Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially entered the 2024 race for U.S. President today, and was expected to join outgoing Twitter CEO Elon Musk in a live Twitter Spaces conversation to celebrate. It did not go as planned—but perhaps it unfolded as expected for critics of the pair and the chaotic changes unfolding on the social network.
More than 560,000 users reportedly tuned into to the Twitter Spaces event, but many reported that their Twitter app was stalling and crashing. It took several minutes for speech to become intelligible, and even then, it was halting and echoed badly. Technical difficulties burned up close to 20 minutes.
So Ron DeSantis chose a glitchy audio-only format with an audience 1/20th the size of a Fox primetime show to just….read his stump speech?
"We've got so many people here that I think we are kind of melting the servers, which is a good sign," host David Sacks said.
"Servers are straining somewhat," Musk said after several minutes of silence and whispers. "We're allocating more server capability to handle more load here, it's really going crazy."
The event was previously described as historic, insofar as DeSantis was expected to announce his run for president during the Twitter Spaces session. As it turns out, DeSantis' first public statement was made via a pre-produced video released across social media about an hour earlier.
Sacks still said the session was making history, although fellow presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also took to Twitter Spaces to announce his campaign last month.
Crypto Twitter users who support DeSantis saw the situation as validation of the event's massive popularity.
The event did dominate news headlines, but probably not in the way DeSantis and Musk were hoping.
"DeSantis 2024 kickoff on Twitter plagued by technical issues," observed the Washington Post. "DeSantis declares White House run in glitchy Twitter launch," the BBC reported. Even Fox News, largely sympathetic to Republicans, declared, "Much-hyped Ron DeSantis presidential announcement a disaster on Twitter."
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