I Got Shadow Banned on Twitter (and What I Did to Fix It)

The last couple of month of 2017 had bought me some bad luck when it came to blogging. I had a girl steal 18 of my blog posts who then decided to call me every name under the sun on her Facebook (this is just an example) and then I got shadowbanned on Twitter. I had only heard a little bit about being shadowbanned on Twitter and then it happened to me. I thought I would share my experience with it and how I fixed it because there really isn't too much information out there.
I Got Shadow Banned on Twitter (and What I Did to Fix It)
Twitter claims that Shadowbanning isn't a thing but all you have to do is a quick google search and you will see that it is and is happening to quite a few people. A couple of bloggers have been shadowbanned in the past and helped me so much through DMs telling me how to get it sorted, I couldn't be more grateful for that help as I had no clue what to do. Shadowbanning is also known as ghost banning or stealth banning but they are all the same thing and it effects accounts that are found to be in violation of rules and terms of service used to regulate the online community, apparently. I have no idea how I was in violation of any rules or terms of service but I am 99.8% sure why I got shadowbanned and it's quite interesting I think, everyone I have told has found it funny.

When you get shadowbanned on Twitter, the average user wouldn't be able to notice and you don't get notified and there's no specific way to get it lifted. I had noticed throughout December that my engagement had started to drop but I didn't think too much of it until about two weeks ago when it was like I didn't exist on Twitter. It has always been my top referral for traffic to my blog out of any social media platform so I had a look at Google Analytics and it wasn't even on the list so I knew something wasn't right. The first thing I did once I noticed was to log out of my account and into one of my other accounts and searched my username with the #bbloggers, this is the main one I use to promote blog posts) and there was not a single tweet - that would explain why my blog page views were so low! I have done a bit of research on Twitter shadowbanning and it seems there are a few different levels of it, I think my influence had probably been lowered throughout the month meaning that less accounts were seeing my tweets (my Twitter impressions were much lower than usual to make me think this) and then from about the 16th my Twitter was completely dead. 

There are a few different things that happen when you get shadowbanned and the main one is not showing up on searches or under any hashtags. Your followers may not see your tweets with them limiting your influence, your tweets won't appear in threads or conversations and your tweets may also be replaced with the "unavailable at this time' label when you go to your profile. So through the first few weeks of December, Twitter must have limited my account so that my followers, for the most part, didn't see my tweets and then around the 16th I was completely removed from searches and hashtags, even tweets I was mentioned in by other users had disappeared. Once I noticed I was shadowbanned if I was mentioned in other users tweets with hashtags I would show up in those but after a day all of those tweets had completely disappeared. 

One of the smaller reasons I think I got shadowbanned was because I do tweet a fair amount of tweets a day but this has been something I have done ever since I got my Twitter account. I think it was due to the fact that I wasn't tweeting or interacting as much as usual during December as I was busy so I think that the algorithm may have thought I was a spam account so my account was limited. If you follow me on Twitter I rarely swear on my account (offline I swear a ridiculous amount) and I don't talk about anything 'controversial' that often. It's usually just about makeup, wrestling, my rabbits and whatever TV show I'm watching, with the odd tweet on how much of a twat Donald Trump is. Around the 16th I had somehow got into conspiracy theories and aliens so I tweeted about it with a poll asking if anyone else thought there were other life forms out there. I had been tweeting with a bunch of other people and then the next day I was fully shadowbanned. It's either that the aliens know that I'm onto them or that algorithm just doesn't like it when you talk about something completely different than you usually do. I never got notified of the results of that poll like you usually do so when I realised that the other day I went and checked my profile and every single tweet, including the poll, had been deleted... 

I managed to get my shadowbanned lifted extremely quickly, it only took me a few days but I know this isn't the case for everyone that gets shadowbanned. Everything I had read online and was told to do, I followed. I deleted every scheduled tweet I had for the next couple of days and I basically harassed @TwitterSupport's with direct messages, I must have messaged them three or four times a day until it got lifted. It is pretty much automated and I filed all my tweets under Twitter Help and then Notifications. I don't know if it specifically helped but I made a Twitter Moment to share some blog posts from the month as they obviously weren't getting seen and my shadowban was lifted within about an hour so it may be worth trying that too. If you do ever notice a problem with your account, always report it to Twitter and don't let the issues build up. It's also recommended to take a tweeting break every now and again. 

If I wasn't a blogger and didn't use Twitter as one of my main ways to promote new content I honestly don't think I would have noticed. If you have noticed a change in your engagement or referral traffic to your blog then I would really suggest making sure you aren't shadowbanned. Nice Brains have a tester that you can put your username in to check if you are shadowbanned which is what I used to check and it does work as I checked it during and after I got it fixed. You can use this tool - HERE. Note to self, I better not talk about aliens again! 



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