Just hours after Twitter Spaces failed to deliver Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis 2024 GOP presidential primary campaign launch without hiccups, Twitter's Director of Engineering Foad Dabiri announced his resignation.
The announcement came via tweet Thursday, but said his resignation came Wednesday night — which is when DeSantis' Twitter Space event failed to launch within about 25 minutes from its scheduled time.
"After almost four incredible years at Twitter, I decided to leave the nest yesterday," Dabiri tweeted. "The combination of the fantastic community, the impact it has, and its limitless potential sets Twitter apart. So, here is my pseudo-obligatory gratitude thread: #LoveWhereYouWorked"
The thread did not suggest his resignation was related to DeSantis' failed campaign launch event with Twitter CEO Elon Musk. And an email sent to Twitter seeking comment was responded to with only a poop emoji.
"During my time @Twitter, I experienced two distinct eras: pre and post M&A," Dabiri added in the thread. "Both came with their fair share of challenges, but they also shared a grand mission and a team of extraordinary individuals. What truly made Twitter exceptional was, above all else, 'the people.'"
He did mention Musk in the thread, without clear criticism nor praise.
"Working with @elonmusk has been highly educational, and it was enlightening to see how his principles and vision are shaping the future of this company," Dabiri tweeted.
He did suggest there are challenges keeping the social media giant running smoothly, though.
"It's impossible to grasp the inner workings of this platform and what goes on on a daily basis unless you've been fortunate enough to experience it firsthand," he added in the thread. "So kudos to the team that, despite all the outside noise, keep going and going strong."
Twitter, which has self-exposed bias through the Twitter Files since Musk took over, is now facing mainstream media criticism for now siding with the conservatives it used to censor and throttle down.
Two years ago, signing a bill intended to punish Twitter and other major social media companies, DeSantis blasted the platforms as "suppressing ideas" during the COVID-19 pandemic and silencing conservative voices.
The new Musk-owned version of Twitter helped DeSantis launch his bid for the Republican presidential nomination Wednesday. Though it was marred by technical glitches and skewered by the candidate's critics, the forum nevertheless underscored Twitter's unmistakable shift away from the Democrat machine under Musk, who bought it for $44 billion and took over in October.
"The truth was censored repeatedly, and now that Twitter is in the hands of a free speech advocate, that would not be able to happen again on this Twitter platform," DeSantis said during the Twitter Spaces event.
Musk, co-hosting the event, responded to the praise by saying, "Twitter was indeed expensive, but free speech is priceless."
Many Republicans have hailed Musk's takeover of Twitter as creating one of the last mainstream online spaces where they can share their views without fear of removal. Prominent figures in conservative media, like former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and the podcasts hosts of The Daily Wire, say they plan to start streaming content on the site.
Democrats and liberal-biased watchdogs, meanwhile, say Musk's partisan comments and policy changes have effectively given a megaphone to conservatives.
Though DeSantis' Twitter launch was severely delayed with site crashes and strained servers, his choice to debut his campaign on the platform illustrates that Fox will have more competition as a Republican kingmaker. His campaign said it had taken in $1 million online in the first hour after the announcement. Fox's ratings have declined dramatically during its 8 p.m. ET hour, which Carlson used to fill.
The Daily Wire, whose podcast hosts include popular conservative influencers such as Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens, said Tuesday it would bring its shows to stream on Twitter starting next week.
At the same time, Wednesday's botched live event with DeSantis calls into question whether Musk's ambitions to turn Twitter into a destination for politicians, businesses and others to make big announcements is realistic. For one, only about half a million people listened to the DeSantis webcast. A similar announcement on television would attract millions of people.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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