Shadow banning

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Shadow banning (stealth banning or ghost banning) is a form of censorship that is more subtle than an outright ban on material. Instead, material is visible to the user that posted it, but is invisible or less visible to other users.[1]

Examples

Commercially-controlled media actively shadow bans content and users.

Facebook

Full article: Facebook/Censorship

On 25 April 2018, Craig Murray headlined “Blocked By Facebook and the Vulnerability of New Media”, and reported:

This site’s visitor numbers are currently around one third normal levels, stuck at around 20,000 unique visitors per day. The cause is not hard to find. Normally over half of our visitors arrive via Facebook. These last few days, virtually nothing has come from Facebook.[2]

Twitter

Full article: Twitter/Censorship

In 2016 Craig Murray was ghost banned by Twitter, resulting in a 90% decrease in traffic to his site from that site.[3]

YouTube

Full article: YouTube/Censorship

In 2019 YouTube announced that it would begin to reduce recommending "borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways — such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11."[4]

Instagram

Instagram appears to have shadow banned posts tagged #SexualHealth, but not #KillBlackPeople.[5]

 

Shadow banning victims on Wikispooks

TitleDescription
PewDiePieOne of the most famous YouTubers. He has been a target of the Anti-Defamation League.
Brittany VentiAn American internet celebrity, who has been deeply affected by censorship on social media.

 

Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:People Need to Reclaim the Internetblog post19 October 2020Craig MurrayThe development of social media gatekeeping of internet traffic is one of the key socio-political issues of our time. We need the original founders of the Internet to get together with figures like Richard Stallman and – vitally – Julian Assange – to find a way we break free from this.


References