Twitter Shadowban The Age Of Silence
So i write this post with a heavy and frustrated heart. I have yet again been shadowbanned on Twitter. This will be the second time for me, or at least as far as i am aware. #thissucks #canyouseethis #probablynot.
This time around i am actually on day eleven of my shadowban and starting to get a little bit pissed off with the system. The first time was a 72 hr ban, that i am assuming was meant to be some sort of warning to me. Problem is it’s only a warning if you actually know its going down and the thing about shadowbanning is that you most likely don’t.
What is a Shadowban?
Well funnily or not so funnily enough, apparently shadowbanning does not even exist. Yeah you heard me right, having spent the last week researching this topic almost like an obsession i have concluded that Twitter themselves will tell us all, that they have nothing to do with this or that as far as they are concerned this type of banning isn’t even a thing. I myself have contacted Twitter about this and as hard as it was to even contact anyone i got pretty much the same response. Twitter has no idea why i am encountering any # problems.
Okay so basically shadowbanning is a term that a lot of people are throwing around at the moment. Actually the name is pretty spot on. To be shadowbanned means that none of your feeds, posts or hashtags will show up to anyone outside of your followers. You wont get any type of notification but, will still be able to access your account with no obvious issues.
So if you are anything like me who posts my reviews and articles and uses a lot of hashtags to connect with new people, and are shadowbanned, no one will actually be seeing them, your basically ghost tweeting. Again if you are like me and use your Twitter account to reach new people, with the idea of gettings people to go to your website and read your posts, then shadowbanning will affect this. Its basically Twitters way of silencing the things they don’t want to be talked about on their system.
How Do I Know If I Am Shadowbanned?
For me i find it easy to tell that i am, straight away i notice a decline in the amount of engagement i receive. For example this time around my usual post likes went from around 8-9 down to 2. Also i noticed that in Twitter analytics my engagement rate was also down. This is one method that i use to keep an eye on it but probably not the most reliable.
You can actually use a simple tool to check http://shadowban.de/tester/
I use this actually every few weeks and have found it to be very reliable, if you are not shadowbanned it will tell you that it could find some of your posts. Great news. However if you are shadowbanned you will see a message like this:
Another way to check is to logout of your account and try searching for yourself, or get someone who does not follow you to check. If your posts appear then you are probably more than likely okay, if not then chances are you have been shadowbanned. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Why Have I Been Shadowbanned?
The true answer here is that no one really knows, yeah i know bummer right?
Some people think it has to do with being in the adult industry, however from my research i have found people being shadowbanned who are not posting adult content. So to be solely this would not make sense. In my research i found people who were a lot more political having been shadowbanned as well as some businesses for IT sales.
Having spoken with these people they reported to me that they did use their Twitter mostly to link to their websites as well as using a lot of hashtags. A lot of the people i spoke with have told me they felt this could be the issue and that Twitter believes them to be spamming. I have also spoken to people who post a lot of adult material, like nudes and porn and that they believe this to be the issue or reason for their ban.
I have also found some information on following and unfollowing. Twitter does not seem to respond well to people following large numbers, or following large number only to unfollow them a few days later. The reason i bring this up is because i believe this to be one of the possibilities i was shadowbanned, Although i can only apply this to this time and not the last, so it is a little inconsistent.
Lately i have unfollowed a LOT of people, probably as many as i have followed. I believe Twitter classes this as me being a BOT (computer robot) and have put a ban on my account. However the last time i was shadowbanned for 72 hrs, my behaviour was different and i didn’t follow or unfollow many people at this time. What i did do was use a lot of hashtags and also post a lot of links and RTs from my blog.
So my conclusion is that you can be shadowbanned for a number of reasons. Given that i am one of those people who like to know what’s going on and how to fix it i decided to do more research. Here are my findings on the type of things people believe they have been shadowbanned for;
- To many follows/unfollows
- Tweeting a lot of links (click bait)
- Being very political (against trump)
- Sharing adult content (porn/nudity)
- Sharing a lot of ads
- Using hashtags that are not allowed in Twitters policy
This is just a small list and i am sure with a little more research i would be able to find more. Like i commented earlier Twitter does NOT acknowledge this is a thing, however i was able to find a youtube video with undercover cameras speaking to Twitter staff who seem to admit this is indeed a thing. This video is actually more about politics than anything else but i do believe this will happen across the board. Basically they are saying that Twitter uses an algorithm (a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer) to monitor Twitter and its through this automated system that a Twitter BOT can actually ban your account if it flags anything it does not like. I have added the video below for you to take a look at. If you don’t want to watch the whole video skip to 15:10 as i think this is the most interesting part.
Again i am aware that this is mostly aimed at politics but they do state that they can make an algorithm for anything they like, in my case this could be anything adult related. I have been having a think about this and believe these algorithms could be made to detect hashtags that they don’t like as well. I am aware that when using Twitter i use the hashtag #sextoys a lot. This is not a hashtag that automatically appears on the twitter hashtag pop up but i go ahead and add it anyway. One of my theories is that this might actually be a hashtag that is monitored. Basically if you are not using the ones Twitter suggests then it won’t actually be allowed. Maybe this has been flagged in some way?
So you get the point now that it’s really hard to tell why it is exactly that you are shadowbanned, although one thing is now clear, it is an actual thing, Twitter does know about it and in fact Twitter uses algorithms to combat or silence people who are flagged using this system.
