Nov 17, 2022

Astronomer in Twitter limbo over 'intimate' meteor

An astronomer from Oxfordshire has been locked out of her Twitter account since August 2022, when she shared a video of a meteor which was flagged by the site's automated moderation tools. Since Twitter was purchased by Elon Musk, thousands of staff have either been laid off or have left their jobs, but even before that Ms McIntyre found it impossible to talk to anyone about it inside the firm. The BBC tweeted Twitter's support account and contacted Mr Musk via SpaceX because Twitter currently has no communications department. There are also reports of Twitter accounts being wrongly flagged as belonging to children aged below 13 and blocked - including one belonging to a charity for the families of people held hostage, and another of a BBC journalist. Tech commentator Kate Bevan said it was an example of the limitations of the current artificial intelligence tools used by Twitter and other social networks to carry out moderation tasks.

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