Are you experiencing a drop in your social media engagement lately? Your social media activity suddenly stops showing up.
It's almost as if you don't exist on this site…weird!
It could be a bug. Even large sites can have problems from time to time. You might want to check back later.
Another possibility is that you might have been "shadowbanned" or ghost banned.
Accounts that have been shadowbanned are put into an invisible mode. They become invisible to everyone except the banned user.
You can take steps to remove your shadowban if this happens to you. We will explain each platform's steps and how to avoid being shadowbanned.
What is Shadowbanning?
Shadowbanning is when you post or do something that isn't visible to others, but you haven’t been banned or notified. Most users can still view their content, and they have no idea that anyone else can.
It allows spammers to continue spamming without having to be seen by anyone in the community or outside.
Sites use shadowbans to inform users instead of telling them. Spammers will immediately realize that they are banned and start looking for ways around it. Often, this involves creating a new account.
They don't realize they are banned and just keep posting despite being under shadowban.
Although it sounds odd, this is actually quite effective. It's difficult to prove that shadowban has occurred since most apps and websites deny it.
A change in the site's search algorithm or newsfeed algorithm could be responsible for a shadowban. The algorithms are proprietary to social media companies so it is not in their best interest to make public how they work.
No matter if you were penalized intentionally or unintentionally, the effect is the same: no one can see what you post.
Which Sites Use Shadowbans
Let's now talk about shadowbans and their workings.
This is where things get sticky: the practice isn’t completely out there and most platforms deny that they use it.
Shadowbanning has been reported on apps and sites like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
A survey called Posting Into the Void asked respondents to identify four types of shadowbans.
- Search suggestions do not show a username or hashtag.
- An increase in follower engagement
- Certain features can be blocked (e.g. replies or likes).
- Temporary ban that returns to normal after a specified time
Here are some ways to determine if you have been shadowbanned from popular social media platforms:
Is Twitter really a shadowbanner? Yes and no.
Twitter stated in a blog that they don't "deliberately make other people's content unavailable to anyone except the person who posted it" and they "certainly do not shadowban based upon political viewpoints or ideologies."
They do however, "rank tweets" and "search results" to "address poor-faith actors." Twitter will penalize content that it believes is spammy or troll.
Avoiding a Twitter Shadowban
These are some of the criteria Twitter uses to determine if someone is a "bad-faith act" or not.
- Check whether or not you have confirmed your email address
- You can upload a profile photo.
- When was your account created?
- Follow and retweet the people you admire
- Who mutes, follows and retweets you, and blocks?
You should verify your email address and upload a profile photo to avoid a Twitter shadowban.
Avoid spamming people and being too promotional. You should not try to sell products or services by posting too many posts. Other users may block your content and place a shadowban on you account. Instead, try to post useful and interesting content on Twitter.
Avoid trolling, engaging in online arguments or being too confrontational with your comments and posts. These actions can cause people to block or mute you.
How To Tell If You Are Shadowbanned On Twitter
It's impossible to know for certain if your account has been suspended from Twitter. You can search in an anonymous browser to check if your tweets are listed. Here's how:
- Log out of Twitter
- Open an incognito browser and type in //twitter.com/explore.
- Search for your username.
- Shadowbanned users will not see their user names.
Twitter may still be limiting the reach of your tweets. You can only determine if this is happening by monitoring your engagement. If your Twitter analytics show a dramatic drop in impressions, it's likely that your reach is limited.
Most cases, a reduction in reach will only last for a few days. You should avoid posting content that is against Twitter's terms. Your metrics will return to normal within a few days.
It can be frustrating to try hard to grow an Instagram following only to discover that your posts aren't showing on the platform. You might wonder if your account has been banned on Instagram.
The CEO of Instagram has stated publicly that "shadowbanning" is not a phenomenon, but it's not true.
Although your account may not be banned, the algorithm might still hide your Instagram photos.
Certain content is removed by Instagram's algorithm. Instagram's algorithm removes certain content that it considers inappropriate.
