
Ralsky, who had once sent hundreds of millions of spam emails per day -- numbers that weren’t even dreamed of prior to the email era -- wasn’t happy about it.
“They’ve signed me up for every advertising campaign and mailing list there is,” he whined. “These people are out of their minds. They’re harassing me.”