Twitter Crash During Ron DeSantis U.S. Presidential Run Announcement

The 2024 presidential race is officially underway, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launching his campaign this afternoon. But his plans to announce through a Twitter Spaces chat with Elon Musk, the tech billionaire’s owner, went wrong. The group voice chat cut out and crashed multiple times during the event, a test for Musk’s new Twitter Live service. The service is intended to allow users to watch video and audio from live events on a desktop or mobile device, with a feature that allows viewers to ask questions.

The Twitter Spaces event, which over 580,000 people attended according to estimates, was plagued with technical issues that caused the audio to cut out and lag. The event, which was delayed by over 20 minutes at the start time, was interspersed with reverb noise and feedback from the listeners.

“We are trying to get it up and running; there’s a lot of people,” the person leading the chat tweeted. “It’s going to be a few more minutes.”

In an interview with The Verge, Musk explained that the Spaces event was supposed to be a test run for the live service. It was initially slated to be launched in January. But the company’s engineers had to adjust the software before they could ensure it would work as intended. “It turned out to be more difficult than we thought,” said Musk. “It’s a very complex system to get everything working, and many things can go wrong.”

Despite the glitches, Musk was able to hold the interview after all. He could not speak to the crowd, though; his answers were short.

Musk has been trying to turn Twitter around since he took over the social media platform last year. He purchased the company for $44 billion, far above its value then. He has laid off thousands of employees, including many engineers responsible for fixing software bugs. Workers criticized the move, which led to a class action lawsuit that could cost the company millions in legal fees.

DeSantis is the seventh Republican to enter the race for president formally. He is expected to tout his conservative policy victories in Florida, including fighting Disney and banning critical race theory, to woo voters who have primarily supported President Trump. But the Navy veteran and Harvard Law School graduate could find it hard to shake his image as an echo of Trump.

DeSantis is scheduled to meet with top donors in Miami next week as he looks to start raising money for his campaign. The governor is expected to formally file his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission by the end of the month. He will then travel to the early nominating states to build momentum. He will face off against a field of candidates that includes former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Vox Weekly

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