An upcoming Twitter update will let users know when they have gotten shadow banned.
In a recent update on Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, the tech mogul revealed that a new software update would inform users if their accounts had been “shadow banned.”
Musk did not give an exact date on when the shadowbanning feature will be rolled out but revealed in a Tweet, “Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadow banned, the reason why and how to appeal.”
However, many users remain confused about the internet term, so what exactly does getting shadow banned mean?
What Does Getting Shadow Banned Mean on Twitter?
According to PCMag, Shadow banning is when a user’s tweets or replies are hidden from others without the owner’s knowledge or having its search results lowered. The person can still tweet, their profile is still active, and individuals who follow them will still see their tweets in their feeds.
However, Twitter will not suggest these accounts or show their tweets in search results. It effectively makes someone else’s content intentionally unfindable.
Shortly after Instagram introduced a related software upgrade that indicates to users with professional accounts if they are qualified to appear in recommendations, Musk said the new shadow-banning alert function is in the works. Additionally, it enables users to ask Instagram to examine their post again if they think it was submitted incorrectly.
Where Did the Term ‘Shadowban’ Originate?
According to Slate, the term originated from Reddit during its early days in 2010 within various subreddits. Getting a shadow banned meant that Reddit accounts would be able to use the site and comment normally. However, other Redditors would not be able to see those comments for, typically, a few days at a time.
Theorists claim that paid administrators trigger shadowbans at Reddit. Shadowbans were initially used to punish spammers, but their application was later broadened to include Redditors who disobeyed other significant site-wide regulations.
How To Know if You Are Shadow Banned on Twitter
Hence the term, getting shadowbanned happens without the user’s knowledge, although the next Twitter update will ensure that netizens will finally be notified if they are shadowbanned.
However, in case you would like to know if you are shadow banned prior to the update, Fox News reports that users can follow these steps:
- Logout of your Twitter account
- Launch a private web browser usually by clicking “file,” then “new incognito browser,” “new private window,” or similar
- Go to https://twitter.com/explore to open a search page on Twitter.
- Type “from:username” in the search field, then replace the username part with your own.
- If the results contain few or none of your posts and replies, then you are being shadow-banned. If you see results from your Twitter account, including your replies, then you are likely not being shadow banned.