What is Twitter Shadowban and How to Fix It? [2024 Edition]

Shehriar Awan
June 6, 2024
14 min read

While I was mindlessly scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, this post suddenly leaped out and caught my eye! 👇

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Shadowbanning on X (formerly Twitter) is a major problem and like Dominic, many people have faced this issue.

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But many people still don't know about it and its effect on their social media reach.

So in this article, we’re going to learn 3 things.

  1. How to check if you're shadowbanned
  2. How to fix it
  3. How to avoid it in the future.

But first thing first, what exactly is Twitter shadowbanning?

What is Twitter Shadowban?

A Twitter shadowban is a way of limiting an account's visibility without completely shutting it down.

x search - image12.gif

Your tweets are hidden or demoted in search results and timelines. This means people are much less likely to see your content, even if they follow you.

How is a Twitter Shadowban different from account suspension?

With a shadowban, you don’t know the exact reason for your limited reach.

Twitter sends you a notification.

X temporary label - image4.png

There’s no mention of limited reach duration. You don’t know when Twitter will withdraw the temporary label.

But account suspension comes with a clear message outlining the reason and potential duration.

account suspended - image5.png

When suspended, you're locked out of your account entirely.

But during a shadowban, you can still use your account. You can still post tweets and interact with your existing followers.

Types of Twitter Shadowban

Based on different shadowbans experienced by people, we can categorize shadowbans in 4 categories.

  1. Temporary label
  2. Search ban
  3. Timeline ban
  4. Ghost ban

Temporary Label

Temporary label is the most recently introduced shadowban. It’s the only one that comes with a proper notification.

Before Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, users were never notified of shadowban.

But now X tells you that you’ve been shadowbanned.

A temporary label results in exclusion of your profile from trends, recommended tweet notifications, replies and even search results.

temp label explained - image8.png

This simply means Twitter has limited your reach completely. Anyone who wants to see your latest posts has to visit your profile to do so.

But Twitter can impose a stealth banning on your profile, limiting your reach coming from any one or more than one of the above listed options.

Search ban

Search bans include your profile and tweets not appearing in search results and search suggestions.

Search suggestion ban means, if people search your name in Twitter search, they won’t find you in search suggestions.

Search results ban hides your tweets from Twitter search results.

The only way people might know about your tweet on a topic is by visiting your profile.

Timeline ban

Next is the timeline ban. Twitter shows you tweets from people you follow on your timeline.

Along with following, you might have noticed tweets from people you don’t follow but their tweet is relevant to a topic of your interest.

But if a person is shadowbanned, people won’t see his posts on their timeline.

There’s a soft timeline shadowban where your tweets stop showing up to people that don’t follow you but follow topics you talk about.

With a complete timeline shadowban, even your friends/followers won’t see your tweets in their timeline.

They have to go to your profile to know what you posted.

Ghost Ban

Lastly there’s the ghost ban or reply deboosting. This means your comment on tweets is hidden from the public unless someone clicks ‘show more replies’.

If your profile is ghost banned, Twitter won’t display your replies under Tweets. You won’t find your replies in search results either.

But why’d Twitter shadowban your account?

Why would Twitter shadowban you?

Let’s ask Twitter about shadowbans. I asked Grok about Twitter shadowbans and here’s what my buddy Grok told me.

grok response 1 - image11.png

Twitter says shadowban is a myth?

Twitter calls shadowbans a myth

To further confirm it, I checked the Twitter help portal and yes, Twitter does claim that they don’t shadowban anyone.

x shadowban - image25.png

But we just saw so many examples of Twitter shadowban. 🤔

Then who’s lying? Maybe the users are lying or maybe Twitter is a hypocrite.

To find out, I scrolled down and read the other half of Grok’s answer.

grok response 2 - image9.png

But Twitter says we can’t trust Grok (though its answer was more factual than Twitter’s own help page).

So I did some real research and found out 2 things.

