Ron DeSantis has entered the 2024 US presidential race, but his live chat with Elon Musk on Twitter didn’t go as planned.
Twitter’s livestream tool crashed repeatedly on Wednesday during the much-anticipated live audio chat between platform owner Elon Musk and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
A technical glitch affected the politician’s announcement that he was running for the Republican presidential nomination.
Elon Musk wants to turn Twitter into a “digital town square” where people can hear from world leaders and politicians without the need for traditional media.
But his much-hyped Twitter space kickoff event, in which DeSantis announced his run for president, struggled about a half-hour late. For extended stretches the sound dropped and thousands of users were unable to hear.
The billionaire Twitter owner said the problems were due to “stressed” servers because so many people were trying to tune into the audio-only event.
But even at its highest, the listed audience topped out at around 420,000, a far cry from the millions of viewers that presidential announcements attract.
“There are so many people,” said host David Sachs between interruptions.
“There are so many people here that we are melting down the servers, which is a good sign”.
After it ended without further disruption, Musk, DeSantis and Sachs played the event a success, with Sachs quipping “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” – and we finished really strong”.
‘A historic first for Twitter’
The day before, Musk described the event as a historic first for Twitter, saying it was “the first time something like this is happening on social media”.
DeSantis’ opponents had a field day with the delayed announcement.
“Glitch. Technical issues. Inconvenient silence. Complete failure to launch. And that’s just the candidate!” said Steven Cheung, spokesman for former President and current candidate Donald Trump.
Rape. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, tweeted, “More people joined us when I played in our midst,” referencing the popular video game.
‘#DeSaster’ campaign launched
Since Musk took over and fired or furloughed about 80 percent of employees, Twitter has faced a series of technical issues — including the engineers tasked with keeping the site running.
Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council summit in London, a day before the DeSantis event, Musk expressed confidence about Twitter’s future and said he was “going to start adding people to the company” but further No details given.
Kasturi bought Twitter last fall for $44 billion (€41 billion). Since then, he has beefed up the platform’s verification system and tweaked its content moderation policies in line with his views as a “free speech absolutist”, all the while working to attract advertisers back to the platform to make it profitable. are doing.
His grand vision, he has said repeatedly, is to eventually turn Twitter into an “everything app” for everyone.
But he appears to be referring mainly to conservatives and Republicans being infected with the “awakened mind virus” and, more recently, Democrats and liberals, and Twitter restoring extremist accounts that were banned by previous administrations.
Wednesday’s campaign launch event with DeSantis continued the trend — though it remains to be seen whether the platform can become a destination for mainstream politicians when it continues to show evidence of instability.
For example, the word “disaster” was trending on Twitter on Wednesday evening as users mocked the botched campaign launch.
In a world of traditional media and politics, with half-hour delays and viewers numbering in the hundreds instead of millions, Wednesday’s Twitter Spaces event may seem like a failure.
But in Silicon Valley, failure is often presented as positive, even as necessary in developing new products and improving existing ones.
“It’s much worse for DeSantis than it is for Musk,” said Jo-Ellen Pozner, a business professor at Santa Clara University, noting that Musk’s SpaceX launched a rocket a month before it was scheduled to launch from Texas. Exploded after a few minutes.
After the explosion, Musk called it “an exciting test launch of Starship!” Learned a lot for the next test launch in a few months” in a tweet.
“It’s obviously a difficult situation for DeSantis, who wants to project ability, who wants to fend off criticism,” Pozner said.
In the classic Silicon Valley approach to failing and learning fast, “Musk has made it easy by just saying ‘This was the first time we tried, it didn’t work out perfectly, but next time we’ll do better. ” More”.
Posner said it remains an “open question” how important Twitter is going to be as a comprehensive digital platform.
“I think it will depend on how he and top management react to it and how they turn it around”, he said.
After DeSantis logged off, Musk and Sachs extended an open invitation to any other presidential candidate who would like to do a Twitter Space event.
Whether or not they find a taker could indicate what the future holds for Twitter as a “publicsquare.”