What is Shadow Banning?

What is Shadow Banning?

Shadow Banning is when a social network or website will take a post and make sure nobody, or very few people see it.

It began on forums in 2006 to cut back on trolling and spamming, and shortly thereafter major sites like Craigslist and Reddit used it, initially for spammers. Craigslist calls it “Ghosting”.

“Ghosting” is when Craigslist will seemingly accept your ad, and you’ll even be able to see it, but no one else can. It was designed protect users from spammers.

Today, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter regularly use shadow banning to cut back on offensive material and quiet down unpopular opinions, although it is often denied by the social networks.

Reddit is a popular crowd-sourced information portal that allows members (easy sign up) to post questions, thoughts, jokes, pictures and news items. Politics too. It is divided into “subreddits”, each of which are moderated by a crew to keep each subreddit on-topic. Submission are up or down voted, and, depending on the moderators, often pushed further from dominating as a top post. If a moderator sees you submitting your own posts or website too often, that can often lead to a shadow ban, without any warning.

With millions and millions of users, Instagram has two primary ways if deciding if you should be muffled with a shadow ban on your posts via the use of certain words, phrases or even hashtags:

#1. You can be reported.
#2 Banned words, phrasing or Hashtags. The worst part of the #hashtags ban is that you might not even know that the hashtag is banned.

In 2016, #Kansas was banned. Our friends at plannthat made list of some big bans form 2017 that surprised us as well: #tgif, #skype, #curvy for example.Officially, “Twitter does not shadow ban accounts. But we do take actions to downrank accounts that are abusive”.
You can call that Shadow Banning lite.

Since Yahoo bought Tumblr.com, there have been reports that content that is less-than “Family Friendly” has been degraded, although no official shadow banning has been taking place.

We have not heard any reports about shadow banning on Pinterest, primarily a photo-sharing site with home crafts, baking and fashion.

Some countries have been known to block content from social networks, and even Google searches- Turkey, Iran, China among them. With millions of people potentially using their online products, most companies allow governmental censorship, the ultimate shadow banning.

Contrary to popular opinion, Facebook doesn’t shadow ban, but they can and will suspend to account for a few days, even a month if you post something that is “against their community standards.” Some of those standards are often questioned by people on both sides of the political aisle, and people who post very dark humor, nudity or violence. Although they probably keep an eye on repeat offenders via their algorithm, they are probably not just picking on you in particular.

We know people of all political and social persuasions, and people disappear for periods of time on Facebook, and come back out of the blue, often not even knowing for sure what got them cut off from the social network.

The best way to see if you’ve been diminished is to check with your friends and see if they can see your posts on the Social Network that seems to be holding your posts back. Using unique phrases, terminology or #hashtags can help in the search for your content.

Click Here to see if you are Shadow banned on Instagram

Click Here to see if you are Shadow banned on Reddit

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