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What Is A Twitter Shadowban And How To Fix It

Posted by Peyton Henderson on May 12, 2023 5:11:37 PM

Have you recently noticed a massive drop in your engagement? Does it seem like fewer people are seeing your posts?

If so, your account could be shadowbanned. 

You could be shadowbanned on Twitter and not even know it. 

Everything may look normal on your end, but the scary truth is some users can't see your tweet replies or find your profile in search suggestions. 

search suggestion ban shadowban

If you think your account is shadowbanned and Twitter is limiting your reach and who can see your posts, there are some actions you can take to help bring your account back to life. 

This blog post will explain what happens when you get a shadowban on Twitter, the steps you can take to fix a shadowban, and how to avoid getting shadowbanned in the future.

It’s also important to note the Twitter algorithm is constantly changing, which could also be another cause for a drop in engagement or a reason for your Twitter account to lose followers. 

In fact, Elon Musk (owner of Twitter) Tweeted that Twitter will be removing all inactive accounts, which can result in a loss of followers. 

What Is A Twitter Shadowban?

You might be wondering, what even is a shadowban

A shadowban is the act of hiding a user's account/tweets from the newsfeed, other users, and search results without informing the user it's happening.

Some shadowbans can even block your account from showing up in the newsfeed and search results altogether unless a user is already following you.

Do you believe you are in Twitter jail or are shadowbanned?

Do you feel like your social media posts and tweets are suddenly getting fewer comments, views, and overall engagement? Or are your social media posts and/or profile not showing up when using hashtags or in search results?

With a shadowban, you may experience the following:

  • Decreased reach and visibility
  • Your account/profile does not appear in search suggestions or search results.

  • Other users cannot add you to lists.

  • Your tweets receive less engagement and get fewer likes, replies, retweets, and views.

  • Your tweets are not shown under tweets and appear under "See additional replies"

  • Users are not notified of your actions

  • Your posts and tweets are not shown to other users in the newsfeed

Simply put, if Twitter thinks you are a bot, spammer, troll, or will potentially engage in harmful behavior, its algorithm will penalize you.

Your Twitter account and certain content will be undiscoverable to everyone but you.  

Unfortunately, Twitter still doesn't notify its users when their account is shadowbanned and when their content is no longer being recommended in the newsfeed and to other users on the platform.

Twitter did recently announce they are adding more transparency to the enforcement actions they take on tweets.

Meaning they will start labeling tweets that have violated Twitter's Terms of Service so the Tweet author and other users will know when a tweet has violated the Terms of Service and visibility is being limited. 

Here is an example of what it looks like when visibility on a tweet is limited.

If you would like to learn more, you can read everything Twitter has to say about visibility filtering in their latest blog, "Freedom of Speech, Not Reach," here

New Twitter update to show users when tweet visibility is limited

If you aren't getting any of these notifications on your Tweets, then your account could be shadowbanned. 

It's also necessary to note that you could have low engagement and reach on your social media content because you haven't taken the time to build an audience of your ideal community members, your messaging is off, or maybe your content is just plain boring. 

Luckily there are some tools available on the web that allow Twitter users to test for four different types of shadowbans on Twitter.

Keep in mind, since these shadowban results do not come directly from Twitter, we do not know how accurate the information is.  

How To Test For Twitter Shadowban: Shadowban Tester For Twitter

Here are two shadowban tester websites currently available that allow you to check if your account has a shadowban.

Shadowban Tester For Twitter: 

  1. Shadow Bird: Free shadowban checker for Twitter

    Twitter shadowban tester
  2. shadowban tester


4 Types of Twitter Shadowbans:

  1. Search suggestion ban: A search suggestion ban causes an account to not show up in search suggestions or search results when it's searched for.

    Twitter search ban example
  2. Search ban: A search ban causes your Twitter account to be hidden from Twitter's Search function, meaning none of your tweets will show up there, not even when using hashtags. 

  3. Ghost ban: A ghost ban is when your tweet replies are greatly limited, and your tweets aren't visible to anyone except you and your followers.

    • Note: it is possible to receive only a "Ghost Ban" but not a "Search Ban," and vice versa.

