Technology

Astronomer accused of posting ‘intimate’ image of meteor gets Twitter account back

A British astronomer whose Twitter account was locked for three months after a video she posted of a meteor was labeled “intimate” has had her account restored after a BBC story drew attention to her situation. 

Mary McIntyre tweeted a video of the trail from a meteor of the Perseid meteor shower in August. Her account was locked soon after, with Twitter telling her the clip contained “intimate” content that she shared without a participant’s consent. 

She initially received a 12-hour ban, according to The Guardian, but her account was not unlocked until Thursday, after a BBC story put a spotlight on her situation and Twitter users tweeted at the platform’s support team. 

“It was not offensive or pornographic at all,” she said. “It was just a meteor.” 

McIntyre could have had her access restored after the 12-hour ban ended if she deleted the photo and acknowledged that she broke Twitter’s rules. 

But she refused to do so, worried about the implications for her outreach work with children. 

BBC reported that McIntyre’s account was visible for the past three months, but she was unable to access it. 

“I’m back!!!!!!!!!!” she tweeted Thursday. 

“After 3 months of being blocked due to my Perseid meteor video being flagged as intimate media, I wasn’t able to get my account back unless I admitted to breaking the rule. Huge thanks to the BBC & to everybody who has been tagging support for me.”

The Hill has reached out to Twitter for comment. 

Twitter has undergone myriad changes since Elon Musk took over the company last month, including the laying off of half of all Twitter’s staff. 

McIntyre said she had trouble getting in touch with anyone at Twitter about her account both before and after Musk’s acquisition, BBC reported.

Tags account locked account suspension astronomer meteor shower Twitter
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