Social media platforms have a number of problems including trolls, spammers and bots. We have discussed the actions taken by Instagram to fight bots, you can read about it here. But how about fighting REAL people acting in a bad manner, driving away other users? Since last year there is a theory that social media platforms use something referred to as “shadowban” in order to quietly silence a specific account. Let’s take a closer look of what shadowbanning actually means.
What is the most important thing on social networks? That is right, ATTENTION. In theory, shadowban is applied on users without any warnings and without taking away the ability to post, comment, reply and do other typical actions on a network. BUT, their messages may not appear in the feed, their replies may be suppressed, and they may not show up in searches for their usernames. On Instagram that also means posts of accounts that have been shadowbanned do not appear on any of the hashtags. That apparently happens when users are abusing the hashtags, using too many of them, or using something irrelevant to their posts.
Although there are no confirmations on regards to this topic, there are users that have noticed a drop on their engagement, and there are certain websites offering what is called a “shadowban test”. Whether this conspiracy is true or not, it is for you to decide, but we think this is pretty much possible, as certain types of behaviours on social media are just unacceptable.