Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley took a break from the debate cycle Friday night for a forum dubbed the “First in the South Democratic Candidates Forum,” hosted by the South Carolina Democratic Party at Winthrop University in Rock Hill. The forum, moderated by Rachel Maddow, aired on MSNBC, and instead of featuring group discussions, focused on individual conversations with the candidates. 

The forum was expected to touch on an array of topics including the economy, policing, race relations and the state of the Democratic Party in the South. While there are 11 debates scheduled for the Republican debate season, the Democrats are planning only six for the 2016 election cycle. Party leaders were reportedly in discussions last month about new ways to give their candidates more national airtime, according to the vice chairman of the party. 

“There’s an impression gap, a free media gap, between Democrats and Republicans, and we have to close it. It’s too big for comfort,” said Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the New Democrat Network and a candidate for Democratic National Commission chairman in 2005, Time previously reported. “There’s enormous anger and resentment.” 

Maddow, however, made clear that Friday night’s forum was very different from a formal, DNC-sanctioned debate. 

“It’s not a debate. Both the Republican and Democratic parties made decisions this year that they would pick a specific number of debates and require that the candidates would only participate in those. … And that means I am not allowed to put these candidates on the stage at the same time. I have to talk to them sequentially, one on one,” Maddow told the Charlotte Observer.  

However, as is common with debate nights, social media still erupted Friday night as people criticized and praised the candidates. Twitter users also seemed pleased with Maddow and the forum format as opposed to the theatrical, back-and-forth debate style. Below are some reactions to the forum from Twitter.