  1. Yes, Twitter and many other social media platforms shadowban their users
  2. Reasons why you might get shadowbanned on Twitter.

I found many articles about user complaints regarding shadowban on Twitter.

The platform is still shadowbanning people even in 2024.

x ban news - image19.png

But the question remains – why Twitter shadowbans accounts?

Reasons of a Twitter shadowban

There are 4 main reasons why your account might get shadowbanned on Twitter.

  1. Spam, misleading content
  2. Been blocked by a lot of users
  3. Your content jeopardizes search quality
  4. Your content consistently violates of Twitter rules

Most common reason for a shadowban is spam content and fake news.

If you frequently post tweets that are considered spammy or share information that's misleading or false, Twitter might shadowban you.

It can lead to a timeline shadowban or temporary label or even permanent account suspension.

Another reason is getting blocked by a lot of users in a short period of time. This signals Twitter that your content must contain something offensive.

Also Twitter is serious about its search quality and your irrelevant content on a hashtag or trend can jeopardize search quality.

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Posting content with a lot of irrelevant hashtags, which is a really silly thing people do to get more reach but results in a search shadowban.

Twitter has a set of rules and guidelines for users’ and platform’s safety that all users must follow.

x safety - image24.png

If you break these rules e.g. share hateful speech, engage in harassment, or posting offensive content, Twitter may shadowban you or in worst case, suspend your account.

But how do I know if I’m shadowbanned on Twitter?

How to do a Twitter shadowban test?

Investigating shadowban on Twitter is pretty easy. You can do a Twitter shadowban test in 2 simple ways.

  1. Do it manually
  2. Use a 3rd party shadowban tester

Since Twitter notifies you about the temporary label ban, I will be focusing only on search, timeline, and ghost bans.

Let’s start with search.

How to do a Twitter search shadowban test manually

To check search related shadowbans, you can use Twitter advanced search.

You can check out The Ultimate Guide Twitter advanced Search [2024 Edition] for a complete walkthrough of Twitter advanced search.

To investigate search bans, just follow these simple steps.

x search - image15.png

  1. Logout from Twitter and sign in to a new account
  2. Go to Twitter search
  3. Type from:username in the search bar
  4. Go to latest tweets tab

Now check your latest tweets. If the latest tweets on your profile don’t show up in the search results, it means you’ve been search shadowbanned.

To test the search suggestions ban, simply search your profile name in the Twitter search bar.

x search suggestions - image20.png

If it doesn’t appear in the suggestions, it means you’re probably shadowbanned.

But how do I check timeline shadowbans?

How to check Twitter timeline shadowban manually

It’s a tricky one. Appearing in someone’s Twitter feed depends on Twitter’s algorithm.

So it’s difficult to know if you were shadowbanned or the algorithm doesn’t think you’re the best match to appear in other people’s feed.

But if Twitter was suggesting your content to people you don’t follow and suddenly your reach has dropped significantly, it might be a sign of a shadowban.

Another sign of a shadowban will be – your content won’t appear to your followers. Sometimes they won’t see your recent posts even on your profile.

The easiest way to test timeline shadowban is checking your analytics.

Twitter analytics report tells you a lot about your reach. By analyzing the peak and dip in your reach, you can find out how shadowban has affected your account.

But how do I know Twitter is hiding my recent posts?

If you’re seeing your recent posts, it doesn’t mean everyone is seeing them.

You can test it by checking your profile from some other account.

But how to check the ghost ban on Twitter?

How to check ghost ban manually

Checking ghost bans is pretty easy. You can do it in X simple steps.

  1. Gather tweet URLs where you’ve posted a comment
  2. Sign out of your original account and sign in to another account
  3. Visit each tweet and scroll down to read replies
  4. If your reply doesn’t show up, it means you’re being ghost banned

Another way of checking reply debooting/ghost ban is using Twitter advanced search.

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  1. Log out your original account and login to another Twitter account
  2. Go to Twitter advanced search
  3. In From these accounts, add your username
  4. Check the Only show replies option
  5. Click search to view search results

If you don’t see your replies here, it means you’re being ghosted.

