Shadow Banning


     In News 

    • Elon Musk used the term ‘Shadow banning’  in the context of the so-called Twitter Files, internal company documents that were released with Musk’s authorization. 

    About ‘Shadow banning’ 

    • The term often refers to stealth actions by social media platforms to limit a post’s visibility. 
    • The term shadow ban traces to at least 2012 when Reddit users accused the platform’s administrators of banning a link to a Gawker article while publicly championing transparency.
    • The meaning of the term has evolved. Now it can describe users’ general discontent about not getting the attention they believe they deserve on social media, even if they don’t necessarily think a platform has engaged in any clandestine moderation.


    • Private companies are allowed to make their own rules about content moderation, but for advertisers, users, and free speech champions, true shadow bans are problematic because they enforce unarticulated rules secretly
    • They allow a company to avoid taking responsibility for moderating content while quietly manipulating its flow. And those who are silenced have no process for emerging from the shadows.