You might’ve noticed that I’ve been having some problems with my Twitter account. This is because I was shadowbanned. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information about shadowbanning, what causes it and what you can do to fix it. So I thought I’d share my experience of a Twitter shadowban, including what I did to get my account back to normal.
For those who don’t know, a shadowbox is when you’re hidden from hashtag searches. Usually, if you search the hashtag from a shadow banned account, you’re tweets will show up to you under the hashtag, but not to everyone else. So to find out if you’ve be hit with a Twitter shadowban (or a ban on Instagram), you’ll need to log into a different account to see if you’re showing up under the hashtags you’re using.
I first realised that I was having problems with my Twitter account around October of 2015. I was taking part in Twitter chats, but no one was interacting with me. This became quite disheartening, until I found out that it was because my Tweets weren’t showing up in the chats.
I only found out about my Twitter shadow ban when I accidentally scheduled the Spoonie Speak chat questions from my personal account. If my tweets were showing up in hashtag searches, this wouldn’t have been a problem. But because they weren’t, no one saw me tweet the questions. I realised something was up when regular participants in the #SpoonieSpeak chat got in touch to ask me if everything was ok.
You’d think that Twitter would have information on what causes a Twitter shadowban and how to fix it, but no. Twitter’s support pages leave a lot to be desired, as the information is vague. I was able to deduce that my Twitter shadowban was probably that I’d been flagged up as spam. But there was no information about what Twitter views as spam. I wasn’t over using hashtags and I wasn’t tweeting blog post links more than once an hour. I wasn’t the only blogger affected by the Twitter shadowban either. Hayley from Tea Party Beauty also found herself in the same situation.
With very little information on Twitter’s website, Hayley and I both contacted Twitter’s @support account to try to get some help. Unfortunately, we were both ignored on several occasions.
After more than a year of researching and trying to find out more information, I gave up. My growth had slowed and not being able to join in with Twitter chats was making me feel isolated. I’m not able to get out of the house much, so I rely on being able to interact with people on social media. So I decided to set up a new account. I knew that although this would mean I took a loss in followers initially, in the long run a new account with working hashtags would grow better. So I set up a new account.
After a couple of months with my new account, I found out that even more bloggers were being hit by the Twitter shadowban. One of these was Milly from Mini Adventures. Milly came up with a genius idea to get her shadowban lifted and was kind enough to share it with the rest of us. I’m so grateful to Milly for this.
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.
While I’d set up a new account, I knew I had to try in the hope I could get my original Twitter account back. I’d worked so hard to create my community. Low and behold, within 2 hours of contacting the Ads team, my Twitter shadowban had been lifted (and I didn’t have to buy any ads, only enquire about them).
I asked the support team why my account had been shadowbanned. They were able to tell me that my account had been flagged up as spam, but not why this had happened. The only thing I can think is that I’d been an innocent bystander, caught up in an algorithm.
To those who have come over to my new account and then come back to my original one, thank you. I know it’s an inconvenience and I’m really sorry. Please know that I’ve seen you and you are really appreciated. If you’ve followed my new account but not come back to my original, don’t worry! This is probably the first you’re hearing about me being back on my original account. Thank you for moving over to my new account. I really appreciated your support in what was a difficult time.
I’ve locked my new account and changed the name. I don’t know whether to leave it and just not use it other to point people back to my original account, or whether to delete it all together. Please let me know if you’ve any advice on this. If I do delete the new account, please don’t worry. I haven’t unfollowed you, I’m just back where I should be.
I’ve received word that this method isn’t as reliable now, with friends saying that Twitter Ads Support have told them that there’s nothing they can do. The same friends have gone on to have success when requesting their account be verified. So if you feel you can argue a case for receiving a blue tick, this might be another option to explore.
You can use this Shadowban Checker to see if you’ve been shadow banned.
Update: I, and many of my blogger friends and been shadow banned again. I’m hoping it’s just a 72 hour soft ban. I’ll keep you posted.
I canceled all promotional blog tweets and just used Twitter for sharing daily life bits and bobs without hashtags. After 48-72 hours (because I don’t know when I was hit by the shadow ban) it was lifted. I’m not going to apply the 70:30 ratio, with only 30% of my tweets being blog promotion.
Have you been hit by the shadowban on Twitter or Instagram?
How has it affected you? Have you been able to fix the issue?
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