That’s how you check all types of shadowbans.

But what if I have to investigate shadowban on hundreds of accounts?

Doing this whole process manually will take a lot of time and creating a report would take even more.

That’s where Lobstr can help.

🦀

How to automate Twitter shadowban test using lobstr.io?

Lobstr helps you scrape millions of Tweets and retweets not only from Twitter search but also from user profiles in minutes – that too without coding.

With Lobstr, you can analyze a topic, and investigate if Twitter has banned certain accounts from showing up on those topics.

Firstly use the Twitter Search Results Scraper to scrape all tweets appearing on a search query or Twitter trend.

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  1. Search your query in Twitter and copy the search URL
  2. Create a Squid and add the URL
  3. Launch the scraper and export all data to Google Sheet
  4. Repeat the process for all topics and trends

I have already published a detailed guide on How to Scrape Twitter Search Results without coding [2024 Edition]. Check it out for a detailed tutorial.

Once you have that data in a Google Sheet, all you need to do is CTRL+F and search the username.

It will show you if there’s any Tweet or reply by the user on that certain topic/search query.

Check your targeted users profile to know if they have shared their opinion on that topic.

But checking user tweets manually can be backbreaking and time consuming.

We can use Twitter advanced search.

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But if the user is search banned, Twitter advanced search won’t give us any useful insights.

Also, it won’t solve the time consumption issue. You’ll have to manually look up each user one by one.

You’ll have to check the user profile to find out if he’s censored or just silent about a topic.

What if I could use the CTRL+F magic on user tweets too. 🤔

Well, we can!

You can use the Twitter User Tweets Scraper to scrape all tweets from hundreds of Twitter accounts in a few minutes.

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  1. Get usernames or profile URLs of targeted accounts
  2. Import them as tasks to Twitter User Tweets Scraper
  3. Adjust scraper’s behavior to get targeted tweets
  4. Launch the scraper and start collecting data
  5. Export data to Google Sheets

I have explained how to do it in 5 simple steps in my article on How to Scrape Tweets from Twitter (No Code) - 2024 Edition. Check it out for a detailed tutorial.

Once you have the tweets, again do a CTRL+F and search the keyword or hashtag. It will bring tweets by all targeted users on that topic.

That’s how you automate your entire shadowban testing process.

But what if I want a quick solution?

There are third-party tools available online to check all types of shadowbans in a single click.

3 best Twitter shadowban testers

There are a lot of Twitter shadowban checkers available for free. I performed some checks and shortlisted 3 of them that are:

  1. Accurate
  2. Fast
  3. Free

Here are my top 3 picks.

1. Yuzurisa

The Yuzurisa Twitter shadowban tester (previously shadowban_eu) is one of the most popular free shadowban testers for Twitter.

yuzurisa - image16.png

  1. Offers all types of shadowban checks
  2. Super fast and user friendly
  3. Completely free
  4. Has ads but not the annoying popups

The only problem is that if you haven’t posted in a while, this tool won’t recognize your Twitter account.

2. HiSubway

HiSubway is another totally free Twitter shadowban tester, popular for its accuracy. It’s my personal favorite tool for checking social media shadowbans.

hisubway - image2.png

  1. Clean and user-friendly interface
  2. Accurate results
  3. No account recognition limitation like Yuzurisa
  4. Has ads but not so annoying

The problem with HiSubway is it gets super slow sometimes. It keeps loading and you’ll need to refresh the page a few times or clear cookies.

3. Circleboom

Circleboom is actually a complete Twitter management suite offering a variety of tools including a free Twitter shadowban tester.

circleboom - image18.png

  1. Complete Twitter management suite
  2. Fast shadowban tester
  3. Clean and user-friendly UI
  4. No ads
  5. Free to use shadowban tester

The only problem is it doesn’t give you a detailed report like the other 2 testers. It just gives you a message like Positive or Negative report.

