Twitter commits to Spaces despite glitchy DeSantis event

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Twitter will “keep experimenting” with its audio platform Spaces to give political candidates a chance to connect with an audience, despite the technical glitches in a high-profile event, said David Sacks, who moderated a discussion between Elon Musk and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday.

Sacks, a general partner at venture capital firm Craft Ventures, acknowledged that the conversation got off to a rocky start, but said it went well after they switched from Musk’s account to his own. “If your viewers go to Twitter now and go listen to the recording, I think they’re going to wonder what all the fuss was about,” he said on Bloomberg TV Thursday. “Once we got started in a room on my account, we worked up perfectly,” 

The Twitter Spaces event was intended to kick off DeSantis’ 2024 presidential campaign. More than 500,000 people were waiting for more than 20 minutes for the event to start, and people who were trying to join were frequently kicked out. DeSantis and Musk joked that they broke the internet. 

The malfunction was widely mocked online and Sacks failed to challenge DeSantis on key points such as his fight with the Walt Disney Co., or constraints on what schools teach on race or sexuality, as well as the decision to allow only supporters of the candidate to ask questions. Sacks defended the discussion, saying it went perfectly after the initial fail and that the one-hour conversation wasn’t enough to cover every issue. 

“We tried to ask him about some tough questions,” Sacks said. 

Sacks blamed the time limit for not being able to bring up DeSantis’ controversial views on abortion. “I think it’s an important issue and he’s going to have to speak to that,” Sacks said. “We couldn’t cover every single issue in this town hall. We covered so many issues, and it still feels like we are scratching the surface. I think there will be other opportunities for the candidate to address to that.”

Sacks said, “Twitter very much wants to become a open platform, a town hall for candidates to use.”

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