Shadowbanned On Twitter? What You Need To Know

With the recent changes to Twitter policies, more and more folks are concerned about the so-called shadowbanning. Shadowbanning, also known as stealth banning or ghosting, is when your tweets are hidden from conversations aka hashtag searches. In other words, your Twitter account is visible, all the tweets can be seen – except when a person clicks a hashtag and your tweet (including the hash, of course) is not to be found. Similarly, your tweets will not show up in threads and conversations. All of this naturally neutralizes your ability to be found and therefore participate in conversations.

Other nasty side effects of being shadowbanned include not having notifications of your @ mentions delivered to the account you mention, your own account not showing up in searches for it, and your most recent images not being shown in the most recent grid, etc..

It should be noted that Twitter is not the only social media site or digital community to use shadowbanning; it’s just that Twitter has been the largest social media site remaining open to adult folks, so its shadowbanning impacts us the most.

Shadowbanning has a long history of use. Originally, it was used in online communities to keep spammers at bay — without tipping them off that they were being subtly blocked. It is designed to ban the comments of specific users whilst keeping the user ignorant that they have been banned.

Since shadowbanning is designed to keep the banned in the shadows of knowledge, not even knowing they have been so banned, you might have to use a tool to discover it for yourself. Here’s a free way to do that.

How does shadowbanning happen?

It appears one of the primary ways your tweets can be shadowbanned are the dreaded sending of “reports” of tweets. While based on user reports, Twitter then uses artificial intelligence (AI) to attempt to discern things, such as mature or controversial topics, which get other users to report, mute, or block an account.

It’s important to note that there’s no human judgment made here. Hence the additional concerns with new Twitter policies regarding sex. As noted at YNOT:

The sections dealing with non-consensual nudity and unwanted sexual advances may be the most relevant to the adult entertainment industry. As Starr himself admitted in the email, entire porn genres are dedicated to non-consent and stalker fantasies. Nevertheless, Twitter has expanded its definition of non-consensual nudity “to more broadly include content like upskirt imagery, ‘creep shots,’ and hidden camera content,” Starr wrote.

“We will immediately and permanently suspend any account we identify as the original poster/source of non-consensual nudity and/or if a user makes it clear they are intentionally posting said content to harass their target,” Starr stated in the email. “We will do a full account review whenever we receive a Tweet-level report about non-consensual nudity. If the account appears to be dedicated to posting non-consensual nudity then we will suspend the entire account immediately.”

Starr also noted it’s nearly impossible for Twitter to distinguish between real and faux non-consensual nudity, so “[w]e would rather error [sic] on the side of protecting victims and removing this type of content when we become aware of it.”

In a departure from previous policy, Twitter’s safety team will not require a report from an alleged victim before suspending an account for non-consensual content. Adult industry companies that produce non-consent fantasy material need to be aware the proposed new policy could be weaponized by anti-porn activists, competitors, dissatisfied customers and people who simply enjoy creating drama.

These new policies are ambiguous and subjective enough — without trading human involvement for AI. Yet, even if your account is not shut down for dealing with such (or similar) fantasy material, reports (complaints) — especially multiple reports — could lead to your account being shadowbanned. And since the act of shadowbanning users is to keep them in the dark about it, Twitter offers no official help.

Shadow banning, it should be noted, happens to mainstream folks too. And it’s here that we may find the solution to shadowbanning on Twitter. Tania (of When Tania Talks) reports on a tip from Milly (of Mini Adventures) that seems to work:

So what was this genius idea? Well, apparently the world revolves around money. Milly found that by contacting the Twitter Ads team and suggesting that she wanted to place an ad, but her hashtags weren’t working resulted in her Twitter shadowban being lifted. This was done within two hours of contacting the Twitter Ads team.

Apparently, just asking about the situation — not actually paying for ads — works. (Though, if you are shadowbanned, even paying for ads might be a worthy solution!) Though it should be noted that many adult accounts won’t be able to buy Twitter ads, if you’re stuck in shadowbanned land on Twitter it may be worth giving this a try. (At least you could open a dialogue.)

All of this shadowbanning — and general signs of the pornocalypse — is just additional proof to me that one needs a website of their very own. Yes, participate on other sites, playing by their rules. But never be entirely dependant on the practices, policies, and whims of another site.

4 thoughts on “Shadowbanned On Twitter? What You Need To Know

      1. Nix 66

        I’m sorry. I didn’t communicate well. :/

        Yes, I wanted to know about your website hosting. My last one was so bad I got depressed over it (along with the general pornocalypse.) Thank you for the link!

        Reply
  1. Cat

    Lynn, this is great info. I especially appreciate the tips about how to determine whether you’ve been shadowbanned and what to do if you have.

    Thanks so much for linking to YNOT!

    Best,
    Cat

    Reply

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