There is a practice typical of many social networks, which is generally unknown to those who use these platforms and it is the SHADOWBAN. Although no social network has officially assumed the use of this practice, unofficially we know that they do; and after official comments from Instagram as well as Twitter functionalities that attack bots and haters’ accounts, we can confirm that this is the case.
However, this is a more stealthy type of sanction than those normally applied by social networks such as blocking accounts or temporarily preventing their use, so few realize that they are suffering a shadowban.
I’ve already generated enough uncertainty with this information? Then let’s not wait any longer, it’s time for you to read on so that you really know what SHADOWBAN is and how to avoid it. And if you are already wondering how to know if I have Shadowban, we have the answer here too!
What is shadowban and how to avoid it
To get to the definition of what shadowban is, it is necessary to start by telling you what Shadowban means. As you can imagine, this word is an anglicism, which is originated from two words:
- Shadow, which means shadow and
- Ban, which means prohibition
Ban, has been unofficially adapted to Spanish and is a very common foreign word used as the term ban; a word commonly used in the field of social networks, which indicates that a platform or website places restrictions on a person or user. To be more specific, the word ban, according to the Real Academia Española, means:
“to veto or expel, but not to block. Banning does not involve only blocking. It expresses removing from a virtual or physical place to subsequently restrict or block their new access.”
Now, the shadowban is not just any ban, but it means “shadow ban”, so in this context of social networks we can say that it consists of banning a person or user leaving him/her in the shadow and without him/her knowing that such sanction has been applied.
So, understanding this definition, I ask you, have you ever been a victim of shadowbanning on any social network? And I say this because it seems that no platform escapes from this practice, in fact on several social networks we can find complaints from users who fail to increase their reach because of this practice.
For example, on platforms such as Twitter, Youtube or Instagram, the Shadowban has a strong impact on the reach and visibility of publications. So if lately you have not increased in followers and the interactions of your publications decreased, it is possible that you are being shadowbanned.
What causes Shadowban?
To know how to avoid Shadowban, you also need to know what causes Shadowban and the latter, although it may vary in each social network, is usually mainly due to the violation or non-compliance of the terms and conditions of uses, policies, and rules of social networks in general or to be more specific to the misuse of these platforms.
For example, Twitter, although it has not said so publicly, tends to apply shadowban to accounts that act as bots and also to haters’ accounts. It is like the first step that the platform applies before banning or sanctioning in a definitive way, as Twitter tends to delete bot accounts.
On the other hand, Instagram usually applies this measure when people exceed in the use of hashtags when they perform actions that usually correspond to bots accounts or in cases where the user has created offensive publications, among others. So to avoid Shadowban, the best thing to do is not to fall into these and other practices that I will expand on below.
10 things to keep in mind to avoid Shadowban on Instagram
If you or anyone in your environment wants to know how to avoid Shadowban, try, as I said above, not to fall into what social networks consider bad practices. And yes, I understand that it is very possible that you do not know how to identify all those bad practices that’s why from here I will tell you the 10 things to keep in mind to avoid Shadowban on Instagram:
- Take care of how your posts are seen: You or your brand should be identified; add the logo or symbol that represents you in the publications, as well as corporate colors.
- Take care of what your posts convey: Make your content unique, and different, and at the same time do not move away from what you represent, whether you are a person or brand. Allow your followers and the social network to identify your identity through the content you publish.
- Avoid that the information you carry is offensive or directly or indirectly affects a group or community in general.
- Avoid the inclusion of third-party applications not authorized by the social network, such as automation apps.
- Do not buy followers, as most of them are bots.
- Do not give massive likes, Instagram has a limit of likes per hour, if you exceed it you are considered a bot.
- Do not follow or unfollow accounts massively. It is a practice that many often apply to gain followers and is not well seen on Instagram and also has a time limitation.
- Making many comments in a row is also not a good idea. These are also practices of bots.
- Avoid being denounced by other users
- Do not use hashtags or tags banned by Instagram, because yes, it has them. Do not constantly repeat the same hashtag in your publications or add more than those allowed by the social network. For this you can rely on top tags for likes, it is an application that will guide you to use the best tags. Some time ago we talked about it in an article so I’ll leave it below to serve as a guide.
How do I know if I have Shadowban?
Usually, due to the type of banning involved, people don’t realize at first that it has been applied to them, and there are even those who are making mistakes in their strategies and blame the social network they are using for shadowbanning them. So in order for you to know if you have a shadowban, or if you simply need to reformulate your social media strategy, I will tell you what you should do to know if you have Shadowban:
The first thing you should do is the measure: constantly perform an evaluation of both interactions and the reach that your publications are having.
If the affected account corresponds to Instagram, this usually does not allow you to be found by hashtags, so you can try searching for your publication through a tag you have used. To do this, you must enter from an account outside the one you want to evaluate; so if you want to check your brand’s account you can use your personal Instagram, preferably not following it, and verify that the publication appears.
If it does not appear, you may be being affected by Shadowban. In such a case you can delete the banned hashtags you have added, the posts that have violated the rules, or whatever you consider may have affected him, considering the options to avoid recommended above. If none of that helps, you’ll have to contact Instagram to request to have your ban removed.
As you could already see, a shadowban is a silent ban applied mainly to users who violate, among other things, the terms and conditions of use of social networks. So if you use social networks correctly, you have nothing to worry about, however, it never hurts to check from time to time if you have been shadowbanned because you might not realize it in time.