Going through your Twitter feed, you might have encountered posts regarding shadowbanning. If you’re encountering the term for the first time or have seen it but you’re still clueless to what it means, here’s a quick run-through for you.
Shadowbanning is Twitter’s way of intentionally making an account’s post undiscoverable to everyone except for them, without them knowing about it. This happens when the app detects suspicious activity from a user. This includes aggressive language, duplicate texts, and identical replies to your own or other posts in succession, among others.
Screenshots from the #TwitterHacked incident showing a moderation panel have surfaced. One screenshot shows a "Trends Blacklist" button, which is a feature we could so far only suspect to exist. It appears to prevent users from influencing the trends.https://t.co/SfSwTmEuMk
— Shadowban Tester (@shadowban_eu) July 16, 2020
How shadowbanning works
There are three kinds of shadowbanning on Twitter:
- Thread ban: bans others from seeing your replies to tweets
- Search Suggestion ban: bans others from seeing your profile in the search results
- Search ban: bans your tweets from the search results, even if it matches the exact search words used
Take note that an account can go through all these bans at the same time. The best way to lift these shadowbans is to stop all activity until your account functions normally again. Continuously posting more may cause Twitter to prolong the ban on an account. Newer users or those with a small number of followers may be shadowbanned easier compared to verified accounts.
— Shadowban Tester (@shadowban_eu) June 22, 2018
When an account is shadowbanned, other users have to manually go to their accounts to see their posts. This lasts from 48 hours or up to five days, depending on your Twitter activity.
People post online to share thoughts, photos, significant events, stories, and other similar content. Being shadowbanned is like removing the “social” in social media, since others cannot see content that you have been posting, thus losing the chance to interact.
Afraid that you’re currently shadowbanned? You can check your account with Shadowban.eu. Simply type in your handle name and click the “check” button to find out if you’ve been shadowbanned or not.