An astronomer was locked out of her Twitter account for months after posting a video of a meteor that was flagged as 'intimate content', report says

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An astronomer was locked out of her Twitter account for months after posting a video of a meteor that was flagged as 'intimate content', report says
A meteor streaks across the sky near Lone Pine, California in August.David McNew/Getty Images
  • An astronomer was locked out of Twitter for months after posting a video of a meteor, per BBC News.
  • Mary McIntyre said Twitter deemed her August video to have broken its content rules.
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An astronomer was locked out of her Twitter account for months after the site flagged a video of a meteor that she posted as "intimate content."

Mary McIntyre, from Oxfordshire in the UK, posted the six-second animated clip on her Twitter account in August, but received a message from Twitter's content moderation team that she had broken the site's rules, she told BBC News.

The astronomer's Twitter account remained online, but she told the BBC she had not been able to log in to use it.

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Hours after the BBC published its report on Thursday, her account was suddenly unlocked, ending a saga that began with an initial 12-hour ban and extended beyond three months.

McIntyre told the BBC that she had refused to delete the tweet because doing so would amount to an admittance of guilt.

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"It's just crazy ... I don't really want it on my record that I've been sharing pornographic material when I haven't," she said.

The astronomer had also feared admitting she broke Twitter's rules would affect her ability to work with children, which required regular background checks.

"I miss the interaction," McIntyre said. "I feel a bit cut off from the astronomy world."

Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, has culled the company's workforce in an effort to slash costs.

At the time of the takeover Yoel Roth, head of trust and safety at Twitter, said only a fraction of the site's content moderation team had been affected. Roth has since left his role.

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Twitter didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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