Despite what social media companies claim, too many people have experienced shadowbanning for it to be a myth. For someone counting on the content they create to pay the bills, this can be a harrowing experience.
We know you want to avoid this at all costs! So in this blog, we will dive deep into the mystery of shadowbans and tell you how you can try your best to avoid this invisible enemy.
What Is Shadowbanning On Social Media?
Although the phrase “shadowban” isn’t official, we know that Instagram and other platforms have a system that deprioritizes accounts. Posts can be hidden or limited, usually without the user’s knowledge – and they might not even receive an official notification about it!
Shadowbans may leave your account unfindable, and in certain situations, may even entirely remove your content. It’s usually done to spammers to keep them from spamming. If you suspect a shadowban, a change in the website’s search or newsfeed algorithm may be at play.
However, whether you were punished for a good reason or by mistake, the result is the same. Your content no longer appears. Let’s take a look at why this might happen.
Possible Reasons For A Shadowban
- You used bots
One of the primary reasons for facing a shadowban could be if you’ve used third-party software. Many influencers unknowingly break a platform’s terms of service by using bots that “build” their following or “Instagram growth services” that offer to perform all of the legwork for them.
Additionally, if you use software that publishes photos for you, you may also violate a platform’s T&Cs. Finally, if you have more than one account and use automation on one of them, your other accounts may be affected. The reason is that the platform will detect a common IP address for multiple accounts and may think of them as spam.
- Broken hashtags
You may have used a hashtag that triggers the algorithm to consider your content as problematic. With millions of users on social media networks, it’s challenging to keep track of what they post and how they tag it. Inappropriate content, like nudity, spam, or racially offensive photos, may sometimes overwhelm a hashtag even as harmless as #beautyblogger. This hashtag may be removed or have its use restricted. When you put one of these hashtags on your post, it will break your other hashtags, causing you to lose ranking for all of them.
- Repeated reports against the account
Are you getting blocked or reported again and again? Reporting is the simplest way to bring attention to an account breaking the terms of service or community rules (spamming, infringing copyright, posting inappropriate content, etc.). If this happens to your account, it can either be permanently disabled or place you in the shadowban club.
- Posting, commenting, engaging, or following people suddenly
Do you know that there is a limit on Instagram on the number of activities you can take every day? This includes the number of photos you like, comments you write, and the number of accounts you follow or unfollow.
Your restrictions may vary depending on the age of your account, but try not to exceed 150 likes, 60 comments, and 60 follows/unfollows every hour. So for those who bulk remove followers at a go, you may have alerted the shadowban police.
Tell-tale Signs Of Shadowban
There’s no surefire way to know if you are facing a shadowban. While some technology claims that they can identify this, they’re not credible. Instead, you can quickly try out the tips below:
Look through your hashtag pages
If you notice a notification saying that your posts are hidden on pages with hashtags you often use, you’ve probably been shadowbanned for using those hashtags.
Look into Insights
If you see a sudden and consistent decline in engagement in Insights, you’ve likely been shadowbanned. One of the most valuable metrics to check is the percentage of accounts you reached that were not already following you.
Shadowbanned on Twitter?
Twitter claims that it does not shadowban. They do say that they sort tweets and search results by relevance. The algorithm favors content based on who you follow and what tweets are trending while downgrading tweets from “bad-faith actors” or those who want to “manipulate or split the debate.”
Reading between the lines, if you’ve been acting like a bot, spreading disinformation, or getting blocked a lot, Twitter will rank you lower in the search results and news feed since, well, you’re not adding much value to other users.
Here’s How to Avoid a Twitter Shadowban:
- Authenticate your email address and post a profile picture to verify your profile as a real user.
- Avoid spamming people and being excessively promotional. If you’re attempting to sell a product or service and post too much, other users may block your content, resulting in a shadowban.
- Also avoid trolling, engaging in heated online debates, and being overly hostile in your postings and comments. People may mute or block you as a result of this.
Shadowbanned on Instagram?
Instagram’s algorithm will filter out content that the app deems “inappropriate,” even if it does not violate the platform’s community guidelines. If you want to see if Instagram has shadowbanned you, try logging in with a different account. Make a new post with a few less popular hashtags. Then you may ask a buddy to unfollow you using their account. Look up the hashtags you used and check if your post appears in the results in the top posts or the most recent posts. You could be part of an Instagram shadowban if they don’t appear.
Here’s How to Avoid an Instagram Shadowban:
- Avoid using bots or services that aren’t Instagram’s approved partners.
- Don’t use the same hashtags in all of your posts.
- Don’t follow and unfollow a large number of profiles regularly.
- Avoid posting unlawful or improper information.
- Don’t harass or spam other Instagram users.
- Avoid posting about offensive topics or using offensive language.
- Don’t go out and purchase followers.
Shadowbanned on Reddit?
