Several space news websites covering ongoing space launches have recently been blocked from Twitter.
Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, launched 114 tiny satellites into space on Tuesday. A few news sites and YouTube channels closely followed the launch, from preparations an hour before liftoff to the landing of the Falcon 9 rocket booster back on Earth to the deployment of the satellites in space.
Two of those news sites, Spaceflight Now and the influential live-streaming site NASASpaceFlight, have recently been suspended. NASASpaceFlight, broadcasting the mission live, abruptly stopped publishing on Twitter at the end of the launch.
Stephen Clark, the editor of Spaceflight Now, tweeted that the account had been locked “for violating unspecified rules while reporting a SpaceX launch.”
Furthermore, NASASpaceFlight managing editor Chris Bergin blamed the temporary bans on the publishing of SpaceX launches, and Bergin said that “several” individuals had been shut out of their accounts “for showing shots of rockets.”
Twitter has been shaken by changing rules and layoffs since Musk took over the company in October. Twitter abruptly suspended the accounts of numerous famous journalists who had been covering Musk and his takeover of the company in December.
Musk explained that it was because they “doxxed” his location “in real-time” by distributing links to publicly available information on his private jet’s location. The next day, he declared that the accounts would be restored, citing the results of a Twitter poll in which he urged people to vote on whether or not the accounts should be restored.
However, it is still unknown whether Musk was involved in the most recent suspensions.