How to tell if you are shadow-banned on Social Media

April 7, 2021 |
By ydnewstag

You suddenly find that none of your social media activity seems to be visible. It is as though you do not live on the web. Is it a flaw? Is the site down? What could be happening? Every website experiences these situations from time to time, and immersive features are often the first to go up in smoke. It is also possible that server management is to blame.

However, it is even possible that you have been “shadow-banned.” Accounts that have been shadow-banned are put in a state of invisibility. To put it another way, they transform into a “ghost” where no one can see them. In this article, we are going to go over what shadow banning is and how to say whether you have been shadow-banned.

More About Shadow Banning

When it comes to growing a social media following, you depend on hashtags and interaction to broaden your following and scope. So, it is understandably disappointing when the content abruptly vanishes from the internet. You could have been shadow-banned if you notice fewer likes and comments on your posts, or if those hashtags do not exist for you.

Shadow-banning makes sense from some social media platforms’ perspective. For example, Instagram uses shadow banning to weed out accounts that do not follow their terms. Some people use unethical methods to grow their Instagram followers, such as artificial robots or dozens of hashtags that have little to do with their content. In this case, Instagram can ban certain accounts so that users can continue to receive legitimate and beneficial posts and content.

Although Instagram does not publicly confess to shadow banning, in February it issued a statement addressing the issue of users’ content not turning up with those hashtags. Their comment at least acknowledges that the hashtag conundrum exists, but many assume that it is Instagram’s way of implying shadow banning without explicitly admitting it.

What is Shadow Banning?  

Shadow-banning is the practice of blocking a user’s posts on social media platforms when the user is unaware of the action. If you have been shadow-banned on social media accounts, your content is going to only feature in the feeds of people who already follow and know you.

In short, when your posts, content, or activities are not visible on a platform, but you have not got a formal ban or notice, this is known as shadow banning. It is a means for spammers to keep spamming when no one else in the network (or outside of it) notices.

Other social media users are not going to be affected by spam and malware because they are not going to be able to see it. Since the spammer is unaware that they have been blocked, they are not going to instantly begin looking for ways to bypass the shadow-ban.

All of this can seem strange or shady. There is no way to tell for sure whether or not a platform or service has shadow-banned you, and several platforms and applications reject that they shadow ban. If you suspect you have been shadow-banned, it is a possibility that a change in the platform’s search or news feed algorithm is to blame. And, since social media firms own the formulas, it is not in their best interests to make anything about the public. Regardless of if you were restricted on purpose or by mistake, the result is the same; no one can read what you have written.

Which Social Media Platforms Shadow Ban?

Since the practice of shadow banning is not completely advertised openly, there is no way to get a complete list of platforms that shadow-ban users.

Even so, shadow banning has been mentioned on platforms and apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok in the past under some circumstances. According to respondents to the survey, there are four forms of shadow-bans:

  • A username or hashtag that does not appear in search results
  • A drop in the number of people who are following you on Social media.
  • Features and functions (such as likes and comments) are disabled.
  • A temporary prohibition that is be lifted later.

How to Avoid Getting Shadow Banned on Social Media 

Different social media platforms have different views about what types of breaches warrant a shadow-ban. That being said, there are some observable general patterns worth mentioning. If you wish to avoid a shadow-ban, follow these tips:

  • Observe the Terms of Service at all times and stick to them.
  • Follow and observe power users on the social media platform that are in your sector or category (look at what content they share and how they share it)
  • Repeatedly posting links or copy-pasted content is not a good idea.
  • If you are not sure if a piece of material is acceptable, do not share it.
  • Treat people with decency and dignity.
  • Do not use hashtags that are not allowed or have previously been banned.
  • Posting on illegal subjects should be avoided.

The Bottom Line About Shadow Banning  

You may be completely unaware that you are being shadow-banned. Although, you are going to continue to suspect it over time in many cases. To safeguard yourself, make sure that whatever you write does not violate the social media platform’s or app’s terms of service and the conditions of the platform. Further, aim to stop spamming posts or reposting “copy and paste“ content, starting online arguments and fights with other social media platform users, trolling other users, and sharing offensive or inappropriate content.

A shadow-ban can be aggravating, especially if you do not believe you deserve it. Maybe you disagree with the social media platform’s algorithm on what is and is not acceptable, or perhaps you thought you were having a productive conversation with other online users and, the platform’s algorithm mistook you for a troll.

The most effective way to avoid a shadow-ban is to recruit the services of experts who are well equipped to avoid being shadow-banned in the first place. Social Media Management will avoid the stress that comes from this very aggravating situation.

However, the advice in this guide should help you from getting shadow-banned in the future, allowing the material to gain further attention. If you have any other comments or questions about shadow banning, please let us know in the comments below.