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A Trump campaign tweet, the capacity of ECU’s coliseum, and what it did to Wikipedia

Experience NC’s first Trump rally of election season

President Donald Trump made his first 2020 campaign stop in North Carolina on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Experience Greenville's first Trump rally of the election season.
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President Donald Trump made his first 2020 campaign stop in North Carolina on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Experience Greenville's first Trump rally of the election season.

When Donald Trump’s campaign manager tweeted there were “over 20,000 here” from the coliseum in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday, the internet was quick to point out the capacity at the venue was less than 8,000.

Brad Parscale — who said Trump “keeps setting records. Bigly!” — clarified the number in a second tweet Thursday.

“Hey trolls,” he wrote. “This includes thousands inside including the floor, thousands outside, thousands at the airport and lining the streets.”

But that didn’t stop competing edits from showing up on the Wikipedia page for the Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

At one point, the online crowd-sourced encyclopedia said: “The facility underwent a complete renovation prior to the 1994-95 season and currently seats 8,000 people (except when Donald Trump shows up and Brad Parscale declares that the capacity is over 20,000 people).”

The person who added that line noted the edit with, “Checked Brad Parscale’s facts at the door. Must be true.”

Someone took that parenthetical line out 41 minutes later.

About six hours later another person “fixed typo” to change the seating capacity number from 8,000 to 20,000.

About an hour later, someone rolled back that change in the seating capacity. Then a user actually looked up the information. The edit linked to a source on the arena’s history from the East Carolina University library that puts the seating capacity at 7,500.

Wednesday’s rally at East Carolina University in Greenville was Trump’s first campaign stop in North Carolina this year.

The rally drew national attention after the crowd chanted “send her back” referring to Rep. Ilhan Omar, a liberal Democrat from Minnesota who is a Somali refugee, according to The News and Observer. Trump later disavowed the chant.

Trump also continued attacks on other progressive members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York during the rally.

President Trump speaks on the campus of ECU in Greenville, NC July 17, 2019.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.
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