What is shadow banning?
What is shadow banning? Thanks for asking!
Politicians and influencers are complaining about shadow banning more than ever before. The term refers to the secret silencing of a person, topic or community by social media companies. Posts aren’t actually removed from the platform, but have a much reduced reach, due to not showing up in followers’ feeds. What’s more, affected users aren’t told this has happened, which has led to accusations of deliberate censorship by the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
When shadow banning was born?
The origins of shadow banning go back as far as the 1980s, when forum moderators limited the visibility of posts by certain unpleasant users. But the practice has taken on a whole new dimension with the advent of social media and their increasingly complex algorithms. The term was popularized in 2018, when it was reported some Republicans were less visible on Twitter’s automatic search function. President Trump weighed into the debate with a trademark angry post - in block capitals, on Twitter of course.
So why do social media companies do this? And how would I know if I’ve been shadow banned? Is shadow banning bad or good? In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!
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