Are you feeling neglected on Twitter? Did your followers stop chatting with you? If so, you might be shadowbanned.
— Kim (Not a Bot) (@JBaileysMom) September 23, 2016According to the article "Twitter Meets Orwell,"
Take consolation in the fact that you certainly aren't alone in your Twitter ostracization. It's nothing personal - you probably are rooting for the wrong team in Election 2016 or appear to be doing so by a hyper-tweeked algorithm.Twitter has introduced a brave new way of screwing with users, which some have taken to calling shadowbanning.Basically, this acts like a gag: you can send normal tweets normally, but people Following you won’t see them on their timeline. (However, people reading your profile will see them.)
Don't get too upset by shadowbanning, says Daddy Warpig, who claims it usually is temporary punishment, but how do you know for certain if this had happened to your Twitter account?
What stinks is that there is no way to reach out to Twitter to rectify this problem unless you are on Jack's good side or are a verified account with some clout:Because fewer people are seeing your tweets, your Twitter stats (under “Your Tweet activity”) will likely drop. Several people have first noticed a ban when their number of Impressions, for example, fell off sharply. (People with low Follower counts might not notice a significant difference, though.)Sometimes people who Follow you will notice you haven’t shown up in Search or in their timeline, and will contact you. (This is more likely to happen if you’re a consistent, high volume tweeter, of course.)The easiest way to tell, though, is to just test. DM someone who Follows you. Ask them to check their timeline (under the Home tab) for recent tweets of yours, or tweet out a test tweet without @ them. If they see it, you’re okay. If not, you might be shadowbanned.The insidious thing about a shadowban is that, short of logging in under another account, there is no way for you to tell if you’ve been banned. You tweet as normal, assuming thing are working per usual, while behind the scenes Twitter has decided to unperson you.
At present time, no one knows for sure how one catches a temporary case of the shadowban bug. And, if you cannot see my tweets or view our blog, you might not even see this information, but in case you should happen to break through this Orwellian barrier, here are some tips to avoid this Twitter hell:If you’ve been shadowbanned, there is no known way to either appeal or evade the restrictions. Since the ban usually lasts about 24 hours, all you can do is wait.However, if you suspect someone else has caught a ban, add them to a List. Lists are not (as of this writing) subject to the restrictions of the ban: a shadowbanned person’s tweets still show up. Lists will allow you to read them normally, and are recommended in any case.Also, some alternative Twitter clients, notably Tweetdeck (according to several reports), are notsusceptible to being spoofed by a shadowban. The banned person’s tweets show up normally.
Good luck out there in the Twittersphere. With the new rules, suspiciously creeping in as we are 40-some days from a pivotal election, you will need it. Either that or just start posting cat memes.No one knows exactly what causes a shadowban, but it’s likely some combination of spam or harassment reports trigger it, either automatically or by hand. During the summer Twitter stated it would begin “defusing” confrontations in hashtags by punishing people who spam a tag with unrelated or abusive tweets; it is likely shadowbanning is one such tool.If shadowbanned, you will never know why it happened and you cannot ever know for sure that it really happened. Again, Orwellian and Kafkaesque.