Ron DeSantis and Elon Musk’s Twitter livestream experiences technical glitch

New York

Twitter’s live event with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis crashed and was delayed Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of users logged in to hear DeSantis announce his bid for the White House.

The voices of the live event — held on Twitter Spaces, hosted by owner Elon Musk and tech entrepreneur David Sachs — cut in and out of the first minute after it began.

“We had so many people here that our servers kind of crashed,” Sachs once said.

More than 500,000 Twitter users took part in the event, which eventually ended and restarted, delaying DeSantis’ announcement by nearly half an hour. When the campaign was relaunched using Sacks’ account, only about 250,000 subscribers ended up listening.

Twitter faces various Outages and Technical Issues Since Musk took over the platform late last year. Shortly after buying the company, Musk laid off a large number of technicians and other employees and reduced Twitter’s server capacity in an effort to cut costs.

In recent months, Twitter has faced multiple service outages This affected thousands of users’ ability to visit the website, view images and read tweets on their timelines. Users have also previously reported issues with the app’s two-factor authentication tool, seeing replies listed above rather than below tweets, and seeing old tweets reappear in their feeds or mentions.

Musk and Sacks acknowledged Wednesday that limited capacity on Twitter’s servers contributed to the problems it faced during the DeSantis campaign. “I think you broke the internet out there,” Sachs said as the event resumed. The duo added that Musk’s more than 140 million followers may have contributed to the problem.

Twitter’s Spaces product wasn’t necessarily designed for events with hundreds of thousands of listeners. Most other spaces have, at best, hundreds of listeners at a time. A former Twitter employee familiar with its development described Spaces as a “prototype” and “crude” tool.

“Spaces is very much a prototype, not a finished product,” the former employee told CNN. “It’s a never-ending beta test.”

They added that Spaces relies on a mix of Twitter’s technical infrastructure and Amazon Web Services servers, “things not designed to handle Twitter-scale traffic.”

Twitter acquired video streaming platform Periscope in 2015. The former employee said Twitter Spaces was built on top of Periscope’s existing infrastructure and wasn’t properly integrated with Twitter — which may have contributed to Wednesday’s technical issues.

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