Ron DeSantis disaster campaign launch on Twitter Spaces was blamed on decimated staff
A decimated workforce and shrinking server capacity has been blamed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Twitter Spaces for the disastrous presidential campaign launch.
Twitter Spaces’ staff has been ruthlessly reduced from 100 employees to three in recent months, with engineers at the social media company saying they were “not ready” for the onslaught of users.
More than 500,000 people waited more than 20 minutes for the event to start, and people who could join were often kicked out.
The first audio live stream stopped before DeSantis could get his news out. The second fared slightly better, attracting about 700,000 listeners at its peak.
A decimated workforce and shrinking server capacity is blamed for launching the disastrous presidential campaign by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) on Twitter Spaces
Chief Twit Elon Musk, entrepreneur and venture capitalist David Sacks who hosted the event, and DeSantis reportedly joined a conversation to discuss why the event was plagued with outages.
Musk attempted to put a positive spin on the day’s events by giving DeSantis campaign staffer Generra Peck “behind-the-scenes details of Twitter as they dealt with the nearly 1 million people trying to get into the Spaces room.”
“Just got off the phone with @elonmusk + @DavidSacks – heard behind-the-scenes details from Twitter as they tried to deal with the nearly 1 million people trying to get into the Spaces room,” she said.
“They had over 700,000 in the room starting with hundreds of thousands trying to get in…had to move the room…”
Addition: ‘Now help us break WinRed too…’
Spaces relies on Amazon Web Services servers that are “insanely under-provisioned.” Daily beast reported.
Platform game quoted a user on the Blind employee forum as saying, “Musk will blame one (or more) of us and shoot. That’s his way of working.’
“Virtually no one who remains knows the current architecture through and through,” said another on the employee forum.
Following the event, Twitter’s head of engineering announced his resignation.
Foad Dabiri tweeted: ‘After almost four incredible years with Twitter, I decided to leave the nest yesterday.
“The combination of the fantastic community, the impact it has and the limitless potential sets Twitter apart.”
Foad Dabiri, head of engineering at Twitter, has resigned, he confirmed Thursday
He admitted that Musk’s purchase of Twitter in October had made the job “challenging,” with a lot of “outside noise,” but put a positive spin on the situation, saying he learned a lot from the experience.
He did not go into detail about why he left.
His company was deeply embarrassed by Wednesday night’s debacle, which saw Twitter unable to live stream audio from DeSantis’ campaign launch, and a heated microphone discussion with Twitter owner Elon Musk and moderator David Sacks.
Musk and Sacks said the problems were due to “server stress” and “the melting of the servers,” claiming it was the largest event ever hosted online – but many pointed out that much larger events had been held without any problems.
Dabiri posted a lengthy thread thanking his colleagues for their work and friendship.
“What a special journey it has been,” he wrote.
To say it was challenging at first would be an understatement. The change was massive and rapid; we got through it and came out stronger, thanks to the remarkable team that occupied the fortress.
“Working with @elonmusk has been very educational and enlightening to see how his principles and vision shape the future of this company.”
Dabiri studied for a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and joined Google in 2011.
In 2014, he started health technology company Wanda, where he stepped down as CEO in April 2019. Three months later, he joined Twitter.
He said it was a remarkable experience to work there.
“Twitter is a place that defies comprehension,” he wrote.
Dabiri, who has a Ph.D. in computer science from UCLA, worked at Google before founding a health technology start-up. He joined Twitter in July 2019
“It is unique, quirky, remarkable and resilient, all thanks to the brilliant and skilled individuals who built it and continue to shape it.
“It is impossible to understand the inner workings of this platform and what goes on on a daily basis unless you have been lucky enough to experience it firsthand.
“So kudos to the team that, despite all the outside noise, keep going and staying strong.”
The launch of DeSantis’ campaign, which Musk said was revolutionary, was scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
Still, Twitter couldn’t handle the traffic and its servers crashed repeatedly.
The event was initially delayed for several minutes, and when it started the audio often cut out.
Moderator David Sacks said so many people tried to listen it “melted the internet.”
At 6:30 p.m., the audio cut out and DeSantis had yet to utter a word. They started again about 10 minutes later, with Sacks congratulating DeSantis for “breaking the internet” and Musk saying it was refreshing not to have “canned speeches and teleprompters — it’s real.”
The internet erupted in ridicule.
Who here thinks #DeSantis could have launched better on Disney streaming? #Fail,” someone tweeted, referring to DeSantis’ bloody battle with the entertainment company.
A source told CNN that Twitter’s technology – the Spaces platform – was not built to receive hundreds of thousands of listeners.
Spaces was described as a “prototype” and “janky” tool by a former Twitter employee familiar with its development.
“Spaces was largely a prototype, not a finished product,” the former employee said CNN.
“It’s a beta test that never ended.”
Musk himself tried to laugh off the fiasco.
“Top story on earth today,” the 51-year-old South African mogul wrote at around 10 p.m. Wednesday.