Have you been

shadow banned?

While Instagram remains silent, a rising concern from influencers has been ignored for far too long. The number of users complaining about being shadow banned has never been higher, while others discuss whether or not the phenomenon is even a real thing. First and foremost, let’s start with the most obvious question – if shadow banning is real – what is it?

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Donald Trump claimed that Twitter had been shadow banning Republicans.

Twitter, however, denied any allegations.

What is shadow banning?

Both Instagram & Twitter has lately been accused of shadow banning users, who for some reason or another doesn’t live up to the platforms’ standards. When you’re shadow banned, your content won’t show up in the feed of other people than the ones already following you.

This means that getting new followers, and your posts being found by people outside your follower count, is close to impossible. All your hashtags suddenly don’t matter, and your number of likes and comments are very likely to plummet to the ground.

Most sources online say that the three most common reasons for being shadow banned are:

  • You have too many bot-followers

No matter if you paid for them yourself, someone else did, or you’re simply unlucky – both Instagram & Twitter is taking a very harsh stance on bots – Twitter is even going as far as to removing bots from the platform, which has caused some prolific influencers to lose a ton of followers.

  • You use waaay too many hashtags

#HashtagsAreWonderful, and while the sources on this particular problem is a little scarce, Instagram has made it very certain that hashtagging can have its downsides. As of right now it’s possible to have 30 hashtags on your post as well as 30 more in a comment, however, this might not be such a good idea.

  • Your profile attracts too much negative engagement

Again a problem that you aren’t necessarily in control of – but especially Facebook has been very vocal about the fact, that generating hateful and angry comments can come back to haunt the profiles hosting them – even if you yourself are against them.

30 hashtags

on an Instagram post – as well as 30 in a comment

Have you been shadow banned?

Probably not. The effects of shadowbanning is still relatively unknown – and all the software that presumably can tell whether or not you’ve been shadowbanned doesn’t know either.

Instead, try keeping tabs on your engagement and reach level – is it lower than usual? If so, try out different content types, and try to eliminate as many variables as possible. Slumps happen, but they should only happen on fair terms.

But what if it is real? 

It probably isn’t. If shadow banning is real the best way to go about it is to go into dialogue with Instagram, Twitter or Facebook itself. However, if your not a huge influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers, the likelihood that they’ll listen is low. Also, before you start attacking the big platforms it’s pretty important to be 100% certain.

The changes in algorithms – the ones that always catches you off guard – means that we as digital performers are in the hands of unmerciful creators. One thing is certain, all the talk of shadow banning isn’t going away any time soon.

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