Twitter prevented Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from announcing his 2024 presidential campaign on a Twitter Space with Elon Musk today.
The livestreamed group voice chat ended shortly after 3 p.m. PDT. The audio glitched, sometimes only playing reverb noises and distorted speech from the hosts trying to find the problem. The dysfunctional Twitter Space, hosted by venture capitalist and Musk ally David Sacks, had 580,000 listeners shortly after it started.
Since Musk took over last year, Twitter has had technical issues and has cut staff and expenses.
Update: By 3:30 p.m. PDT, an alternative Twitter space with a live Ron DeSantis was up and running, but it only drew a fraction of the listeners from the original announcement. DeSantis launched his campaign on Twitter, reaching a smaller audience. “I am running for president to lead our great American comeback,” DeSantis said.
Sacks called Twitter Space “probably the biggest room that has ever been assembled online.” The campaign kickoff had a lot of listeners, but Fortnite and other events dwarfed the space’s numbers.
DeSantis’ stump speech, which used the word “carnage” to describe violence in Baltimore and Chicago, echoed former President Trump’s divisive inaugural address.
“We see it with our eyes, and we feel it in our bones,” DeSantis said. “Our southern borders collapse, drugs are pouring into the country, our cities are hollowed out by spiking crime, the federal government’s making it harder for the average family to make ends meet and to attain and maintain a middle class lifestyle, and our president, [who] lacks vigor, flounders in the face of our nation’s challenges, and he takes his cues from the woke mob.”
Musk and DeSantis began their campaign together. Twitter’s new owner, who decries all things “woke,” previously supported the governor’s presidential bid. DeSantis chose Twitter to announce Musk instead of Fox News. On Wednesday, the new 2024 presidential candidate’s big moment was marred by predictable technical issues that his supporters and detractors won’t soon forget.