Have you been shadowbanned?

54 Responses

  1. Steel says:

    I was notified that my account was possibly exhibiting automated behavior although I’ve done nothing that I don’t normally do with my account. After unlocking my account I’ve noticed I’m shadowbanned again for the second time in 10 days. The first lasted 72 hours. How long will a second one usually last?

    • Di says:

      There doesn’t seem to be a set time for a ban, although a couple of days appears to be the norm – I’m surprised you were banned again so soon!

  2. Cara says:

    Hello. I think my fan account @CaraMiaXBTS has been shadowbanned. Could you please check if it is? I don’t use bots or any automated tweets. Although I have taken part in voting via Twitter these days so I use certain hashtags. But I always kept in my mind not to tweet too much or to put different contents in each tweet. Actually I was logged out of my account this morning. After I logged in back , I notice that I cannot tweet, retweet, like, DM or follow anyone. In fact my feed never updates. I see only those tweets of other people which I saw last time before I was logged out. How much time will it take for the shadowban to be lifted off me. Also will my voting via hashtags be counted?

    • Di says:

      Hey Cara, sorry I didn’t reply sooner! As a fellow ARMY I can feel your pain! A lot of fans got bans due to tweeting too frequently with the voting hashtags. It’s best to do one tweet with the hashtags, then maybe a couple of retweets and leave it for an hour or so before tweeting again. Not ideal! I see you’ve moved to a back up account; maybe keep both accounts going so you can switch if the same thing happens again.

  3. Rebecca says:

    My account has been suspended for “automated behavior” twice in the past ten days. I only have 524 followers. I try to post/retweet content that isn’t being tweeted out frequently. I either “like” or “reply” to everyone who interacts with me. I’ve never been rude, vile or disgusting. I rarely have used hashtags. After lifting my second suspension, I find out I’m now shadowbanned. I checked to see if I was shadowbanned at a site and it shows that I am. I posted the results and pinned it. One person replied and then I made two replies back, my replies are not visible when I did a search. I emailed Twitter support and Jack, which I don’t expect any replies to. I’ll wait it out and see if my account is recovered or I’ll just delete it. It is frustrating when you know you haven’t violated any rules and they only give you generic reasons.

  4. Kirsty Louise Lewis says:

    I have been banned for 5 months and counting! I don’t use bots, don’t tweet links or use many hashtags and haven’t overfollowed anybody so have no idea why it has lasted 5 months and am at the end of my tether, any help please?

  5. The advice you give is good and will work perhaps for most people. I’m now in my second shadow ban. I hardly use hash tags, don’t randomly retweet and post good content. There’s one item you’re missing from your article. Twitter now take payment for increasing followers.
    If a tweeter gains too many followers too quickly, Twitter think they’re missing out on a fee. It’s about lucre. Twitter can’t afford to lose followers, so they don’t ban they mute – shadow ban- to convince investors they maintain a high user base.

  6. Sara says:

    I don’t enter competitions, but I run a fanbase on twitter and at the moment it’s a weekly occurance that the account get shadowbanned!

    It’s getting frustrating and I don’t really know how to avoid it, I do all of the reccomended ways and I still end up banned!

  7. SylviaP70 says:

    I’ve been shadowbanned for the last week and although I have left my account alone it still hasn’t been lifted. Not sure what to do now

  8. CAROL PATRICK says:

    Seems as if I have, also a friend – only happened today

  9. Sharon says:

    thanks di,ive just found out from a fellow comper that ive been shadowbanned,ive never heard of it before,i just hope its lifted soon

    • Sharon says:

      ive just logged out and searched my name and i can see my page and all my tweets,i dont understand it,can somebody help please

      • What’s your username?

        • Sharon says:

          shazabella33

          • I’ve searched your name and there’s no results for your tweets Sharon. You’ll always be able to see your profile page and the tweets there – but the shadowban removes you from Twitter’s search.

          • Sharon says:

            oh bloomin heck,i thought id been unbanned because i could still see everything ,i dont understand it,will people be able to see my tweets? i.e on the competition posts? i really dont understand this shadowban malarky,do they unban you eventually ? thanks for your help di

          • Sharon says:

            hi di,ive made a new account and im still not the wiser,when i searched my name on twitter i found it,an when i clicked on companys tweets that i know ive posted on i could see what i posted even though i didnt follow them or me,its so confusing,i tried contacting twitter but so far i havent got anywere,its so annoying,why doesnt twitter have a proper help centre where you can send a message or chat to someone,its silly

          • A shadowban usually only removes you from search results and comment threads – your @ replies will usually still be seen by others. But lots of promoters will be choosing winners using Twitter search, especially for hashtag comps, which is why it’s a pain for shadowbanned compers as their entries won’t be seen. Does that make sense?