OK so if my account is shadowbanned, does it last forever?

How long does a shadowban last

Twitter itself is vague about the exact duration of shadowbans.

There are reports of them lasting anywhere from 24 hours to much longer, depending on the severity of the perceived offense.

In general, for minor infractions, it might only last 1-3 days.

Repeat offenses or more serious violations could result in a longer shadowban or even a suspension.

But is there any way to revert the shadowban and get my reach back?

How to fix Twitter Shadowban?

You can ask Twitter to investigate and remove shadowban from your account.

Especially if you’re facing a temporary label type of ban, there’s a high chance that following the 4 step process would remove the temporary label from your account.

  1. Review your content and activities on Twitter
  2. Report to Twitter support
  3. Wait for a few days
  4. Create valuable content

First and foremost, review your content on Twitter. Go through your Twitter timeline and analyze the content you’ve posted, retweeted, or liked.

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If there’s something that might be offensive, spreads misinformation, or in any way violates Twitter’s guidelines, just delete it.

You can use Twitter User Tweets Scraper to scrape all your tweets and then push them to Google AI Studio or ChatGPT for a review.

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Then contact support and report your concern. Elaborately explain your problem and if possible attach screenshots to prove your point.

You can use the contact us form on Twitter’s help page or simply mention Twitter @Support handle.

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Once done with reporting, all you have to do is wait for a few days. If you don’t hear from Twitter, try again.

But during your wait, don’t abandon your account.

Keep posting valuable and genuine content on your topics of interest and niches you usually follow.

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This gives Twitter an idea that you’re adding positive value to the platform, which increases the chances of lifting the shadowban.

But how do I prevent my account from getting shadowbanned?

How to avoid Twitter Shadowban?

Avoiding shadowbans is easy. You just have to follow the ethical and platform guidelines and be a responsible person on the platform.

  1. Twitter's community guidelines outline what content and behavior they restrict. Read and understand them to avoid any violations.
  2. Focus on creating original content that resonates with your audience. Avoid repetitive or misleading posts.
  3. Strive for meaningful interactions. Don't spam or harass others, and avoid excessive negativity or inflammatory remarks.
  4. Use only relevant hashtags to increase reach, avoid cramming your tweets with irrelevant ones.
  5. Don't go overboard with following/unfollowing sprees or automated activity. Engage naturally and avoid suspicious tactics.

That’s how you avoid being shadowbanned on Twitter.

FAQs

Is there a way to appeal a Twitter shadowban?

Yes, you can follow the steps I’ve provided in how to fix Twitter shadowban section and submit an appeal to Twitter to revoke your shadowban.

Can using third-party apps lead to a Twitter shadowban?

Yes, third-party apps can be risky for Twitter shadowbans if they automate actions (like following) or have excessive activity (like mass tweeting).

Stick to reputable apps with minimal permissions and use them moderately. Well-regarded apps for basic functions like reading tweets and tweet data are likely safe.

What is twitter shadowban test?

A Twitter shadowban test is a way to check if your account's visibility is limited.

Twitter doesn't officially acknowledge shadowbanning, but these tests can help see if your tweets are hidden from search results or timelines.

I’m not getting likes and comments on my tweets, am I shadowbanned?

No, reach and engagement are two different metrics. Not getting enough engagement doesn’t mean you’re shadowbanned.

However, if your reach (tweet view count) has dropped significantly in a short span of time, it might be an indicator that you’re shadowbanned.

Conclusion

That’s a wrap on Twitter shadowbans walkthrough. Do try Lobstr’s Twitter automations to build a powerful Twitter shadowban analysis machine.

Check out our blog for more valuable and informative Twitter related blogs and our store for powerful no-code scrapers.

Shehriar Awan - Content Writer at Lobstr.io

Shehriar Awan

Self-proclaimed Head of Content @ lobstr.io. I write all those awesome how-tos, listicles, and (they deserve) troll our competitors.

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