Are your Twitter stats not making sense? Are you wondering whether or not you’re dealing with a Twitter shadowban?
Twitter shadowbans can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re unsure of how to go about rectifying the problem. Out of nowhere, you notice your account engagement, reach, retweets, comments, and likes decrease for no apparent reason. But, is your drop in social activity a shadowban or something else?
Here’s how to know if you’re shadowbanned on Twitter.
What is a Twitter Shadowban?
Like most social networks, Twitter denies that its algorithm limits a user’s reach. Yet hidden within their terms of service they state otherwise, describing something similar to what we all refer to as the dreaded shadowban.
Here are some of the issues you may experience if you’re shadowbanned:
- If someone searches for your username it doesn’t appear in the results
- Your tweets aren’t shown to your audience
- Your activity on other profiles or your own isn’t showing up in notifications
- Your Twitter replies are hidden and not displayed
Twitter has explained that many factors influence the ranking and visibility of a user’s tweets, making it hard to decipher whether or not you are in fact experiencing a shadowban.
Tweets from popular accounts are ranked higher and thus shown to a larger audience. This is the case for many celebrities and verified X users. Whereas, controversial accounts whose aim is to create division or spread misinformation are ranked lower.
With this in mind, there are a few things that you can take into consideration to avoid both a shadowban and having your account ranked low by the Twitter algorithm.
Signs that You’re Affected by a Shadowban
First things first – how do you know if you’re shadowbanned on Twitter?
Figuring out whether or not you’ve had your account shadowbanned can be complicated, but not impossible. Here’s what you need to look out for:
- Check your comment reply visibility: To test this theory, you’ll want to make a comment on a trending thread and ask someone who doesn’t follow you to check if they can see your reply from their account.
- Check your search visibility: Use the search bar to type in hashtags and keywords you’ve recently used in your tweets to see if your content shows up. If it doesn’t appear in the results it can indicate a shadowban.
- Check your engagement and analytics: If you notice a sudden decrease in engagement such as comments, likes, and reshares then you might be experiencing a shadowban. This is especially true if you haven’t posted controversial tweets or content that would result in the algorithm ranking you lower.
- Check your feeds and lists: Ask your audience if you’re tweets are showing up in their feeds. You can also verify this by checking whether or not your content is appearing in the feeds for the lists you’re part of.
- Use a third-party tool: Lastly, there’s always the option of using an online app to check whether or not your Twitter account is shadowbanned. These apps will look at your analytics and other important metrics, the only downside is that the accuracy can vary and you may receive a false positive.
Some users have also reported that reaching out to Twitter support staff turned out to be successful in resolving shadowbans.
Reasons Why You Might Be Shadowbanned
If you’ve concluded that you are experiencing a shadowban on your Twitter account then it’s important to understand some of the reasons why it may have happened so that you can avoid a recurrence.
Common reasons for a shadowban include:
- Spam: If your account has been behaving in a spammy manner it can trigger the algorithm to think it’s a bot. Some of these behaviors include following and unfollowing users, engaging with lots of content in a short amount of time, and mentioning a list of users in your tweets or replies.
- Violation of T&Cs: If you’ve repeatedly violated Twitter’s terms of service by posting hate speech, abuse, and controversial content, among other things then your account may be limited and experience a shadowban.
- Reported content: Other users reporting your content can lead to Twitter limiting your reach and visibility. This is especially true if the reported posts also break the terms of service.
- Third-party tools: As with most social media networks, the use of third-party tools, especially ones that automate actions such as following, retweeting, and likes can lead to shadowbans.
- Errors: Sometimes, algorithm errors can occur. This happens frequently during updates and isn’t unique to Twitter. If the algorithm has classified your account as lower ranking and there’s no apparent reason for it you can reach out to customer support to notify them of the error.
How to Fix a Twitter Shadowban
If your account is in the middle of a shadowban all is not lost. There are a few simple steps that you can take to help lift the restrictions.
It’s important to remember that a lot of the time your account visibility won’t come back overnight and it may take days or weeks for the shadowban to be removed. Either way, implementing these tips can often help expedite the process:
- Check your tweets: Review your recent content and make sure to remove any posts that violate Twitter’s terms of service. This includes all content that can be deemed inappropriate, and controversial.
- Revisit your account behavior: Being more mindful of Twitter’s guidelines will help you mitigate future issues. Make sure to adapt your strategy and content so that it doesn’t flag the algorithm again in the future. It goes without saying, but the best way to avoid future restrictions is by posting quality content and building a community from your audience.
- Step away from Twitter: Sometimes taking a step back and not using Twitter for a couple of days can reset your account reach and lift a shadowban.
Preventing a Twitter Shadowban
As we’ve seen, there are a lot of factors that the Twitter algorithm takes into consideration when issuing shadowbans. But, is there any way to prevent one from happening? The short answer is YES.
If you want to prevent your account from getting shadowbanned in the future you’ll want to keep these three tips in mind:
- Verify your account: Make sure that your Twitter account isn’t getting flagged by the algorithm and mistaken as a bot. You can do this by accessing your settings and verifying your identity in the form of an email address confirmation and even something as simple as uploading a profile picture.
- Keep things simple: If you’re using Twitter as part of your social strategy in order to sell a service or product then applying moderation and simplicity might help you prevent a future shadowban. Ultimately, you’re using your platform to guide people to your products and services, but there’s a fine line between quality content and spam behavior. If your audience feels that you are constantly trying to sell them something you might end up having content reported which can land you in the Twitter shadowban realm.
- Don’t be controversial: No one saying to not be passionate, or to completely avoid public discussions and debates. But, try not to make it your whole personality and if you do engage in public discussion do so in a calm and collected manner. If you start responding in an aggressive tone and harassing other users, then your account will get flagged as a troll account and most likely shadowbanned or deleted.
Conclusion: Staying Safe on Twitter
Hopefully, you can use these helpful tips to decipher whether or not your account is experiencing a true shadowban or a simple rank change.
Keep in mind that most of the time Twitter limits accounts due to terms of service violations. The best way to keep your account safe is to be up to date with their usage policies and understand how the algorithm works.