          • Sharon says:

            hi di,thanks for replying,i think so .

          • Sharon says:

            hi di,well i contacted twitter ads to promote my competition and apparently im not banned,im getting new people following me so im still confused ,its very odd

          • Art says:

            I would get in that class-action suit if possible. It Twitter & Facebook want to wage war against the majority of Americans by manipulating search results, then they should own it, then we can take our business to a less crooked, radical leftist owned media outlet. I stopped using Twitter a few yrs back…im sure I would have been banned otherwise. Don’t let them get away with it if you didn’t deserve the ban.

  10. Anni Ezmerelda Large says:

    Thanks for this, Di. I checked when this post went live and I wasn’t shadowbanned. Just checked now and I’m shadowbanned! I haven’t been comping on Twitter any more than usual. :/

    • Sharon says:

      hi anni,im having the same problem,its so annoying,twitter doesn’t help either,let me know if you’ve managed to sort it please x

      • Anni Ezmerelda Large says:

        Hey Sharon. I followed the link in Di’s article to the blog post about enquiring about placing an ad. An hour later I was un-banned! Not sure if that was just a coincidence though. x

        • Sharon says:

          hi anni,i contacted twitter adds about that but they said they couldnt help,glad you got it sorted x

  11. PrizeDeck says:

    Nice article Di and one which has brought to our attention something we never even knew existed! With our Twitter giveaways, we use Twitter’s APIs throughout the prize draw promotion and from our experience it does not matter whether you retweet at the start or towards the end of the promotion, we still track and collect the entries via the API. For those that have been shadowbanned, we can probably test this and see if their retweets are indeed seen by the API. We find the APIs are pretty reliable but we’ll be focusing on giveaways on our new website which we can then have greater control over. And yes, some promoters are flouting the rules with their social media promotions and it has become a real ‘wild west’. If you know anybody who has been shadowbanned on Twitter and would like to know if we can see their retweets then let us know!

  12. Emma Fox says:

    A really interesting article Di. I panicked, then checked and luckily I’m not shadow banned – phew. I am guilty of many retweets when I’m bored and on my phone on a Wednesday and Friday and will always check out the giveaways page on a blogs that I’m reading and enter. I also use the daily tweet option a lot on gleam as the link goes to my email. I’m sure that the general idea of ‘shadow banning’ is a good way to reduce bots and spam however there is an unsettling Owellian undercurrent here. A faceless process making a judgement on which users can not challenge their decision!!!

  13. Gleam & RC entries are fine – those widgets store the direct web link of your tweets and if clicked, that link will always display your tweet. So if you win with a tweet and the blogger checks the link, it will be there!

  14. Stacy Sorrell says:

    well, it says im shaddowbanned but yet im still getting notifications and people can see me!

    • You’re not visible on a search though Stacy – if I search for your username @stacesorrell711 there’s no results except tweets where people mention you.

  15. Charlotte says:

    Great article 🙂 I have a question about this. As an example, I retweet & then reply to a competition on Twitter and am Shadowbanned, when the ban is lifted a few days later, does the promoter of the competition then see my retweet/comment as a new notification or will they never see it? Thank you

    • I can’t be sure, but I’d guess that Twitter only sends live notifications so the reply notification would be skipped? The retweet would be visible though… so it depends how they choose the winner!

  16. Alan C says:

    I am currently experiencing a shadowban on Instagram after the hack last week as my interactions dropped. The Instagram shadowban tool doesn’t work properly as it keeps saying my posts are ok when I know they are not. This website explains why it doesn’t work: https://thepreviewapp.com/warning-instagram-shadowban-tester-website-doesnt-work/ I hope it goes back to normal soon

  17. RogB says:

    I dont think that i have been shadowbanned, Bu i found the some one is removeing my retweets, so that I have to go and do them again. This I found out, becouse I did a tweet in side a tweet, then went back a few days later and found te the tweet bit add gone, but the tweet in side was sttill there.