They specifically mention sexually-suggestive material. Their Community Guidelines state that spammy content, as well as content that is associated with violence or illegal activity, are prohibited.
Instagram prefers photos or videos that appeal to a diverse audience "…, so any less family-friendly content could be subject to an Instagram shadowban.
How to tell if you're shadowbanned on Instagram
While there is no way to know if an Instagram account has been shadowbanned, there are some ways you can tell.
You can search for "instagram.com @your username>" using an incognito browser. If your account appears in the search results you are most likely not shadowbanned.
You can also check your Instagram Insights to determine if you have been banned on Instagram. This will show you how much reach you have. You might be under shadowban if your reach has dropped significantly in recent months.
Most shadowbans on Instagram, like Twitter, disappear after a few days. It is best to not post content that is against Instagram's terms.
Reddit shadowbanning is quite different to other social media sites. Reddit shadowbanned users who violated its rules or hid their posts until 2015.
Reddit then announced that its shadowbanning system had been replaced by an account suspension system. Reddit staff believed that the shadowban tool was useful in dealing with bots but that it was unfair to ban real users of Reddit without telling them what they had done wrong.
The site does appear to use shadowbans occasionally, and the subreddit r/ShadowBan is still active.
Reddit's official content policy states that it may enforce its rules through "removal or addition of restrictions to accounts" and "removal/removal content," among other means.
How To Avoid A Reddit Shadowban
Reddit's rules will help you avoid being shadowbanned. It's difficult because Reddit's rules are dependent on which subreddit it is.
Some subreddits prohibit self-promotion while others allow it. Certain topics are banned in some communities. Before you submit your links, it is important to read and comment. You can then observe how different submissions are received in each subreddit and decide what to do next. Many subreddits have their rules listed in the sidebar (on mobile) or under "About".
This unofficial guide can be found here on how to avoid getting shadowbanned. Here are some key points
- You shouldn't spam your content or post too many links. If you do post lots of other stuff, one or two links is okay.
- Do not harass another user or downvote them constantly.
- Do not dox or encourage doxxing (posting personal information about someone without their consent).
- Post no illegal or offensive content.
- Do not abuse admins or moderators.
- Do not block moderators or admins.
- Be sure to follow the rules of each subreddit where you are posting.
How to tell if you're shadowbanned by Reddit
Post in the r/ShadowBan forum to find out if your Reddit account is shadowbanned. A bot will reply to let you know if your shadowban is.
Even if your account is not active, the bot will inform you of any recent posts that have been deleted.
Shadowbanning can be very dangerous. It may take a while, and you might need to create a new one. If you create a new account, follow the rules and don't try to circumvent the ban.
TikTok allows you to share short videos on social networks. Shadowbanning is possible there too, but it's not a common practice.
How to tell if you're shadowbanned by TikTok
Although there is no mention of "shadowban" within TikTok's Community Guidelines (like other social media networks), TikTok uses algorithms for ranking content. You might not see your content if you are on the wrong side or the algorithm.
Also, your account is less likely to be listed on the TikTok For You Page.
How to Avoid being Shadowbanned by TikTok
You can increase your reach on TikTok while avoiding penalties by following the best practices. Also, make sure to follow the Community Guidelines.
Avoid illegal material, violence and hate speech.
Check your pageviews, "For You" page statistics to see if you have been shadowbanned by TikTok.
A hashtag can be used in a post. Search for the hashtag. If your post appears under this hashtag, you won't be shadowbanned.
Because TikTok does not "officially" have shadowban users, it's impossible to predict how long this decline in reach will last.
Facebook refers to its content moderation policy as "remove. Reduce. and inform."
Facebook will remove content that is in violation of its Community Standards. Other undesirable content, such as misleading information, may be less visible or be marked with a warning label.
A shadowban is a method of reducing the reach and visibility of your content on Facebook. Facebook may ban accounts that post 'fake or harmful' content in some instances.
How to tell if you're shadowbanned by Facebook
You can check your posts for changes in engagement levels if you are concerned that your business page, personal page or group has been shadowbanned.
