DeSantis and tech entrepreneur David Sacks, who was set to moderate the discussion, said the glitches were due to the large volume of people trying to join the Twitter audio event.
Sacks said the number of people was “melting the server.”
Audio on the event went in and out for more than 20 minutes before Twitter CEO Elon Musk ended the call and another one began.
More than 500,000 Twitter users joined the event at the start, according to the initial metrics on the platform. But after the glitches, the event ended and relaunched nearly half an hour later using Sacks’s account, only about 250,000 users immediately tuned in. (As of Thursday evening the platform listed 3.5 million total listeners.)
The Hill reached out to Twitter for comment on the technical difficulties and received an automated poop emoji response, the company’s auto-reply for press emails since March.
It’s the latest in a line of outages at Twitter since Musk took over after buying the company in October for $44 billion.
In February alone, Twitter had at least four widespread outages, The New York Times reported citing NetBlocks. That’s compared to nine outages in all of 2022.
A former Twitter employee told CNN that Spaces was “largely a prototype” not built for the scale of event it was being used for with DeSantis’s campaign launch.
“It’s a beta test that never ended,” the former employee told CNN.
Not only is Twitter facing criticism, but DeSantis is also getting slammed by his 2024 presidential campaign rivals.
“Ron DeSantis’ botched campaign announcement is another example of why he is just not ready for the job,” Karoline Leavitt, a spokesperson for Make America Great Again Inc., a super PAC aligned with former President Trump, said in a statement.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), who is also running in the GOP presidential primary, used it as an opportunity to fundraise, tweeting “Just like my policies, this link works.”
Ken Farnaso, a spokesperson for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R) presidential campaign, tweeted a video of Haley’s launch event in February and wrote “We’re so proud of @TeamHaley and our incredible campaign launch.”
Even President Biden, who is seeking reelection, mocked the launch.
“This link works,” Biden posted on his personal Twitter account, with a link to a donation page for his campaign.