This is a ‘how to get rid of a Twitter shadowban’ public service announcement for anyone whose Twitter account has been shadowbanned long term.
I posted about my Twitter shadowban (what it is, how it works, and the wider issue for adult content creators on social media platforms), way back in October last year. My account was shadowbanned before that and had been shadowbanned ever since.
After trying everything anyone threw at me as worth trying, I finally gave up on that account as terminally shadowbanned and started over with a new Twitter account. Ugh.
Yesterday the Twitter shadowban on my original account was lifted.
What inadvertently worked for me was ‘misbehaving’ so that my account got restricted by Twitter. When I followed the instructions to unrestrict it, my shadowban was also lifted.
Note: This is not worth doing UNLESS you have been shadowbanned for ages. Most shadowbans are short term (a few days, a week) and then it gets lifted automatically (presumably after you have learned some lesson even though nobody will tell you what lesson it is that you are supposed to have learned…).
- I removed all app authorisations (auto-tweets of blog posts, old post tweetery, posts to facebook, random ‘whatevers’ etc) from the account and and locked it (not sure any of that made a difference, but just including it to be thorough)
- I removed my cellphone number from the account settings (I only added it because I was told it would lift the shadowban. Pro-tip: It didn’t)
- I stopped posting manual tweets on that account
- I set up a NEW auto-tweet for that account using IFTTT.com (‘If This Then That’). The tweet essentially said ‘this account is no longer active’ and included a gif. It was configured to go out once every three days
- Twitter flagged my account as ‘restricted’ after two of those auto-tweets were posted because it identified them as spam (repeat auto-tweets of the same text = spam). This despite the fact that they were several days apart (I have no idea if it would have been different if I had posted OTHER things in between those two tweets or if it would have attracted a harsher response if I had set it up to post more frequently: It’s all a mystery)
- When I tried to access the account, it told me it was restricted due to suspected spammy activity, and asked me for my phone number as verification. There was NO other choice for unrestricting the account apart from adding my cellphone (that is, they did not say ‘add your phone number OR [do some other thing]‘).
- I added my phone number, they sent me a verification code
- I entered the code and voila: My account was unrestricted AND unshadowbanned
I deleted my number from my profile afterwards and (so far) the unrestricted/unshadowbanned status has remained.
Twitter has recently cracked down on ‘tweetdecking‘ which involves people with many many accounts all tweeting the exact same content to make things trend, and I’m not sure if this absolute zero-tolerance for duplicated auto-tweets is a result of that or not. BUT if it *is* a result of that, then I expect they might refine their algorithms to give a bit more leeway to legitimate users, after which this process might not work.
If you try it and it works, or doesn’t, please leave a comment so anyone finding this post will know if it’s worth a go.
SMALL PRINT DISCLAIMER: I take no responsibility for the possibility that trying this may result in some more severe action from Twitter, try at your own risk, no correspondence will be entered into, [insert other blame-deflecty statements here], and etc…!