Have you noticed a sudden drop in your social media engagement? Have you stopped seeing your content in public feeds?

If so, you may have been shadow banned. 

Social media platforms have publicly denied the practice of shadow banning. But platforms have acknowledged that their algorithms impact what content is prioritized.

So while platforms may not officially shadow ban accounts, their algorithms could still be reducing public exposure to your content without informing you.

What does shadow banned mean?

Shadow banned means that your social content has been blocked or restricted in some capacity without you receiving any notice.

The concept of shadow banning gained popularity around 2018 when politically conservative account owners alleged they were being shadow banned

How to know if you’re shadow banned

  • Engagement on your content has dropped. If you’ve noticed that your content is suddenly receiving fewer likes and comments, there’s a good chance fewer people are seeing it.
  • Your posts aren’t showing up on public feeds. If your posts aren’t showing up on the explore pages or hashtag searches, you’re missing out on potential engagement and new followers.  

How to prevent being shadow banned

  • Follow the terms of service. It’s easy to skip the terms of service, but if you think you’ve been shadowbanned, take a look at the terms to see if your account is in violation. 
  • Don’t spam content. Social media algorithms don’t like seeing the same thing over and over again. Experiment with different types of content and themes.
  • Audit your hashtags. Make sure you are using hashtags that are relevant to your content and aren’t using any banned hashtags.