  4. Reply deboosting: If your account has this type of shadowban, your tweets are hidden behind a barrier and appear under "show additional replies" on tweets and can only be viewed when a user clicks to show more replies. 
how to see banned tweets show more replies tweets


Since Twitter doesn't yet notify users when they get a shadowban, it can be a little tricky to figure out if you are actually shadowbanned on Twitter or if you need to shift your content. 

Even though this is the case, there are a few ways to test if your Twitter account is shadowbanned and if Twitter is no longer suggesting your content to users on the social media platform.  

There may be a new algorithm update coming to the platform to shed more light on what shadowbanning looks like on Twitter.

Shortly after Instagram released its new feature allowing users (with a professional account) to verify if their content has been flagged for violating Instagram's community guidelines, Elon Musk announced Twitter is working on a new software update that will show users their true account status which clearly identifies if you have a shadowban, the reason why, and how to appeal. 

Am I Shadowbanned On Twitter? How To See If You've Been Shadowbanned On Twitter 

One of the quickest ways to check if you have a search ban is to ask 3-5 other creators who do not follow you to search for your Twitter account and/or Twitter handle in the search to see if your account appears in the search results or is listed as a suggested account.

You may also want to ask if your account and/or content is discoverable in the newsfeed--or if you can be added to a list. 

If you'd rather check for yourself, log out of your Twitter account and log into Twitter using a different Twitter account.

**Make sure the other account you are logged in to does not follow the "affected" account.

Once you switch Twitter accounts, type the username into the search bar and see if your Twitter account is discoverable or if any of your content is listed in the search results. 

If you can't find your Twitter profile or see any tweets from that Twitter account, it's likely you are shadowbanned.

twitter shadowban example

But, if you can see your Twitter account and your tweets do appear when searched for, then you might be experiencing a temporary dip in engagement.

This can happen for a few reasons and can usually be fixed with a few minor tweaks to your languaging, content, profile, or content marketing strategy.

If you would like to learn how to organically increase your Twitter engagement and attract more followers to your account for free, make sure to check out our other resource below or join our community of epic creators in Gary.Club to learn and get help anytime you need it. 

Why Am I Shadowbanned? What Causes A Twitter Shadowban?

Please read:

Twitter's goal is to create a safe environment where people feel safe expressing themselves, their beliefs, opinions, and experiences.

So, any user that promotes abuse, child exploitation, violence or targeted attacks, hate speech, potentially harmful or offensive language, sensitive content, suicide, or any type of behavior that discourages users from using the platform can trigger a shadowban. 

Violating Twitter Rules or asking someone else to violate any of Twitter's rules or guidelines is the quickest way to get shadowbanned or permanently suspended from the app. 

For example, if you try to post a reply or tweet that most Tweeters don't like, a warning message (just like the one below) will pop up asking if you'd like to take another look at your tweet before posting. 

Twitter warning for potentially harmful and offensive language

Here are some other types of user behaviors that can lead to getting shadowbanned on Twitter: 

Here are some tips for what not to do to help keep your content relevant and your Tweets rank high in Twitter searches.

If you want to avoid a Twitter Shadowban, please do not:

  • Aggressively follow and unfollow people.
  • Abuse trending topics or use banned hashtags in your tweets.

  • Only retweet other tweets and create zero original content
  • Send automated Tweets or replies.

  • Send hundred of Tweet replies in an hour or even in one day (Twitter has a max tweet limit per user).

  • Send hundreds of DM's every day. 

  • Use bots or outside applications to post similar messages or tweet replies based on keywords.

  • Post similar messages over multiple Twitter accounts.

  • Repeatedly post duplicate or similar-looking content (links or Tweets).
Pro Tip: There are different follow limits depending on the size of your Twitter account and how many followers you have. Twitter caps the number of people you can follow depending on your number of Twitter followers.

Final Thoughts

The best way to avoid getting a shadowban is to follow Twitter's rules and guidelines and make sure you are being the best representation of yourself, your business, or your brand. 

If you are showing up, supporting, and always adding value to other people, then you should have no problems as long as you don't surpass Twitter's usage limit rates. 

If you believe that your account was locked or suspended in error, you can submit an appeal anytime.

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