A shadowban represents a form of online censorship where a platform partially hides or restricts a user’s content or activity. Consequently, the user remains unaware of this restriction, which limits their visibility to the public. Unlike an outright ban, the user can still see and interact with their account normally, but their posts or comments are less visible or entirely invisible to others.

Key Characteristics of a Shadowban

  • Invisibility. The affected user’s content does not appear in public feeds, search results, or hashtag pages, making it less likely to be seen by other users.
  • Lack of Notification. Users are not notified that they have been shadowbanned, which can lead to confusion as to why their engagement has dropped.
  • Selective Restriction. Not all content from the shadowbanned user is hidden; some might still be visible to a limited audience, such as their followers.

Common Reasons for Shadowbanning

  • Spamming: Posting excessive or repetitive content that is considered spammy.
  • Violation of Guidelines: Breaching community guidelines or terms of service, such as posting inappropriate or offensive content.
  • Automated Behavior: Using bots or automated tools to like, follow, or comment on posts.
  • Controversial Content: Sharing controversial or sensitive topics that the platform deems harmful or misleading.

How to Detect a Shadowban

  • Reduced Engagement: Noticeable drop in likes, comments, and shares on posts.
  • Hashtag Visibility: Posts using hashtags do not appear in public hashtag feeds.
  • Searchability: User’s account or content does not appear in search results or on follower feeds.
  • Third-Party Tools: Using specific tools designed to check for shadowbans on various platforms.

How to Address a Shadowban

  • Review Platform Guidelines: Ensure all content complies with the platform’s community guidelines and terms of service.
  • Pause Activity: Take a break from posting or interacting excessively for a few days.
  • Remove Questionable Content: Delete any posts or comments that might have triggered the shadowban.
  • Contact Support: Reach out to the platform’s support team to inquire about the shadowban and request a review.


A shadowban discreetly restricts a user’s content, making it less visible or hidden without their knowledge. This can occur due to violations of platform guidelines, spamming, or using automated tools. Users can detect a shadowban by noticing reduced engagement and can take steps to address it by reviewing guidelines, pausing activity, removing questionable content, and contacting support.

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