Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday with screeching audio feedback and technical difficulties in a Twitter Space with Elon Musk.
DeSantis eventually launched his campaign, but the event was riddled with problems from the start – and DeSantis failed to use Musk’s original Space. When moderator David Sacks, a venture capitalist and former PayPal product lead, first cut himself off to start the conversation, the room was filled with loud, echoing feedback noises before quickly falling silent. DeSantis and Sacks’ records darted in and out of the first room, muting and muting themselves before leaving altogether.
As of publication, it’s not entirely clear what went wrong, but Musk (one of the few people who actually spoke in the first Space) attributed the problems to overloaded servers. More than 600,000 users tuned in minutes before the Musk-hosted room ended.
“Man, I think we melted the internet there,” Sacks said in a separate space he created with his account after the first one closed. “I think it crashed because when you multiply half a million people in a room with an account that has over 100 million followers, which is Elon’s account, I think that just creates an unprecedented level of scalability. But with my meager following it seems to work much better.”
DeSantis read his campaign launch speech in the room hosted by Sacks about 25 minutes after the event was originally scheduled. “I had to switch to David hosting it because my account broke the system,” Musk said.
The DeSantis campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since taking over Twitter last year, Musk has received huge support and admiration from Republicans who have long accused social media platforms of unfairly censoring conservative speech. Musk has repeatedly played on this grief by rallying behind various right-wing talking points and offering large amounts of internal Twitter documents as proof that the company’s previous leaders were biased against conservatives.
Asked about censorship Tuesday, DeSantis said he would soon sign a “digital bill of rights” that would ban state and government officials from “collaborating” with social media companies.
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and The daily thread have chosen to move their shows to Twitter in recent weeks.
Musk’s popularity with the GOP could be a boon to DeSantis, whose polls among Republican primary voters have plummeted in recent weeks. A recent Morning consultation Research showed that Trump overtook DeSantis among GOP primary voters by 38 percent.
Both DeSantis and Musk have portrayed people with progressive views on issues such as LGBTQ+ rights as members of an existential “woke mob” seeking to corrupt conservative tradition. Despite suggesting he would support DeSantis if he were to run for president late last year, Musk said he “had no intention of supporting any particular candidate at this point” during an interview at a Wall Street Journal conference on Tuesday.
“I think it’s pretty groundbreaking that there’s going to be a big announcement of this type on social media,” Musk said Tuesday.
The DeSantis campaign formally filed for the 2024 presidential race Wednesday afternoon, kicking off an increasingly crowded GOP primary currently being run by former President Donald Trump.
“Elon Musk has already turned Twitter into a hellish landscape of hate and conspiracy. But his close embrace of Ron DeSantis – just weeks after Tucker Carlson announced he would be reviving his Fox News show on Twitter – is a new low for what was once one of the most important communication platforms in the world,” said Nicole Gill. , co-founder and executive director of Accountable Tech, in a statement Wednesday.