Digital Marketing

Is Your Content Shadow Banned? How Can This Take A Slice From The Publisher Revenue?

December 18, 2020 5 min read
Everything You Need To Know About Content Shadow Ban

Is Your Content Shadow Banned? How Can This Take A Slice From The Publisher Revenue?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

“Social media is our skylight to the entire world, a skylight within the grasp of our palms and the touch of our fingertips.”

Welcome to the world of hashtags, followers, and algorithms! The cliché fact, “When you upset your customer offline, he can tell 5 friends, but when you upset your customer online, he can tell 5K friends,” is so true and completely justified. That’s the impact of social media! Not just millennials but even Gen X /baby boomers are charmed with the plethora of opportunities and perks of actively engaging in social media. 

All the social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Quora, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., have their unique terms and conditions, the dos and don’ts which we need to comply with before joining and sometimes a few of us accidentally or notoriously violate these policies, and the user is temporarily banned. In these terminologies, a new ban system has emerged, coined as “Shadow Blocklist.” 

What is Shadow Blocklist?

Have you witnessed your social media engagement used to be much higher but has sharply declined recently? Maybe in some social elite groups/business groups, you have eavesdropped or often read comments about Shadow Blocklist but are unfamiliar with its existence? Let’s get enlightened and decode to find out if you are shadow blocked and tips to lift this ban! 

Shadow blocking is a complete or partial restraint of social media intervention to receive a limited impact. When the user hits the limit preset by the service controller, they will no longer receive any courtesy from the potential audience since it is ‘banned.’ Few of the advanced technology permits social media sites to adjust the shadow blocking affect their jurisdiction. If the content performs well even after a 50% shadow block, it could be amplified to 75%, or if the servicer feels it’s unfair, then vice versa. Shadow banning is a technique to police the community without vigorously deleting the posts or removing accounts. This way, the user will remain oblivious if their content is banned. Shadow’s block list got infamously prominent when President Donald Trump slammed Twitter for “Shadowbanning” prominent Republicans.

Is Shadow Banning Legal?

Yes, it’s completely legal. However, very few social sites openly acknowledge shadow blocking as a part of their system, while most of them hide this practice under the veil of some algorithm and topology. 

Private firms founded social media sites; hence the website and its contents are the possession of the company that owns the website and not public entities who partake on the privately-owned website. Thus, social media sites can permit or prohibit anyone’s content as per their will. A recipient of a “shadowban” can therefore acknowledge their ban as evidence that their demeanor on social media sites is unwelcome or not as per the standards laid by the respective community sites, and it’s a kind of, say, a “societal feedback.”

How do I find out if I am Shadow Banned?

  • Audience Engagement Rate

Please remember that an engagement dip in social media doesn’t necessarily imply you being shadow banned; it could just be a technical or algorithm change. It is also the obvious and major symptoms of identifying if the content is blocked; the difference in identification is only cautious with the engagement rate and time. If the user is habitual to definite traffic in the first one hour after a post is live, verify if the progress is consistent. On posting new content, if only a spoonful of the audience is targeted, there are high chances of being shadow blocked. However, at times, maybe the content is posted at the wrong time, the absence of better hashtags, content is not engaging enough, so there’s always room to give the benefit of doubt, and engagement rates alone cannot help to decide if it’s shadow blocked. 

Hashtag Shadow Ban
  • Hashtag Feed

An alternative guide is to search the content or images through hashtags from 4 to 5 accounts that aren’t your followers. However, bear in mind that a highly popular hashtag has a billion views, and chances are less likely that you may find your images easily, so it’s apt to pick hashtags with fewer posts so that search engines work slow. If the content gets auto-populated through these accounts, it only means there’s an engagement dip, and it’s not shadow banned.

  • Third-Party Tool

A tool penned as “Shadow Ban” is hosted on, which lets you check if either a username or a specific post is shadow blocked. When you feed the username, it just checks your most recent post, and if you wish to provide a particular URL of the post, it will access that URL. If you are opting for this tool, ensure that the posts qualify for specific hashtags, incase the posts don’t have hashtags, it won’t show up regardless of whether the content is shadow banned. 

Why is this a big deal? And how does it hurt the revenue?

In this digital marketing era, social media is the biggest trap to conglomerate a large audience. Suppose you are running a business on social media, a Shadow blocklist can endanger many of the promiscuous clients because you are missing out on getting discovered by thousands of potential followers who may be veiled as clients via hashtags alone. In brief, you become invisible to people who aren’t already following you on sites and won’t appeal to new supporters through hashtag feed. Inaccessibility to hashtags means losing a ton of exposure, and when this exposure deciphers straight to revenue, you might lose your living in a blink of an eye.

Shadow Blocklist, even temporary, can have devastating effects if you are focused heavily on social media marketing and advertising. Even if the ban is lifted, the loss of momentum can be a serial killer and impact you from moving forward because perception and mechanics are wheels of the same cart.

Once shadow blocked, the client may not perceive the user as an influencer and might be compelled to think a ton of fake followers and engagement. No client will accord to promote their brand, which can fetch only 1% of engagement it used to.

What Next? I am Shadow Banned!

The first thing to check is that the site isn’t doing something wrong to win Ad Revenue. If you are still shadow blocked, ensure you aren’t doing the following:

  • Using irrelevant, broken, or abusing hashtags.
  • Using a third-party tool or program to boost your audience limit but might be violating the rules.
  • Content is irrelevant to the audience.
  • Not complying with the hourly limit or other terms and conditions of the site.
  • Frequent warnings and reports to your account.
Shadowban Tester Examines Your Last 10 Posts
Source: PetaPixel

Have you ever been shadow banned? Let us know in the comment section if this article and the tips helped you.

Read more of Supreet’s work here:

Ms. Supreet is a Poetess, Logophile and a Structural Engineer. Apart from writing technical proposals and designing of bridges at day, Supreet is a night owl poetess, a creative writer with a firm belief, “Words can influence the perception of a reader.” Designated as Literary Colonel, Supreet is a writer at Story Mirror platform.