Miami, May 25 : Ending months of speculation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finally launched his bid for the 2024 US presidential election on Twitter, but the livestream event was delayed following a technical glitch.
Wednesday’s livestream event was held on Twitter Spaces and hosted by the platform’s outgoing CEO Elon Musk and David Sacks — a tech entrepreneur and major political donor who contributed just over $70,000 to the 44-year-old Republican Governor’s political committee in 2021.
Twitter Spaces is a platform that allows “creators” to host live audio conversations that other users can join and engage with.
As more than 500,000 logged in on Wednesday to join the Governor declare his bid for the White House, the audio was cut out even before he could say a word, reports the BBC.
Almost 20 minutes of glitches followed, before he could finally make his announcement.
“I am running for President of the United States to lead our great American comeback,” DeSantis said, once the sound was stabilised.
By the time his speech began in earnest, hundreds of thousands of Twitter users had left the platform.
DeSantis’ team worked quickly to spin the technical stumbles, writing on Twitter that the announcement “broke the internet with so much excitement”, and posting a link to the campaign website.
His press secretary Bryan Griffin claimed the online event raised $1 million in an hour.
When the event was relaunched using Sacks’ account, only around 250,000 users ultimately listened in, CNN reported.
In response to the development, Musk and Sacks admitted on Wednesday that the limited capacity of Twitter’s servers played into the issues it faced getting the event underway.
“I think you broke the internet there,” CNN quoted Sacks as saying when the event was relaunched.
They also added that Musk’s following of more than 140 million users may have also contributed to the issue.
“I think it crashed because when you multiply a half-million people in a room by an account with over 100 million followers, which is Elon’s account, I think that creates just a scalability level that was unprecedented,” Sacks added.
“You know you’re breaking new ground when there’s bugs and scaling issues.”
In his announcement, DeSantis touted his handling of the Covid-19 crisis in his state and also defended his reforms of Florida’s education system, saying his state “chose facts over fear, education over indoctrination, law and order over rioting and disorder”, reports the BBC.
The Florida Governor is viewed as former President Donald Trump’s chief rival to be their party’s candidate in next year’s election.
He joins a growing list of contenders seeking to unseat Trump, who leads the Republican field by more than 30 points in national opinion polls.
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