So you are perpetual at twitter trolling? You may have been “shadow banned” before you started reading this statement.
In March, Twitter introduced a new strategy aimed at tackling relevance and improving healthy
conversations on the timeline. This strategy is one you may call “Shadow Banning”.
Shadow banning involves making your content online invisible so that no-one can see it easily in order to
interact with it. By doing this, a user keeps using the platform without restrictions but their tweets are not being broadcasted to their audience because of this ban.
Twitter has developed a new software that implements this with a major aim to determine whether or not your contribution to a certain conversation is relevant. This new strategy Twitter says is aimed at tweets that
“Detract from the conversation”.
Today we are introducing new behavior-based signals into how Tweets are organized and presented in areas like conversations and search.
This is to improve the health of the conversation and improve everyone’s Twitter experience.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) May 15, 2018
So, what does “Detract from the conversation” mean?
We think, after analyzing the statement that offensive and negative towards a certain conversation fall within this. These may include information that may express impolite views affecting other users online psychologically. Other reason why you would be Detract from the conversation/ shadow banned include;
1. Being blocked occasionally
2. Being muted by various users
3. Reported by many Twitter users of your inhumane acts online which violate Twitter rules.
This will also affect users who sign into multiple accounts at once and accounts that tweet occasionally and
mention other accounts that (don’t follow them).
How is this going to be implemented?
If you have scrolled through a Twitter thread only to find a “show more replies” option, the tweets
below are of the users that have been shadowbanned by the application. Hiding particular tweets from search results is another signal to prove this ban.
This censorship strategy has gotten lots of Twitter users ranting over why the application is standing in
their way of free speech and self-expression. Many of these users are still not sure of what Twitter’s aim
is for bringing up such a software, and the extent to which they may or may not involve in a
conversation so as to avoid the consequences.
On the other hand, on March 15th twitter published a progress report on this strategy stating a positive
impact. The statistics included a 4% drop in abusive reports from search and 8% fewer abusive reports
With these facts, Twitter admits the inaccuracy of this software and promises to upgrade and find
ways of making everyone’s Twitter experience worthwhile. This communication came through at just the
perfect time when all the different users who have realized are banned have tried to reach out to the
twitter support team only to be given a cold ear.
Many of these affected users have managed to discover that the ban was not because of sharing
offensive content (some actually have kept clean profiles), but also engaging with someone who is
In this picture, a one Diana Whitten responds to Tim Cast’s YouTube Video on how she encountered this
This begs the questions, shall tweeps fail to be honest and share their opinions for fear of being banned?
For the companies, how will they reach out to new markets if they can’t tag any online users (who don’t
follow them) to create awareness? Should being muted or blocked be a concrete reason to instantiate
this ban? Shall the role of an influencer be affected, in line with how content is created?