    • Sorry – I’m not too sure I follow this! Do you mean when you quote tweet, and add your own text Rog? Is the original tweet being deleted – could you link an example?

  18. Tracey Peach says:

    The asking about placing an ad does not work, twitter just messaged back saying we have looked at your account & you have never placed an ad before!. So I replied no I haven’t but that does not mean I don’t want to start one now, & with your attitude I don’t think many people will!. Stupid Twitter!

    • I fear maybe too many people have tried this fix and Twitter have got wise to it! :/

      • Tracey Peach says:

        Yes funny though because my account has been like this since April so I must of been before the next lot got caught. It seems only people who are following me can see my tweets, hardly any notifications & my analytics don’t work either oh well I won’r make my fortune this year! 🙂

  19. Simon Tinsley says:

    the other way to check if you are shadowbanned is to copy the address of the tweet you’ve replied to, go into private/incognito mode and paste the link and see if your reply tweet is there. Because you’re not logged in in private/incognito mode, you just look like any other member of the public to Twitter.

  20. Oh and I forgot to add some poeple have found adding your hashtags to the comments section of your instagram rather than the main post is a way to get round instagram being funny with certain hashtags. I’ve not yet tested this out on a compeition entry to check – BUT i do now as standard put my hashtags for my posts that are not comping related in the comments section!

  21. There’s another issue with instagram and hashtags that doesn’t even involve shadowbans that compers should be aware of. When Instagram changed the algorithm last year they started limiting hashtags. So if a hashtag becomes popular enough Instagram will limit the results that show only the top posts. A while back I entered a competition and initially my entry displayed when i searched for the hashtag. towards the end of the promotion I discovered that my picture had vanished from the hashtag search. I searched, i had my friends search and I had an account that didn’t follow me search. There were a ridiculous number of entries to this competition and it’s possible that the hashtag became so popular that the instagram algorthim kicked in and started limiting posts apart from the absolute most recent and the most popular. In the end I had to delete my original entry and repost it. It still didn’t show in the hashtag search, so i asked a few of my friends to like the post for me. After I had a few likes it appeared in the top posts section ( just in time for the closing date of the competition)

    So moral of the story here is
    1. After posting any picture for a instagram competition that involves a # do a search of the # and check you picture turns up in the results
    2. If its a big competition and one one you want to make sure you’re picked up when the promoter searches through the entries check again that you come up in the results just before closing date
    3. Alternatively try and time your entries towards the end date of the competition in the first place.

    Great post though Di. I believe especially with twitter and instagram the algortihms they use mean you have to do a few extra tweaks to your account and sometimes entries to ensure you actually get seen and have a fair chance of winning!

  22. D Fairman says:

    I just checked and apparently I am shadowbanned. I’m fuming! I don’t feel like I even enter many comps on twitter. I don’t know how long it has been going on for because when I search my handle, I only see replies to myself and no actual tweets that I have written. How long can they do this for?

    • Well since I’ve written this, I’ve heard from people who tell me they’ve been invisible on Twitter for months! So I really don’t know what’s going on.

      • DanielleGraves says:

        I’ve been invisible from search for a couple of years now but still have regular wins on twitter, I really do think people are getting into a mad panic over it when they don’t need to. As long as people get notifications you are tweeting them then that should be enough.

        • But lots of brands do use Twitter search to select winners, rather than their notifications/mentions – whether that’s to track hashtags or to find retweets or replies. And if you’re missing from search that’s quite a few draws you won’t be in, unfortunately!

        • Gdot says:

          They don’t, though. If you’re shadowbanned, people don’t get notifications from you. That’s what shuts down your activity.

  23. Kate Fox says:

    Entering competitions on social media seems to be more and more pot luck (over and above the ‘good’ pot luck we always factor in of course!) FB doesn’t send me notifications if I get tagged. How on earth are you supposed to scan through your whole timeline to see if you’ve won. It’s all this ‘like and share’ business I can’t cope with. It’s just a spam generator and, if you read Private Eye, you’ll see that this sort of advertising just doesn’t work, but FB con advertisers that it does. I keep getting temp bans on FB due to having to do all this sharing….grrrrrrr

  24. Yellywelly says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I didn’t know that the shadowbanning extended to Twitter. I’ve only just discovered the shadowban on my Instagram account. I’ve deactivated my account on Instagram and am staying away from it for a while.

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