US Election: Bizarre 'Save Barron Trump' TikTok trend explained

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

TikTok teens are a conundrum to many, but perhaps their most baffling turn of is the ‘save Barron Trump’ movement that seemingly sprung up apropos of nothing.

A flurry of videos from teenagers on the app started a theory that Barron was being kept from the public and living a ‘normal’ life by his dad, who they assume he is ideologically opposed to.

Barron Trump with Donald Trump and Melania Trump
Barron Trump has become the centre of a baffling TikTok trend. Photo: Getty Images

The 14-year-old is rarely seen out and about, only appearing by his parents’ side at major events, though what little footage is available of him has been cobbled together into a series of videos purporting to ‘prove’ the teenager needs to be ‘freed’.

Now the teenager has become something of an internet celebrity, with some desperate users even attempting to make contact via a profile he is said to have on Roblox – an online gaming platform he is said to use.

Screenshots of savebarron2020 TikTok videos
Videos like these call for the liberation of Barron based off. several claims about his 'restricted' life Photo: TikTok

Their arguments for his needing to be ‘freed’ revolve mainly around images of him looking sad, and seemingly unsubstantiated claims he is banned from using social media, having friends and playing sports by his dad, explaining his lack of public profile.

Screengrabs of savebarron2020 TikTik videos
Claims including that Barron isn't allowed friends, which are unsubstantiated, kicked off the trend. Photo: TikTok

The videos number in the thousands and count hundreds and thousands, some even millions, of views.

The trend follows in the footsteps of the ‘free Melania’ social media posts that came about after videos of the First Lady looking uncomfortable at public events circulated, though she has always been a vocal supporter of her husband politically giving no indication that the internet conspiracies are true.

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Barron just in a traditional private bubble

Donald and Melania Trump with Barron behind them
Barron's lack of public visibility is down to a tradition of keeping White House kids' lives private. Photo: Getty Images

The reality is of course, likely far more boring, and simply down to a long-standing tradition of presidents’ children being kept out of the spotlight for privacy and security concerns.

Barron, like White House children since Chelsea Clinton, is more or less spared the public scrutiny afforded to his parents with some notable exceptions.

Image of Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton
Chelsea Clinton set the standard for young children of the White House in 1993. Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea Clinton set the standard in 1993, after she was mocked over an ‘unkind adolescence’ by Wayne World on SNL.

The skit was slammed by the public and Clintons alike and prompted an apology and the start of a tradition of keeping the young kids who didn’t choose their famous fates out of the spotlight.

Malia and Sasha Obama were similarly mainly left alone, with one social media critique of their ‘inappropriate’ dressing prompting the resignation of the Republican staffer who penned it.

Malia and Sasha Trump with Barrack and Michelle Obama
Malia and Sasha were also given relative privacy during Obamas term. Photo: Getty Images

Barron was the subject of an offensive Twitter joke from Saturday Night Live writer Katie Richie in 2017, and a 2018 slur from Peter Fonda and those who came to his defence included none other than Chelsea Clinton.

Since then the very tall teenager has had his privacy more or less respected, with his new TikTok persona and campaign a very baffling exception.

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