The Kids Are Alright

Social Media gets a bad press. Discuss.

Often, deservedly so. And I’m not talking about people who insist on posting photos of their dinner, or their kids doing something nauseatingly cute.

No. We’ve all read the stuff about Cambridge Analytica, the Fake News posts which gently massage ones thoughts into a particular way of thinking/voting. I think since 2016 we’ve all – hopefully- become a lot more wise this, and so it’s refreshing to learn that – finally, and long overdue – to the bohemoths of social media (Facebook and Twitter) seem to be trying to get their houses in order.

Facebook has announced that it’s cracking down on Fake News advertising, whilst Twitter has started fact checking tweets sent by some chap called Donald J Trump, and deleting them when, on the (ahem) very odd occasion, they are found to be somewhat lacking in the truth department.

Whilst this is, of course, to be welcomed, it comes four years too late in my book. We’ve had four years of Trump related damage. Brexit is happening (and just in case it escaped your attention, the deadline to extend the transition period passed this week. Hooray for the death of all of our industries! Hooray as those ex-pats come sucrrying back from the Costa Del Anglais complaining that “this isn’t what they voted for”!). But okay, better late than never.

Then there’s the young pretenders on the social media scene, none of which I really understand. (I’m in my 50s, I’m not their target market, I’m not supposed to get it.) I don’t see the appeal of Instagram, and had you said the words Tik Tok to me six months ago, I’d have assumed you were talking about these early 80s oddities:

Tik & Tok – Screen Me, I’m Yours

I’m not sure I’ve imparted just how odd those two seemed back in the day. Have a look at this:

They’re like Daft Punk choreographed by Peter Crouch and dressed by Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

Anyway, I was heartened to read this week how certain Tik Tok subscribers have unleashed their subversive power against the Trump in recent weeks.

If I have understood matters correctly, it began with a communal effort to leave bad ratings on all of the Trump owned leisure facilities.

Here, for example, is the daughter of Kellyanne Conway, suggesting that her followers leave one star reviews of Trump’s facilities:

And just in case you’re not clear who Kellyanne Conway is, here’s her Wiki entry:

Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway (née Fitzpatrick; born January 20, 1967) is an American pollster, political consultant, and pundit who serves as counselor to the president in the administration of U.S. president Donald Trump. She was previously Trump’s campaign manager, having been appointed in August 2016…; She has previously held roles as campaign manager and strategist in the Republican Party, and was formerly president and CEO of The Polling Company / WomanTrend.”

Which just makes her daughter’s post so lip-smackingly perfect.

And here’s the thing: people did as she asked.

and, no holds barred, brilliantly:

On top of this, and I may be reporting these in reverse order, they started targeting Trump rallies. This is even more delicious.

On Saturday 20th June, there was a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brad Parscale, the chairman of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign, posted on Twitter on Monday that the campaign had fielded more than a million ticket requests, but reporters at the event noted the attendance was lower than expected.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said protesters stopped supporters from entering the rally, held at a venue with a 19,000-seat capacity.

But reporters present said there were few protests. According to a spokesman for the Tulsa Fire Department on Sunday, the fire marshal counted 6,200 scanned tickets of attendees. (That number would not include staff, media or those in box suites.)

So what happened? Step forward your subversive Tik Tokers, who in conjunction with fans of Korean pop music (or K-Pop to us oldies), claimed to have registered potentially hundreds of thousands of tickets for Mr. Trump’s campaign rally as a prank. After the Trump campaign’s official account @TeamTrump posted a tweet asking supporters to register for free tickets using their phones on June 11, K-pop fan accounts began sharing the information with followers, encouraging them to register for the rally — and then not turn up.

The trend quickly spread on TikTok, where videos with millions of views instructed viewers to do the same. I’d post some examples here, but, clever kids that they are, they’ve deleted all the messages, ready to rise and troll the Trump again.

My heart swells.

Also, garnering support for an online movement such as this is a lot easier – and possibly more effective – than standing in front of a tank in Tianeman Square.

So what song to post to honour these revolutionary subordinants? Oh Gosh, so many spring to mind.

But it’s Saturday, I’ve not posted in a while, so let’s have them all:

Robbie Williams & Kylie Minogue – Kids

Shut up. You’re wrong. It’s an absolute tune.

The Who – The Kids Are Alright

More soon.

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