What does being shadowbanned on Twitter really mean? I had the same question when I read the news about Twitter shadowbanning James Wilson’s account earlier this month.
To the uninitiated, James Wilson is a Twitter influencer and thread ninja who singlehandedly scared the daylights out of the BJP government with his insightful and hard-hitting threads on Demonetization policy. In fact, his blog on Demonetization has touched a viewership of 1.5 lakh.
— James Wilson (@jamewils) August 15, 2017
He’s written multiple Demonetization-related posts on The Wire as well.
While James didn’t get any official communication from Twitter regarding the limit on his account, many believed his account was shadowbanned as he was consistently tweeting about demonetization flaws. So, the conspiracy theory is the BJP government may have asked the Twitter officials to put a temporary banned on his account.
Follow @jamewils . He has ripped apart Demonitization Data of Govt and RBI and exposed the lies. Appears Twitter has Shadow Banned him
— Joy (@Joydas) September 4, 2017
Govt shadow bans @jamewils on twitter! His invaluable articles & tweets that have shown them the mirror of truth scared the hell out of them
— Rachit Seth (@rachitseth) September 5, 2017
If you dont already, please follow @jamewils. Thread ninja and slayer of data based propaganda!
— Meghnad (@Memeghnad) September 5, 2017
News reports confirmed his Twitter account was indeed shadowbanned.
If you’ve been active on Twitter recently, you might have heard about something called “shadowban”. So what does it really mean to be shadowbanned on Twitter? Let’s find out.
shadowbanned twitter meaning
According to David Stockinger who wrote a great post on Twitter Shadowban issue, Twitter officially calls this “feature” account limiting, but users have quickly coined a much better phrase. Instead of outright disallowing you to post, Twitter simply refuses to do a lot of things we’ve come expect over the years — such as notifying someone when you @-mention them.
Here’s a list of things I could personally confirm to happen to shadowbanned users:
- Others will not get a notification when you mention them.
- Others will not see your mentions in their “Mentioned” tab.
- You will not show up on any search queries.
- Your tweets will be hidden in any thread.
- Tweets which have been quoted Twitter-style will appear as “Unavailable”.
How Does One Get Shadowbanned on Twitter?
It’s unknown if the process is automated, the response to a complaint or simply Twitter’s attempt at moderating their community. Many believe Twitter shadowbans some accounts based on the ‘report abuse’. Others say your Twitter could be shadowbanned if you use too many swear words or insults such as “f*$k”. It’s same to presume Twitter has an automated detection built into its system to track and flag NSFW tweets that violet their terms of services. However, for Twitter influencers or verified users, Twitter may have different policies altogether. Essentially, the moderators at Twitter may exercise their discretion to shadowban an account.
twitter shadowban check
There are different ways to check if your an account has been shadowbanned by Twitter.
The first one is doing it manually using Twitter search. Simply type “from:YourTwitterHandle”, and you can see if the account is shadowbanned or not. Shadowbanned users show up as “Nothing found”, while regular users give a list of results. However, you need to do this while not logged in to the account in question, otherwise Twitter will still show all results as normal.
Here’s a screenshot of an account when it’s shadowbanned.
If you don’t really want the hassle, there’s a nifty tool out there that checks if a Twitter account has indeed been shadowbanned.
shadowbanned twitter checker
Is @user shadowbanned on Twitter? This is a free shadowbanned Twitter checker. Simply enter your twitter handle (proceeded by @ sign) and in a few seconds, the tool finds out if your account has been shadowbanned. Unlike the manual method, you need not log out of your Twitter account for a Twitter shadowban check.
how long does a twitter shadowban last?
All shadowbans are temporary, ranging from 12-hours to 48-hours. While it sucks that you can’t use Twitter for two days, but it’s not the end of the world. James Wilson’s shadowban was remove in less than 12 hours.
— James Wilson (@jamewils) September 6, 2017
how to get un shadowbanned twitter
If you’re a normal user, there’s no reason why Twitter will showdowban your account. However, if you tend to abuse Twitter, inviting “report abuse” from others users frequently, you can be a potential candidate for shadow ban. However, this is all just a presumption. Twitter hasn’t really issued any official notification what may lead to an account being limited or shadow banned. Therefore, if you have been shadowbanned by Twitter, and want to get un-shadowbanned, simply wait it out.