DeSantis campaign debut on Twitter faces technical glitches
Ron DeSantis’ live event on Twitter was beset by technical glitches and audio problems as the social network’s servers struggled to handle the surge of demand.
The event, which was scheduled for 6pm New York time, was intended to be where DeSantis would launch his 2024 presidential campaign. Elon Musk is hosting the event, which venture capitalist David Sacks is moderating.
As of 6:21 pm on Twitter’s audio tool, Spaces, more than 500,000 people were waiting for the event to start. Musk acknowledged that “servers are straining somewhat.” Those trying to join were frequently kicked out, then the Spaces disappeared and relaunched.
The Spaces moved to Sacks’ account, and the men joked about breaking the internet. Musk said the attempt to launch it from his own account, which promoted the Space to his 140 million followers, “basically broke the Twitter system.” As of 6:37 pm, the event on Sacks’ account had about 200,000 listeners.
DeSantis officialy entered the race earlier on Wednesday with a filing.
Since Musk purchased the company last year for $44 billion, Twitter has experienced a series of outages and glitches caused by rapid product changes and the loss of critical staff. To date Musk has fired or lost about 75% of Twitter’s staff. Many of those employees worked in areas critical to keep the site running, such as infrastructure engineering. In the weeks after his takeover, Twitter employees worried that the site would experience major malfunctions.
DeSantis’ presidential announcement is the first of its kind on a social media platform. While politicians regularly use social media to reach voters, most platforms take a nonpartisan approach by not promoting or endorsing specific candidates. Musk’s decision to host DeSantis’ campaign launch is part of a series of changes that have made the platform increasingly more partisan.
“Hopefully this can be a platform with people of divergent political views to exchange those views,” Musk said during the event. “Twitter was indeed expensive, but free speech is priceless.”
DeSantis in Florida has pushed positions that aren’t nationally popular, such as a ban on abortions after 6 weeks, an expansion of capital punishment, permitless concealed carry of guns and strict limits on how race and gender can be discussed in schools.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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