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Twitter Shadowban: How To Check and Fix the Invisible Ban?

Tweet Eraser Team

September 26, 2023 | 11 min read

Are you noticing a sudden and massive drop in engagement in your tweets (now posts)? You post regularly and didn’t change your content, either. It feels like you’re tweeting into the void, i.e., a feed where no one can see your posts. It’s possible your account may have a Twitter shadowban. But wait, what is a shadowban, and why are you only hearing about this now? 

Can you test if your profile has a shadowban? Moreover, can you fix it, and if not, is there something you should do? It’s common not to know about a shadowban until you suddenly notice things are not the same on your account. Today, let’s learn more about these types of bans so that you know if your account has one.

A Twitter user looking at their post and wondering why there is a drop in engagement.

What Does Shadowban Mean?

First, you should know that a shadowban is not unique to Twitter (now X). In fact, it’s a common practice among social media services. So, what does shadowban mean? It’s a type of ban where your posts get no visibility. This means when you post, no one can see it. At the same time, the social media network doesn’t let you know about this change.

In other words, it’s an invisible ban where it doesn’t stop you from posting. Instead, it’s more like you can post as many times as you like. But no one will see your posts until the end of the Twitter shadowban.

This is a technique social media platforms and community forums use to keep spammers at bay. Profiles that behave like a bot or a spam account will disrupt the user’s experience. Rather than outright prevent them from participating in conversations, the website hands out a shadowban. 

Spammers can continue to post regularly without ever knowing about the shadowban. Although being on the receiving end can be frustrating, you can see how it can help other users.

What Is Shadowban on Twitter?

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The next question you’ll have is, what is a shadowban on Twitter? Does this platform treat you differently if you compare it with other sites? The shadowban is like any other type of invisible ban. The only difference is that it’s active only on your Twitter account.

What happens when you get one? As highlighted in the previous section, your activity becomes invisible during the shadowban. Even if you have hundreds or thousands of followers, no one will know you’re active on the platform. They’ll only know that you’re still using your account when they visit your profile.

In other words, it is a way to limit the reach of your account without handing out a suspension. As it is an invisible ban, the platform won’t inform you when your profile gets one.

An individual checking their profile to see if they have a Twitter shadowban.

Twitter Shadowban News: Does It Exist?

You want to know more about the Twitter shadowban news. Does it actually exist? Well, if you go by the social media network’s blog post in 2018, it states that the platform doesn’t hand out shadowbans. The network goes on to clarify that followers can see tweets from the people they follow.

However, the platform has a ranking system for posts in timelines and search results. According to Twitter, the aim is to ensure that posts are relevant when you view them. Also, the purpose of the ranking system is to reduce the visibility of posts from bad actors.

How does the social media network identify who is a bad actor?

  • First, it looks at your profile picture and whether you verify your email address or phone number. The platform also considers the age of your account.
  • It tracks what types of posts you retweet (now repost) and the users you follow on the platform.
  • Also, it factors in how other people interact with your account. Do they block you when they come across your post, or do they like or retweet it?

If the platform does notice that your profile behaves like a bad actor, it will reduce the visibility of your posts.

However, Elon Musk claims otherwise, stating that Twitter does have a shadowban. According to the billionaire owner, the platform is working on True Account Status. This will let you know whether your profile has a shadowban. Also, it will highlight why you got one and how you can appeal the platform’s decision.

According to Twitter’s Terms of Service, the social media network can reduce the visibility of your posts. It also has the right to choose whether it distributes your tweets to other users.

How To Check Shadowban Twitter?

It’s been over half a year since Elon Musk’s post about the true account status. However, the platform is yet to roll out this feature. So, how to check Shadowban on Twitter if there is no native solution from the social media network? Luckily, there are several ways to test whether your profile has a shadowban, as highlighted below:

1. Verify the Shadowban With a Third-Party Service

The easiest way to check for a shadowban on Twitter is through a third-party service. They’ll perform various tests to see whether your account has one. How do these services work? For this example, let’s use a popular tool – Shadowban.Yuzurisa. It performs five tests against your profile to check for a shadowban.

  • The first test is a basic one. It’s to ensure you have a valid Twitter account.
  • In the second and third tests, the tool checks if there is a search ban on your profile. A search ban prevents your posts (now tweets) from appearing in the search results. The second type of test is to see whether the platform suggests your profile with other accounts. In other words, is there a search auto-suggest issue?
  • As part of the fourth test, it looks for a ghost or thread ban. In this case, this service goes through your profile and opens a tweet with a reply. It obtains the reply link and opens it as a separate post. Then, the service checks whether the original post is visible when looking at the reply separately. If it can’t see the original post (i.e., your tweet), it’s because of a ghost or thread ban.
  • The last test is to see whether Twitter is downranking your replies on posts from other users. One of the reasons why the platform does this is to reduce the visibility of offensive or rule-breaking comments.

