DeSantis Campaign Launch On Twitter ‘Melts The Servers’ — Here’s The 411

Political machines were spinning hard on both sides, calling it a big win or an epic fail.

Whether you call last night’s event a ‘win’ or a ‘fail’ works something like a Rorschach test for the person describing it.

Supporters call it a win. Trump’s backers mock it as a fail. And media personalities still chafed over Elon buying Twitter tried to make Elon into a laughingstock.

Here’s what actually happened:

Last night, Governor Ron DeSantis finally made it official when he joined the race for GOP nominee for President of the United States of America. The plan was for him to meet with Elon in ‘Twitter Spaces’ which for anyone not familiar works something like an audio-only zoom call where one or more people host conversations while others can interact and queue up to ask questions.

The start of a much-anticipated Twitter event in which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis planned to announce his 2024 Republican presidential bid was repeatedly disrupted Wednesday when Twitter’s servers apparently could not handle the surge in traffic.
The app crashed repeatedly as Twitter users tried to listen to the event where Twitter owner Elon Musk joined DeSantis for the announcement.
DeSantis eventually was able to speak, about 20 minutes after the scheduled start, after Musk closed the initial Twitter Spaces event and started a second one on the app. That space attracted about 161,000 users, according to Twitter’s public-facing data, as DeSantis read a short speech. — NBCNews

The servers weren’t able to Elon’s account stable for the 700k+ users who showed up for the live stream. Eventually another (smaller) Twitter account was used to host the Twitter Spaces event, where DeSantis’s launch finally did go smoothly and can be heard here:

Old-world news sources were smug in their word choices. The Grey Lady called it the ‘gambit that flopped’. Others said the campaign ‘melts down in Twitter Glitches’. CNN called it a ‘launch disaster’ that ‘shows Musk’s Platform isn’t ready for Prime Time’. [Insert CNN+ joke here.]

The UK’s left-leaning Guardian was a little more fair in reporting the actual news. The criticism of the tech fail itself was withering, but gave Twitter the benefit of providing context of just how many numbers it was processing, and what they were doing to respond to it.

That struggling system experienced its greatest stress test yet with Wednesday’s stream, which at 6.20pm ET had nearly 600,000 listeners tuned into Spaces, Twitter’s dedicated audio streaming feature. By Musk’s own count, it was gaining 50,000 more a minute. As the livestream began, the audio line experienced feedback, outages and garbled audio. Many users reported their Twitter apps crashing or logging them out as they tried to join the stream.
“We got so many people here that we are kind of melting the servers, which is a good sign,” said Sacks, followed by Musk stating in the background that he was working to allocate more server capacity.–Guardian

In the end, free server capacity at the moment of that announcement was not enough to process the demand and the stream destabilized. They rebooted it from another account (above) and had a successful (albeit smaller) second attempt.

Trump and his supporters — as you would expect a campaign opponent to do — pounced on the news, mocking DeSantis. Here was Trump’s own social media reaction:

Team DeSantis put out the positive spin:

What can we break next?

“Let’s see if we can break WinRed.”

WinRed is the Republican answer to Democrat’s ActBlue campaign fundraising tool.

Sources Cited:

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