Does the term Shadowban already mean something to you?
The advent of social media is one of the biggest revelations of this generation. Thanks to its refreshing power to bridge the gaps caused by distance in communication, the world has never felt closer than it does today. In recent history, social media has been experiencing a boom in its growth like never before and one of the arms through which this evangelism occurs is Instagram.
Instagram is a very eventful platform. There’s almost never a dull moment there irrespective of the kind of people you follow. Its bright colors and ability to suggest fun, engaging contents at will is probably one of the reasons it appeals so much to the everyday person seeking something to take his/her mind off life’s worries. And since there’s a huge demand for contents, supply, too, has to increase.
Because almost everyone is a content creator these days, Instagram has been testing new ways to curb the excessiveness of its over teaming population to make its space even safer. A lot of users are experiencing various measures of its new security algorithms without even knowing it — Enter Shadowban.
According to Wikipedia, Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.
According to Eduardo Morales, Shadowbanning on your Instagram account means “when you use hashtags on your posts, but those posts don’t appear in the hashtag feeds of anyone except the people who already follow you.”
Getting shadowbanned will definitely reduce your reach and the number of likes and interactions you get per posts.
So, what are the causes, how do you know if you’ve been shadowbanned and how can you fix the problem? Let’s get to it:
How to Know if you’ve been shadowbanned?
The easiest way is to get someone with access to an account that isn’t following yours on standby. Post with your usual hashtag(s) and get him/her to look through the hashtag immediately. If your post appears, you’re safe; if they don’t, check again after a little while, if nothing changes it might be time to start panicking.
What could have caused you to be shadowbanned?
There are a plethora of reasons, but they all boil down to you being naughty and insubordinate to Instagram’s rules and regulations. You might’ve been doing any of these:
1. You’ve been using shortcuts to increase the number of followers and likes
Instagram allows an undisclosed number of likes and followers gain per hour, a figure that they deem human. A bot, which is an automated ‘shortcut’ service most people use, doesn’t know this and chances are its flouting that order, thereby raising a red flag for your account.
2. Your account is being reported, repeatedly
Maybe your audience already thinks you’re too naughty to be saved and have called on Instagram to intervene. That’s another red flag because Instagram almost never mediates, they’d just cut you off.
3. You’re using broken hashtags
Many hashtags, especially very popular ones, mostly defeat the purpose of their existence are become littered with inappropriate stuff. There’s a school of belief that says Instagram shuts down hashtags like these, so if you use them instead of getting more visibility you end up invoking darkness to your contents. Not cool at all.
How to Fix it?
1. Simply desist from doing all the bad things mentioned above.
2. Be a good lad and obey Papa Instagram’s instructions
3. Take some time off. It should help Instagram’s head cool off and, maybe, take its eyes off your account. A two-days break should suffice.
Just in case your account hasn’t been shadowbanned, here are some other reasons for the low engagements you’ve been experiencing and tips to fix them:
1. Old age has set in
People get bored of almost every product that’s been around for a while, especially if the said product hasn’t been reinventing itself. It’s natural. If content fatigue has set in, a rebranding campaign might be imminent.
2. Instagram’s brain is simply ‘turnioninown’
An algorithm is the brain, soul, and spirit of all programs, including Instagram. As an advertising enterprise, one of Instagram’s core goals is to maximize profit and that can only be achieved by refreshing its algorithm to avoid turning stale (refer to point-1). When this happens, chances are that your content might suffer. The good thing about this though is that it forces content developers to try new things all the time in a bid to stay relevant, which is good for their business, too.
There you have it, shadowbanning across Social Media and how you can defeat it. If this article was helpful, please leave a comment. Even if it wasn’t, feel free to brake my heart in the comment box, too.