How I got Shadowbanned on Twitter
Updated September 2018 – I’ve included an updated Shadowban checker which gives more information on the nature of your ban. This is still a thing Twitter is doing, stay safe friends!
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen some of my tweets about how I got Shadowbanned. What is a shadow ban? I’ll get to that.
On the morning of the day I was shadowbanned, I had never heard of it. I coincidentally read an article that said if your feed consists of you pushing your blog links etc then you could be shadowbanned. I read about what shadowbanning is and I thought, well yeah, it’s spamming so it makes sense. I didn’t think any more of it.
Later that day I found one of those blog follow threads on Twitter. Now, these are great, I love them. I follow everyone on them, read a bit of their blog, and tweet back to them saying I’d followed, mentioned something I liked from their blog and share a link to mine in case they are interested in checking mine out too. Oh how naive I was.
That’s spamming. I didn’t really realise as I was tweeting individual personalised tweets, but each contained a link to my blog, and with over 100 tweets, it was spamming.
I got shadow banned.
What is Shadow Banning on Twitter?
If Twitter thinks you’ve been spamming, you get shadowbanned. There are many theories about what causes a shadow ban but there’s nothing concrete. Now, Twitter doesn’t actually acknowledge that this is a thing. They do admit there’s something called ‘account limiting’ though – but there isn’t much on that either.
I came across this handy list on another blog of what happens to you if you’re shadowbanned:
- Others will not get a notification when you mention them.
- Others will not see your mentions in their “Mentioned” tab.
- You will not show up on any search queries.
- Your tweets will be hidden in any thread.
- Tweets which have been quoted Twitter-style will appear as “Unavailable”.
In addition I personally found out:
- You won’t appear in any # searchers
That’s right. You can’t participate in any chats. For me, as it was a Sunday, this meant I couldn’t do #StoryCrafter. I also couldn’t participate in #booksfortrade or any other hashtag.
You can’t have conversations. Twitter doesn’t tell you they’ve done this, how long it will last, why they’ve done it, nothing. They just limit what you can do on Twitter, in the hopes that you’ll stop the ‘bad behaviour’. It’s affecting a lot of bloggers out there and most of them probably don’t even realise it’s happened to them.
How do I know if I’ve been Shadowbanned?
You won’t be alerted by Twitter, that’s for sure. I only found out as one of my Twitter pals had tweeted saying that some of her follower’s tweets weren’t showing in her mentions. I replied saying maybe they’ve been shadowbanned, to which she replied, yours didn’t show up – I think you’ve been banned.
My heart sank into my stomach. I had noticed a dip in my engagement, but I didn’t want to believe it. I googled it and found this blog by When Tania Talks which detailed what it was and how to find out if you’ve been hit by the ban hammer.
She shared this handy shadowban checker, and lo and behold, I was shadowbanned.
According to her blog a ban could last any length of time. She details a couple of ways to get around it, I tried them all – they didn’t work.
How to get around a Shadow ban on Twitter?
You can’t. Just – can’t. Tania talked about how she got rid of it by contacting Twitter Ads and pretending that she wanted to spend some money with them – which in turn got them to lift the ban. I tried this – they told me that they had nothing to do with the ban and the ban wouldn’t stop my sponsored tweet – gee thanks Twitter. They told me to contact support. Only support is now automated completely, and there’s not section on shadowbans or account limiting anywhere. I know, I tried everywhere. So I just had to cross my fingers and hope it was only a 72 hour ban, and it was.
One way to get around it is to uncheck your ‘quality’ filter. It won’t stop you getting banned – it will stop Twitter from stopping you seeing those that have been hit by a shadowban. See below:
— H. Ffrench (@sn0wba111) September 14, 2017
Moral of the story
- Make sure you don’t tweet links excessively
- Keep your content genuine and don’t use any automated bots
- Uncheck your quality filter so that it will make this whole thing pointless
- If you’ve been shadowbanned – it should only be temporary so try and weather the storm.
Thanks for reading! Have you been shadowbanned? Got more info on it or know something I’ve left out, please let me know in the comments!