Before Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign announcement Wednesday, there were some who questioned whether Twitter’s servers could hold up to the traffic of the announcement.
Now we know.
Over 600,000 people from across the political spectrum tried to listen to his announcement on a Twitter Space with the social media service's executive chairman, Elon Musk. They were met with 20 minutes of mostly silence.
Musk and others tried to get a few words in before glitching out. The billionaire was heard speculating that it could be that the servers were crashing.
While they eventually got it working by taking it to moderator David Sacks' account, the damage was done. The second stream eventually reached only half of the original listenership.
Liberals and conservatives alike began posting about the flop, with the #DeSaster hashtag trending on Twitter, more than the hashtag associated with the campaign announcement.
Meantime, Trump lobbed his own shots at DeSantis for the flubbed announcement start from the former president’s Truth Social account.
DeSantis’ team and some followers responded to the technical breakdowns by saying the governor got so much attention he broke the internet, although the amount that did so is not even a third of the daily average views that conservative Fox News gets in their average 6 p.m. time slot.
Here’s a compilation of social media reaction (including Trump’s Truth Social comments) about DeSantis’ campaign announcement:
The former president responded with a barrage of Truth Social posts, ranging from quick video edits mocking DeSantis to mocking call outs:
Some Republicans attack, others defend
MAGA-aligned politicians and allied media personalities were quick to call the event a bad look for DeSantis. The governor's team and others friendly to DeSantis tried to put a positive spin on the Twitter crashes:
LMAO. @GovRonDeSantis’s Twitter space with @elonmusk was titled “Preparing to Launch”. After Team DeSantis screwed the entire thing up and made people wait over 20 min, DeSantis’s Space is already OVER before it ever began.— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) May 24, 2023
More like FAILURE TO LAUNCH.
I’m inside the Four… pic.twitter.com/rFEzMqHFJe
I didn’t understand why you wouldn’t do a conventional speech, with total control of the message and optics, then go backstage immediately for Twitter convo w/ Musk—best of both worlds— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) May 24, 2023
He couldn’t even get his launch right.— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) May 25, 2023
And he wants to be President.
After this bizarre twitter Space:— George Santos (@Santos4Congress) May 24, 2023
45 will be 47 end of conversation.#Trump2024
My thoughts on Ron DeSantis’ Twitter Space: his opening statement was very dry but I did love the Q&A - really spoke on tough issues and offered solutions. Good substance.— Brendon Leslie (@BrendonLeslie) May 25, 2023
As for the glitches - whatever.
Hate to see it! https://t.co/mdKmRa2lqD— Greg Steube (@gregsteube) May 24, 2023
Not good. Not good at all. https://t.co/Yz1n3QT2uQ— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) May 24, 2023
Just got off the phone with @elonmusk + @DavidSacks -- heard behind the scenes details from Twitter as they handled the nearly 1 million people trying to get into the Spaces room.— Generra Peck (@GenerraPeck) May 25, 2023
They had more than 700k in the room to start with hundreds of thousands trying to get in...had to…
This is flattering for DeSantis. He broke the internet. Embarrassing for Elon.— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) May 24, 2023
There was so much enthusiasm for Governor DeSantis' vision for our Great American Comeback that he literally busted up the internet. Washington is next.— Bryan Griffin (@BryanDGriffin) May 24, 2023
$1 million raised online in one hour... and counting!
Democrats have a field day
Several national and Florida Democrats and former Republicans took to the app to jeer at the Twitter Space technical difficulties. The Joe Biden reelection campaign even capitalized to make a fundraising push:
This link works: https://t.co/9PzIJkseYI— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 24, 2023
This has to be the most high-energy, well-organized presidential campaign launch in history. Who wouldn’t want Elon to host your party? pic.twitter.com/OEKQulVZwj— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 24, 2023
Completely humiliating start to DeSantis launch on Twitter. Feedback noise, crashing multiple times, and now he is on rambling with his annoying nasally voice. This campaign is going down faster than Jeb Bush did in 2016 lol https://t.co/HyCxzCXIuI— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) May 24, 2023
We had more people join when I played Among Us https://t.co/zBoDCM0XmL— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 24, 2023
To put this all in perspective: Ron DeSantis just became the first presidential candidate in American history to launch his campaign after suffering a massive defeat to a cartoon mouse.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 24, 2023
Train is crashing and it hasn’t left the station yet lol https://t.co/Zc94osxR9O— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (@AnnaForFlorida) May 24, 2023
So Ron DeSantis chose a glitchy audio-only format with an audience 1/20th the size of a Fox primetime show to just….read his stump speech?— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) May 24, 2023
Authorities have shared a picture of the hacker that crashed the Elon Musk hosted Ron DeSantis presidential announcement space pic.twitter.com/dvHb8E247l— Pericles 'Perry' Abbasi (@ElectionLegal) May 24, 2023
Media adds analysis
Reporters and columnists from across the country were also active, sharing quick comments they were getting from sources about the glitches and giving their own takes:
Response to DeSantis rollout from senior Team Trump source: pic.twitter.com/MXkNnBstXF— Dasha Burns (@DashaBurns) May 24, 2023
Fox homepage. pic.twitter.com/yMw2TnJzCn— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) May 24, 2023
It really bears repeating that the number one thing DeSantis needed to demonstrate after the past few months was that his campaign was polished and effective.— Philip Bump (@pbump) May 24, 2023
Nobody is happier than Fox News, which is going to make sure every Republican primary voter sees this one pic.twitter.com/3xti2wVg8c— Ben Smith (@semaforben) May 24, 2023
Daily Mail right now: pic.twitter.com/PNRMlsqJnu— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) May 24, 2023
One reason it might be good to let the MSM broadcast a presidential announcement: the MSM knows how to broadcast it without crashing— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) May 24, 2023
.@GovRonDeSantis has fired staff for significantly less than this— Matt Dixon (@Mdixon55) May 24, 2023
This is a big moment for MySpace
Elon Musk wants another one
After the space concluded, Musk sent out an invitation to other presidential candidates for a Twitter space.
All Presidential candidates are most welcome on this platform— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2023