Reddit is a little different from other social networking networks. A shadowban here isn’t the same as a subReddit ban, and a shadowbanned person can still post and comment. However, all contributions go to a subreddit spam queue, where they remain hidden from other users until a moderator approves them. A shadowban is nearly unnoticeable to a logged-in user since an individual’s spam submissions are still available to them. Your user page will appear empty to anybody who visits it other than you.
Here’s How to Avoid a Reddit Shadowban:
- Avoid spamming or over-posting links to your stuff (if you post many other things too, posting one or two personal links is fine).
- Do not annoy or degrade other users.
- Don’t doxx others or support doxxing (the practice of publishing someone’s personal information without their consent).
- You’ll get a shadowban right away if you post spam links.
- Sending out bulk PMs isn’t a good idea.
Shadowbanned on TikTok?
TikTok has a “For You” tab that works like a spotlight for your videos. When your videos stop showing up on that tab, you’ve lost your limelight. Usually, you’ll be unaware of this happening until another TikTok member informs you that you are no longer visible on their “For You” tab. Your views will also decrease if you are no longer visible on this page. If you’re losing your audience naturally, your views will also decline.
Here’s How to Avoid a TikTok Shadowban:
- If you follow more than 50 TikTok accounts in a single day, you should reconsider your strategy.
- Don’t go liking more than 100 posts every day either.
- If you post something that violates the TikTok community standards, you may be permanently banned or shadowbanned.
- Nudity, drugs, violence, hate speech, copyrighted music, and fake news are considered inappropriate on TikTok.
Shadowbanned on Facebook?
If Facebook “reduces” your content regularly, it could be a shadowban. Facebook’s algorithm also penalizes links from websites that it believes are clickbait. A clickbait is a low-authority website with few inbound and outbound connections that receive a lot of Facebook hits.
Check for a drop in engagement levels on your recent posts if you’re worried your page, company page, or FB group is facing shadowban on Facebook.
Here’s How to Avoid a Facebook Shadowban:
- Avoid sharing content that violates Facebook’s community guidelines. It will be deleted from the site.
- Other unwanted content (such as false information) will be hidden or labeled with a warning.
- Don’t make the same comment more than once. If you’re marketing anything, don’t go extreme and publish the same message every day or in several areas on the network.
Shadowbanned on LinkedIn?
Very few people expect to be shadowbanned on LinkedIn. But if you are, you’ll notice that your content’s reach is limited. LinkedIn’s content restrictions are much tighter than other platforms because it is a professional network. Not only does your information need to be safe, legal, and acceptable, it also needs to be professional. In the majority of circumstances, the LinkedIn shadowban is just temporary. For a while, you’ll be invisible to your followers and prospects, especially in the feeds, and your engagement will plummet.
Here’s How to Avoid a LinkedIn Shadowban:
- Avoid excessively engaging with people who are not your connections.
- Respect members’ privacy and avoid unwanted approaches towards other members.
You Can Avoid Being Shadowbanned! Take Note Of These Tips
In addition to the platform-specific steps to avoid a shadowban, follow these general rules for all social platforms.
- Respect community guidelines
All of the sites have community guidelines to keep spamming issues in check. If you submit content in a gray area – not technically against the rules, but not necessarily safe for all viewers – you risk down-ranking or hidden content. So consider these things before posting.
- Don’t act like a bot
Avoid bulk sending the same message to multiple accounts in one go. That’s typical bot behavior. Also, optimize your profile entirely. Make it look like a real user’s by filling in all the details and a profile picture. Engage on the platforms as real people do.
- Avoid banned hashtags
Although there is no official list of banned hashtags, a basic Google search will turn up several sites that keep track of such things. Staying up to date with current and trending hashtags on Instagram is an excellent strategy to avoid using restricted hashtags.
- Be consistent and don’t spam
If you want to increase your followers or engagement, post regularly at the best time for each social media platform. Even if you use third-party apps for such tasks, make sure to drop in personally and post some content too. Posting the same links repeatedly or sharing repetitive content can allegedly trigger shadowbanning.
- Don’t buy likes or comments or followers
Paying for likes is not just a bad social media strategy, but also a possible red flag for social networks. When you get 3,000 new followers in an hour and all of your comments are now “Cool photo, follow for more,” it’s a good indication that something doesn’t add up. The takeaway is that while you may grow, it will not lead to anything valuable for you.
- Be respectful
Social media is a community of people who thrive on sharing ideas and conversations. Any harassment or trolling defies the purpose of these networks. This is why there are strict rules against bad online behavior. Avoid getting into any such controversies that can lead to shadowbans.
Don’t Cast A Shadow!
A shadowban might be unpleasant, particularly, if you believe that you don’t deserve it. Maybe you disagree with the social media algorithm about what is and isn’t proper, or perhaps you thought you were having a productive conversation while the system mistook you for a troll. Your performance as a creator suffers when you get shadowbanned. You harm your chances of working with a brand and may even have to start with a new account. If you have been shadowbanned due to a misunderstanding by the algorithms (this happens a lot, too), the social media platforms suggest reaching out to them to get it lifted.
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