On Wednesday evening, Twitter’s highly-anticipated “Spaces” feature experienced repeated technical glitches during Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign announcement. The event, which was set to be a conversation between DeSantis, Twitter CEO Elon Musk, and tech entrepreneur David Sacks, suffered from server strain and crashing issues. As nearly 700,000 users logged in to hear the announcement, frustrations grew as the mobile app repeatedly crashed, preventing users from accessing the broadcast. The event was eventually shut down without explanation, leading to criticism from Twitter users and political commentators, as well as opportunities for opponents to capitalize on the situation.
The excitement surrounding DeSantis’ announcement quickly turned to disappointment as users encountered a series of technical challenges. The Twitter Spaces feature, intended to facilitate the conversation between DeSantis, Musk, and Sacks, proved unable to handle the overwhelming demand. Users complained about being unable to hear the broadcast and expressed their frustrations as the app crashed repeatedly. Twitter CEO Elon Musk acknowledged the server strain during the event, suggesting that the platform was unable to cope with the influx of users.
As news of the technical glitches spread, political figures and commentators took to social media to express their opinions. President Biden saw an opportunity to capitalize on the situation and tweeted out a fundraising page with a sly caption, drawing attention to the failed announcement. Some commentators, such as Kimberly Guilfoyle and David Marcus, seized the moment to make sarcastic remarks about the incident, drawing parallels to the previous administration and its potential impact on DeSantis’ candidacy.
The MAGA War Room, an influential Twitter account associated with the “Make America Great Again” movement, shared an image of the Twitter Spaces interface with the caption “failing to launch…” This tweet emphasized the technical failure and further exacerbated the negative perception of the announcement.
Tonight was a perfect encapsulation of the campaign. If you’re obsessed with the optics of the Twitter Spaces glitch, then you’re probably not going to vote DeSantis. If you’re interested in political substance, DeSantis is likely your candidate.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 24, 2023
While the technical glitches and subsequent criticism undoubtedly marred DeSantis’ announcement, it is important to note that technical issues can occur even with the most advanced platforms. As Noah Rothman, a conservative columnist, pointed out, if the campaign can display competence in subsequent events, the Twitter Spaces incident may fade into the background. Additionally, as more conventional campaign events take place, they have the potential to overshadow this initial setback and refocus attention on DeSantis’ policies and platform.