Despite Social Media Giants such as Tiktok, Twitter, and Instagram's refusal to disclose that they are shadowbanning, it is common knowledge that they are preventing spammers, trolls, and bots from using their platforms.
Social media platforms encourage users to create engaging information that is relevant and intriguing. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the submissions and tweets are spam or automated. As a result, these platforms have been obligated to create and use algorithms and AI approaches to eradicate this sort of material – and bloggers, in particular, are frequently slipping into this trap due to their repetitious behaviors. Shadowbanning is also suspected of being utilized to obscure some political tweets.
Does Twitter Have a Shadowban?
While there is some speculation around whether shadowbanning is fact or fiction, that is usually reserved for other social media platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok. Twitter, on the other hand, released a statement in 2020 which had the following clause:
We may also remove or refuse to distribute any content on the services, limit distribution or visibility of any content on the service, suspend or terminate users, and reclaim usernames without liability to you
In short, they came out and said that they would limit the number of people your Twitter account reaches if you're found to breach any of their community guidelines. Even though Twitter does not explicitly go out and term this action as a shadowban, this is effectively what a shadowban is.
Twitter has the power to censure your posts and make them disappear from their community without any official notification. They will effectively block or "shadowban" you without you finding out, which means that people won’t be able to see what you post on the site. The reason for this? Twitter does it because they suspect someone of spamming or breaking its policies (whatever those maybe).
Generally, shadowbanning on Twitter is bucketed under three broad categories:
- Twitter uses Thread shadowbans or Ghost Shadowbans to prevent other users from viewing your tweet comments. It includes a search prohibition, as well as threads being entirely pulled apart by hiding the impacted user's reply tweets to others. Everything will appear normal to the affected person, but many others will be unable to view the afflicted user's reply tweets at all.
- In a Search Suggestion shadowban, accounts don't show up in search suggestions and search results when the account is not logged in.
- Under the Search ban, Twitter removes all (or simply the most recent) of your tweets from search results, even if they contain the same search terms used. Regardless of whether the quality filter is turned on or off, this form of ban causes your tweets to be completely hidden from search results. Hashtags are included in this behavior. For active accounts, it appears that this type of ban is only temporary.
- Twitter also tends to Deboost Replies as a spam-prevention tactic. If Twitter's signals indicate that an account is likely to engage in harmful conduct, the replies are hidden behind a barrier and only loaded when the "show more replies" button is pressed. Twitter does not hide the tweets of accounts you follow, therefore this behavior is personalized.
Top Reasons Why Your Account Might Have Been Shadowbanned on Twitter
Like most Social Media platforms and Communities, Twitter has its own set of rules that outline exactly what and what is not expected from Twitter users and community members. If you follow these religiously, you can likely keep your account from being shadowbanned. Here are some things that might lead to Twitter limiting your reach.
1. You've Been Trolling Other Users
Twitter takes its community guidelines very seriously. They want to create an environment of constructive debate and frown upon aggressive harassment. Any behavior that would be considered impolite in real life will not be tolerated on Twitter.
Your account will be muted and banned if you are continuously getting into disputes or harassing other users. This raises an alarm for Twitter.
2. You've Been Spamming
Make sure you're not over-posting the same information if you're attempting to advertise anything fresh for your company or your brand. You also don't want to use numerous accounts to send the same message.
It's crucial to double-check that third-party apps you link to your Twitter account don't automatically retweet to your timeline. Social media apps, in general, are extremely cognizant of the bot problem, and their algorithms are becoming more and more sophisticated as they crack down on accounts that they believe to be bot-controlled and spammy. Uncheck any options that grant the app access to automatically tweet on your account in the app's settings.
3. The Old Follow, Unfollow Trick
Churning is a term used to describe the process of following and then proceeding to unfollow a large number of people within a small time frame. This method became a popular tool that was used by users to gain a following. They will request to follow a large number of accounts, and if they are not followed back, they will unfollow. Some bots will do this for you in large quantities. This might result in your Twitter account being permanently suspended.
How Can You Check If Your Account Has Been Shadowbanned By Twitter
For starters, if you're noticing a huge drop in engagement and reach, and your interactions have dropped to zero, chances are you have probably been placed under a shadowban. While this is one signal, there is no official way to figure out whether your account is under a shadowban or not. However, there are some other tactics you can employ to get an idea of the status of your account.
One method for the Twitter shadowban test is to log out of your account, then run a Twitter search for your username. You can do this by logging into your Twitter account, go to the Explore page and search for your username by typing: "from: username". If you are unable to see your tweets or recent feed posts, you might have been shadowbanned.
You can also use external, third-party software and applications that have designed automated tests to check if an account has been shadowbanned. One such website, shadowban.eu is a great place to start.
Fortunately, removing a shadowban is quick and painless. In most situations, Twitter becomes available again within 48-72 hours. And, based on previous experience, it's better to leave your account alone till then.
How To Get Unshadowbanned
Do you suspect that Twitter has limited your reach and placed your account under a shadowban? To remove your account from being under a shadowban on Twitter, you can follow some simple steps to restore your reach and visibility to pre shadowban levels.
1. Review your activity and remove problematic posts
This might not be the easiest task as you would have to figure out exactly which post resulted in the ban. Still, you may start by turning off any traffic-generating bots or automated tweets. Delete any spam comments, tweets, or links you've left behind.
It's a good idea to clean out your Twitter account of any potentially harmful social media behavior. You can do this by reviewing Twitter's policies and removing anything that stands in violation of their rules.
2. Lay low for some time
A lot of times, shadowbans are temporary. You can refrain from tweeting and interacting for some time while you're in your shadowban period. Check back periodically to see if your engagement and reach have changed, but otherwise, keep your activity to a minimum.
3. Contact Twitter Support
If you've successfully reviewed community guidelines, done a Twitter page, and have abstained from using Twitter for some time, but still suspect that your account might be under suspicion, then the only thing left to do is to contact support.
Don't mention the words "shadowban", but simply let them know exactly what you believe the problem is (it could be reduced engagement, or your tweets not showing up under relevant hashtags). Twitter support will get back to you with any additional information, and unflag your account if they deem your content to be appropriate.
If you're under a shadowban and unsure of what to do, it's preferable to leave your account alone for a few days. Once a shadowban has begun, there is no way to appeal or terminate it, and spamming further during that period may result in a new ban once the first one has expired. That means you may start a new ban every day, rendering your tweets inaccessible until your account has had time to calm down.