‘Shadowbanning’, also commonly known as ‘stealth banning’ or ‘ghost banning’ has been a bit of a buzzword as of late, but many people still don’t know much about it. Finding out that you’ve been shadowbanned 1, takes a while since you’re not actually notified by the platform you’ve been banned, and 2, will probably cause you to panic as you have no idea why or how this has happened. 😦 Well, fear no more because we’re about to break down exactly what this term means and how you can avoid it.
Shadowbanning is essentially blocking a user from any social media platform without them knowing, making their activity invisible to others. You’re probably thinking – what’s the point of this? 🤔
Well, the point is: if spammers aren’t aware of the ban, then they’re not going to try and get around the ban, which means they’ll keep doing their thing without actually harming anyone. In saying this, there have still been instances where someone who isn’t trying to deliberately spam someone gets shadowbanned for even a slight misstep.
Since you won’t be told whether you’ve been shadowbanned or not, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the rules that each social media platform enforces to avoid being banned for months and months without realising.
First, check your engagement levels, as this is the most obvious one. If you’re shadowbanned, you’ll notice a very obvious dip in your engagement, such as usually getting 100 likes in 10 minutes to getting only 1. 😞
Another way of checking this is directly searching a hashtag you’ve used on your post, and if it doesn’t come up, there’s a chance you’ve been banned. You can also check your posts from a friend’s account.
There is no clear rule book that tells you exactly what not to do to avoid getting shadowbanned, however, here are some things you should definitely avoid doing on LinkedIn.
1) Using bots or auto-posting software
2) Being spammy: Posting more than 3x times per day with external links, excessively liking and commenting, etc.
3) Buying followers/connections
4) Using unauthentic/spammy hashtags
5) Excessively engaging with people you’re not connected with
If you make sure to steer clear of this type of behaviour on any social media platform, the chances of you getting shadowbanned are very low. Remember, how you act on social media platforms should be no different to how you act in your local community – being a respectful and good citizen is just as important!
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