Shadowbanning could be the reason for a drop in engagement and impressions.
Avoid being Shadowbanned by Facebook
Avoiding links that contain misleading or fake information is the best way to avoid a Facebook Shadowban. Independent fact-checking agencies verify the content on the site.
Facebook penalizes websites that it considers clickbait. Clickbait websites with low authority and few outbound or inbound links may be penalized by Facebook.
Shadowbanning Facebook groups that are prone to sharing clickbait and misleading links frequently may be an option.
Although LinkedIn shadowbans are not something people often think of, it is possible that your content could be restricted on the site.
LinkedIn, like other social media sites has its own Community Policies that members must follow.
LinkedIn's content policies are more strict than those of other sites because it is a professional site. Your content must be legal, safe, and appropriate. It also has to be professional.
LinkedIn is a great place to grow your career and promote yourself, but spamming is not allowed.
Respect for intellectual property and privacy of others is a must. Avoid unwanted romance advances or harassment of other members.
LinkedIn may remove content from the site if you break its policies.
The LinkedIn algorithm is complex. Your content might not get the reach you desire, even if it is professional and high quality.
When creating content for LinkedIn, engagement and relevance should be top priorities.
Although it isn't a social network, it is still a place where people can learn and share content. Is it possible to be banned from YouTube?
Popular creator PewDiePie has made YouTube shadowbanning a big news story. According to his fans the channel of the Swedish videogame YouTuber was penalized in YouTube search results.
YouTube claims it does not shadowban channels. However, YouTube admits that some videos may be flagged and will need to be reviewed before appearing in search.
They stated that they are currently working to fix the problem in a Polygon interview
Avoid posting spam on Twitter if you are concerned about shadowbans.
7 Tips to Avoid Being Shadowbanned on Social Media
Each social network has its own rules and terms about what content is acceptable. Shadowbans are issued for violations. Follow the rules on each platform to avoid shadowbans.
There are certain trends that you should be aware of. Avoid shadowbans by following these guidelines:
- Be sure to read the Terms of Service for each platform.
- Follow power users in your area and see what they are sharing.
- Do not post duplicate content or links over and over.
- Avoid sharing content if you aren't sure if it is appropriate.
- Respect others and be polite.
- Use banned hashtags sparingly
- Do not post about illegal topics
You shouldn't worry about shadowbans in most cases if you adhere to the rules and post useful and interesting content.
What is a Shadowban?
Shadowbans are when social media platforms block a user from posting their content without informing them. Most users can still respond and post, but they cannot see the content. Shadowban is the user's name for a ban or notification that they don't get.
What websites shadowban users?
Many social media platforms employ shadowban in one form or another, including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Although many platforms claim that they do not "officially" use shadowban, their terms and conditions effectively limit the reach of some users' posts.
How can I avoid a shadowban
Respect the terms of service. Don't spam, don't link to sites that aren't permitted, don't share illegal content and treat others with kindness.
What can I do to end my shadowban?
Each site has its own steps for ending a shadowban. Some users have to wait for a while, while others need to contact customer service. Some users are permanently shadowbanned.
Shadowbanning can be a surprise to you, at least initially. A shadowban may be possible if you have a decreased reach or impressions in recent months.
To protect yourself, you need to ensure that your posts are not in violation of any terms or conditions. You should also avoid posting inappropriate content, trolling, spamming, and starting fights among other users.
Shadowbans can be annoying, especially if they are not something you feel you should have. Perhaps you disagree with the social media algorithm on what is and isn't appropriate, or you believe you had a constructive discussion while the algorithm thought you were being a troll.
These tips can hopefully help you avoid being banned in the future.
so your content can get better engagement.
What other methods can people use to find out if they have been shadowbanned or not? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.
By: Neil Patel
Title: What is A Shadow Ban? (and How to Fix It)
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/ghost-banning-phenomenon/
Published Date: Sun, 07 Aug 2022 19:00:00 +0000