Meaning | Synonyms
- a method of censoring or controlling content on the internet
- the act of blocking a user’s content on social media sites
- restricting the visibility of a user’s content
- the act of blocking or partially blocking a user on a website
- any platform limiting someone’s content reach by restricting visibility
- block (a user) from a social media site or online forum without their knowledge, typically by making their posts and comments no longer visible to other users
- shadow ban
- shadow banning
- ghost ban
- stealth ban
- comment ghosting
- Twitter has shadow-banned me, and no one will see my tweets now.
- Their page is not getting new followers. It seems they are shadowbanned.
- You can now restrict your bullies from abusive comments without letting them know on Instagram with the “shadow ban” feature.
- The shadowban remains a mystery built solely on rumours and marketers’ personal understandings.
- Facebook shadow banning certain users based on their dogmatic beliefs.
“Shadowban” is an ambiguous modern term. Since 1991, the early days of the web, a “shadow ban” has been a moderation technique used to ban people from forums or message boards without alerting them that they’ve been banned. Typically, this means that a user can continue posting as normal, but their posts will be hidden from the rest of the community.
“Shadow banning” became popularized in 2018 as a conspiracy theory that Twitter allegedly shadow-banned Republicans. In late July 2018, Vice News found that several supporters of the US Republican Party no longer appeared in the auto-populated drop-down search menu on Twitter, thus limiting their visibility when being searched for; Vice News alleged that this was a case of shadow-banning.
In July 2018, President Donald Trump had also accused Twitter of shadow-banning Republican politicians. This had resulted in an outcry on the internet where Twitter was criticised for silencing its users. However, in an official statement, Twitter had cleared the air by stating that it does not shadow ban:
“We do not shadow ban. You are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile). And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.”