Social media professor discusses DeSantis Twitter campaign announcement troubles
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Ron DeSantis has officially entered the presidential ring, but his announcement didn’t go quite as planned.
Florida’s Governor planned to make the big declaration over an audio-only platform called Twitter Spaces in a conversation hosted by Twitter owner Elon Musk.
University of Florida Social Media Professor Dr. Andrew Selepak says that could have been a way for DeSantis to make a splash, since he’s currently polling second behind Donald Trump.
"To really introduce himself to an audience outside of Florida when he’s receiving so much negative press from the national media, using Twitter as this space where he doesn’t have to engage with the national media gives them the opportunity to be in charge of his message."
Instead, Twitter Spaces glitched and faltered for 21 minutes straight.
Things finally worked on a second attempt.
Things finally worked on a second attempt. But by that point, as Dr. Selepak pointed out, the audience was only a fraction of what it had been originally.
"It seemed like a complete failure on the part of Twitter. I kept getting booted off, the mics would go out. DeSantis dropped out for a little bit. So from the perspective of using this as a new technology, this new way to have these opportunities for people to have large conversations, it did not work."
Twitter Spaces has been glitchy in the past. Making this announcement on that platform was a risk.
So why go this route?
If it worked, it would have been a way to reach a massive number of people and avoid traditional journalists.
DeSantis touched on that too, praising Elon Musk and saying Twitter allows for free debate.
"The legacy media, these corporate journals, they’re in their little bubble," DeSantis said. "I think what Twitter is standing for is people should be exposed to different viewpoints."
Donald Trump took to his own social media platform, Truth Social, to react to DeSantis’ announcement.
He wrote, "Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH!"
President Joe Biden tweeted out a link to his campaign fund, saying, "This link works."
"This wasn’t a fault of DeSantis, it was a fault of the technology," said Dr. Selepak. "But I think more people are talking about the fault of the technology than the DeSantis campaign at this point."
DeSantis concluded his conversation on Twitter Spaces tonight by saying he’d like to come back and do it again sometime.