I was able to find this information when looking into twitter’s policy which does actually say you will be removed from search, it also has a list of things that may make you get removed from search. So maybe this is the list of dos and don’t we are looking for.
Why doesn’t all content show up in Twitter search?
In order to keep your search results relevant, Twitter filters search results for quality Tweets and accounts. Material that jeopardizes search quality or creates a bad search experience for other people may be automatically removed from Twitter search. Read more about this here.
General rules for using Twitter search
The Twitter Rules explain what behaviors are permitted on Twitter. In addition to these rules, we’ve included some tips below to keep your content relevant (and your Tweets in Twitter search).
Please do not:
- Repeatedly post duplicate or near-duplicate content (links or Tweets).
- Abuse trending topics or hashtags (topic words with a # sign).
- Send automated Tweets or replies.
- Use bots or applications to post similar messages based on keywords.
- Post similar messages over multiple accounts.
- Aggressively follow and unfollow people.
Twitter may automatically remove accounts engaging in these behaviors from search (or even suspend in some cases) in order to ensure the best experience for everyone.
How Do I Get The Shadowban Lifted?
Well i am afraid to say i don’t think there is anything you can do. I have contacted Twitter to find this out but had no response from them, i have also tried a few of the tactics others recommended and non as of yet have worked for me. I guess this is just a wait and see type thing and hopefully the ban does not stay there too long. Although i have heard of people who say they were shadowbanned for over 40 days. I mostly hear that it’s a few days to a few weeks. Incase you are interested in trying out some of the suggested ideas i have written a list for you to try. These are all things i have found on the internet.
- Dont RT a lot (as in your own posts)
- Try to have a 30/70 split in your posts – 70% organic tweets about, well your life, quotes or anything else you may want to tell your followers, and 30% tweets that would be links to blogs or websites as well as your RTs of these.
- Try to interact more with your followers – commenting on their posts or tweets, basically more engagement with others.
- Don’t follow or unfollow a lot
- Dont post nudes or porn (URGH, shakes head in disappointment)
- Don’t be mean or talk politics
- Log out of your account and back in after 24 hrs
- Get in touch with Twitter
- Don’t use certain unallowed hashtags
- Don’t have any nudity in either your header or profile picture, the same applies for any guns or patriotic flags.
Okay so for me none of these things actually made any difference to me and my shadowban, and it’s currently ongoing (scratches head).
So for me i guess this time it’s a waiting game.
How Can i Help Stop shadowbanning?
There are a few things you can do to help others who are shadowbanned. One thing is to share their posts as much as you can, also make sure that on your twitter settings that the quality filter is switched off. Also under privacy and safety settings at the bottom of the page under safety, uncheck the box which says hide sensitive content.
I suppose with Twitter and the automated algorithms they have on their system its going to be hard to stop, if even at all possible. Basically they have found a way of muting people, a way to silence our thoughts or opinions. Damn you Twitter, what about freedom of speech? I guess they don’t really care about that do they?
What Do I Do Now?
If you have been shadowbanned and this seems to be common practice for you, and you use Twitter like myself to get your voice and work out there, i suggest you also get yourself set up on other social media platforms for sharing your material. I use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit to name just a few. I have found that when i am shadowbanned my website views do go down slightly but not that much that is causes a huge depression in my stats, mainly because i use so many other channels to share my work.
A few people have suggested that you start again with a new Twitter account, but i personally feel this will only be a temporary fix, before too long you will start interacting with Twitter in the same ways as before, and as a result will probably find this account too will be shadowbanned. I think that hanging in there is probably the best thing to do.
In the future i plan on only using hashtags that are allowed and that appear in the pop up, and also to stop following people in bulk or unfollowing in bulk. Unfortunately i have noticed that my follower count has gone down a lot since i started being shadowbanned, and as much as i am unsure if this is related i have my suspicions, given that this unfollowing was mostly in the days i had my ban.
I guess i am also going to try to have a better ratio to my tweets, and be more interactive with others, which is hard to do when I’m not exactly what you would call a social butterfly. If you are a sex blogger like me or share adult content, a few people in our community have come up with a great system called Share Our Shit. Basically we are encouraged to share other people’s content to our audiences. increasing the likelihood that your work will be seen by others. If you want to participate in this, it’s a great way to try to help combat this problem. All you have to do is write a post on your blog that lists links to maybe a review or post you liked from another blogger. When sharing it on Twitter be sure to use #SoSS. Not only is this a great way to help people who are shadowbanned but it’s also a great way to highlight other bloggers work.
I hope this post has given you a better insight into shadowbanning, unfortunately i was unable to find any concrete way in which to lift the ban and from research found that this might just be a waiting game.
In the meantime if you are shadowbanned or know anyone that is, i suggest you tell people about your situation and ask people to help you share your tweets or you to share theirs.
If being shadowbanned is causing you a lot of issues regarding your website/blog views or visitors, i suggest you join other social media platforms where you can share your work, as well as working on your SEO, to help your ranking in search engines.
Hopefully your shadowban will be short-lived and your twitter will be back to normal before too long.
If you have had an issue with this or have other reasons you might be shadowbanned not listed here, or maybe you have found a fix i am NOT aware of, please tell me about this in comments further down the page. I would love to hear from you.