If the tool has a positive result in any test, you know there is a shadowban.

You can also HiSubway to check for a shadowban. It performs the same tests as highlighted above. Also, it has an Android app that you can use to perform the same test.

2. Review Your Engagement Metrics

Another simple way to see if there is a shadowban Twitter is to review your posts’ engagement metrics. Due to the invisible ban, no one can see your tweets, replies, and retweets (now reposts). As a result, there will be a significant drop off in engagement metrics.

Go to your Twitter Analytics and check when the drop-off starts. This tool gives you a 28-day summary of your metrics. You can also go through previous months and compare the engagement figures. Is there a stark difference even though you didn’t change your content or strategy?

Find the first post with the significant engagement drop and look at the view count. This new feature indicates the number of times users view your posts. Is this metric really low, especially when the view count for older posts was in the hundreds or thousands? If the answer is yes, your account may have a shadowban.

A person reviewing their engagement metrics on a Macbook Pro for several Twitter posts.

How To Perform a Twitter Shadowban Test?

The best solution is to learn how to perform a Twitter shadowban test to confirm the invisible ban. The process is simple and won’t take more than five minutes. You’ll need another Twitter account for the test. This is because of the recent changes to Twitter, which prevent you from viewing most profiles without an account. Here’s how to test for a shadowban on this social media network.

  1. Compose and publish a reference tweet from the account you think has a shadowban. 
  2. If you know a friend, ask them also to post a tweet. Open this post and leave a reply from the account with the possible shadowban.
  3. Use Twitter’s advanced search from your alternate account and look for your profile. Similarly, open the tweet from your friend and check if you can see the reply.
  4. You can also ask your friend to leave a reply to your post. Copy the link to the person’s reply and open it in a new tab. Can you see the original post, i.e., your reference tweet?

If the answers to steps 3 and 4 are no, your account has a shadowban. Verify your results by going through the engagement metrics for recent posts. Also, use any third-party service suggested in this guide to confirm the shadowban.

A person leaving a reply on a post as part of the shadowban test.

Why Is Your Account in the Twitter Shadowban List?

After you know your account has the invisible ban, you want to know why you’re on the Twitter shadowban list. Twitter will reduce the visibility of your posts for the following reasons:

  • Your posts, replies or direct messages come under the following categories:
    • Abuse or harassment
    • Hateful conduct
    • Violent speech

In the case of hateful conduct, the platform will label the post as such. This way, you’ll know why the social media network limits the tweet’s visibility. However, it doesn’t shadowban your account. In other words, only the tweet has an invisible ban, not the entire account. However, if you continue to do this, you will get a shadowban for your profile.

  • Your account participates in promoting spam or tries to manipulate your metrics or another user’s statistics artificially.
  • You break the X automation rules or the platform’s terms of service and policies.

How Long Does Shadowban Last?

There is no clarity from Twitter to the question—how long does the shadowban last? The platform may take a few days to remove the shadowban. The following section has all the answers if you’re wondering what to do during this Twitter shadowban period.

A person marking on a calendar on their iPhone when they should check if their account has a Twitter shadowban.

Twitter Shadowban Fix: What Should You Do?

Is there a Twitter shadowban fix? Well, the answer is both yes and no. The guide below explains what to do when your profile has an invisible ban:

  1. Avoid all activity on your account – Avoid doing anything with your Twitter profile for the next few days. You can view posts from other users. However, it’s always better to keep this to a minimum.
  2. Check with customer support – If you think the platform’s decision to shadowban you is wrong, you can appeal it. You’ll need to contact customer support and check with them. If the platform confirms its mistake, it will reverse its decision.
  3. Delete all offending posts, comments and reposts – Review the platform’s rules and policies. If your tweets (posts), comments or reposts (retweets) violate them, you should delete them immediately. Sometimes, the platform may ask you to remove the rule-breaking content.

The problem with the third solution is that Twitter only allows you to remove a single post (tweet) at a time. It doesn’t have a feature where you can select and delete all rule-breaking posts. This can take hours if several tweets go against the platform’s rules.

Luckily, you don’t have to waste your time if you use TweetEraser. It makes locating and removing any post that breaks Twitter’s rules easy. You can take preventive action by setting up the auto-delete feature. This removes any post containing words or phrases against Twitter’s rules. Ensure your account never gets a shadowban by using TweetEraser today!

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