What is shadow banning? UB social media expert explains this phenomenon

Published July 27, 2018


New York Times article about shadow banning and accusations of Twitter suppressing conservative political views interviews Monica Stephens, UB assistant professor of geography. Stephens explains that when a person is shadow banned, their posts are rendered essentially invisible to everyone but themselves. “Shadow banning is when you are algorithmically being kind of shut down, and that often has to do with, particularly, the content that you are posting,” she said. “Maybe it doesn’t violate the terms of service, but they make it so other people can’t see that content.” The New York Times reported that Twitter accounts of some users who were allegedly targeted were, in fact, highly visible to other users. In such cases, “That is not at all shadow banning,” Stephens said. “This all goes back to a lot of people not understanding how the social media they interact with works.”

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