There are a lot of ways people join the #resistance. Some of us get involved with local and even national organizations to push back against harmful policies. Some do the research and trumpet the news about those policies and the people who fund them. And some of us… well, some of us are trolls. We all have our own ways.
Seventeen-year-old Noah does a little bit of it all. But recently, a few tweets he sent off as a joke seem to have affected Donald Trump in a big way. “Hey everyone you totally shouldn’t go on tr*mp’s website and reserve tickets for his rally and not show up so that there’s empty seats (the tickets are free) but you should definitely not do that!!” he wrote on Twitter earlier this month.
Tweets started coming in shortly of people taking Noah’s advice. “I TOTALLY didn’t get 10,” one person wrote in response. Others reserved under names like Peepee Poopoo and Mike Litoris. There was even a Ben Dova. It was a fun time, racking up almost 40,000 retweets. But then something happened… it seemed to work.
According to reports, “thousands of Trump supporters were locked out of the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire” for a reelection rally, even though there were many empty seats inside. Thousands of empty seats, according to tweets from the event. It got so bad that #EmptySeatMAGATour started trending on Twitter.
And yet, the Trump supporters still weren’t getting in. The only logical reason: There were thousands of seats reserved for people who didn’t attend.
Out reached out to the high schooler to discuss his viral seat-snatching plan.
Can you just start off with you explaining to me what happened here?
My coworker was talking to me about how weird Trump’s website is. It’s kind of… not like cult-y but sort of Utopian looking? I decided to go on there because I had never been, and I wanted to see what was there. I see that they are having a rally and you could buy tickets. So I wondered how much they cost. When I went to the ticket website it said that they were free and I was like, “Oh?” Like … anyone with an American phone number can reserve a ticket. I posted about it on Twitter as a joke, saying that it would be horrible if people bought tickets and didn’t go.
And people did it. So many people that the event reached capacity?
I really didn’t know if it would work or not, but according to articles I saw, there were all these empty seats, but they weren’t letting anyone in. My only logical conclusion is that it’s because of this, that since we had all these reserved seats, they couldn't let people without a ticket in, even if they were true fans.
Even when it was blowing up, I didn’t think it would happen. I just thought it was a joke that the Trump PR people would have to read all of these tweets. I was sort of trolling them.
Did you buy any tickets?
Yeah! For sure. I got one for me and one for my sister. And when I saw it actually worked, that’s when I posted it. Sort of mischievous.
People have been picking some crazy names for the tickets as well, right?
Yeah! They are all like inappropriate. I honestly didn’t think of that but the internet is a crazy place but they took it and ran with it.
Anything else stick out in your mind about this?
Well, most of the messages were funny internet jokes, but some people were so pissed off. I got some DMs:“Oh, you’re such an idiot. That’s not ever going to work.” But honestly, I never expected it to work. I just thought it was funny.
I kind of expected people who were Trumpers to come after me, but I really only had maybe 10-ish mean DMs. This one guy DM’d me and said, “You need to go kiss your boyfriend and get off Twitter.” And like, that was so brave of him to assume that I’m dating someone. I’m so single. You think I’m cute enough to have a boyfriend? Thank you for saying that! Otherwise, it was people trying to insult me for being vegan and being gay, so those really cheap insults.
Had you been politically active prior?
I used to do a lot of things for March for Lives and I do these sexuality and gender phone lines at my high school, so that’s kind of political. I also helped on the campaign to get medical marijuana passed in Oklahoma, which was really cool. And I also worked on Drew Edmonson’s campaign, who ran for governor here as a Democrat. He got like 40 percent of the vote, which is a big deal for a Democrat here, but he lost to this guy who basically is a clone of Trump.
I post political stuff on Twitter sometimes, and it’s sort of serious, sort of joking. Because Trump sucks and I just want people to be happy and laughing. I get really sad about Trump being president all the time, so I wanted to post something for people to find something funny in a shitty situation.