To your greatest surprise, you discover that your activities on Facebook are not showing up or have dropped. You begin to wonder if your account is no longer active or if it is just a bug. Although social media platforms experience technical issues, there are also chances that your account has received a Facebook shadowban.
This simply means that your account has been put in invisible mode thereby limiting the reach and engagement of your content on Facebook.
How can you avoid this frustrating situation? The answer is in this post because you will learn what Facebook shadow banning is, the causes, and how to avoid it.
What Does Shadow Banned Mean on Facebook?
This is when Facebook limits the reach of your post without you knowing. Technology is fast advancing and Facebook has deployed it to kick against harmful content that can affect billions of users who do different kinds of legal businesses on their platform.
Although Facebook at the time of writing this content has no official statement on whether it shadow bans accounts or not, its remove, reduce, and inform policy has shadow ban behavior.
Instagram, another social media platform owned by Meta, the same company that owns Facebook has no firm position on shadow ban. Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri in February 2020, said that shadow ban is not a thing. He however confirmed that Instagram hides public posts which they deem inappropriate from the hashtag and explore page.
How do you know that your Facebook account has been shadow banned?
You used your tablet for social media to get insights into the performance of your posts only to see little or no engagement unlike before. That’s a sign that Facebook has shadow banned your account.
For example, you are a social media influencer with thousands of fans on your Facebook page, and you made a post on a trending topic that interests your audience only to get a few or no likes, comments, shares, and views.
Considering that your previous posts on such a topic got huge engagement, it could be a sign that Facebook has restricted the level of exposure your content gets.
Another method to tell if you’re shadow banned on Facebook account is to make a post on Facebook and ask your friends to check whether your posts show up on their feed.
The algorithm will hide your posts from followers or friends if your account is shadow banned. They can only see such posts when they visit your profile.
Also, your Facebook username may not show up on search suggestions.
People who found you on LinkedIn or Twitter and want to send you a friend request may complain to you that they can’t find you on search results.
In addition, certain features you usually use won’t be available to you for the period the shadow ban lasts.
How Do You Get Shadowbanned on Facebook?
Facebook needs more audience on its platform to continue to stand tall among other social media platforms. They don’t derive any joy in shadow banning your account but it is a necessary move to get rid of all harmful content.
You probably have gone against their community guidelines which makes it necessary to limit the exposure your content gets. Below are some of what makes Facebook shadow your account and how to avoid them.
1. Content theft
People who are not creative or lazy tend to steal other people’s content on Facebook, especially content that has generated much engagement. They believe that since the audience of the original creator engaged with the content, their audience will do the same.
They simply copy or screenshot and then convert it to text and paste it on their feed or pages. Some will go as far as using a third-party tool to download videos posted by others on Facebook, edit and add watermark to make them theirs, and repost.
The original creator of the content upon noticing it may report such an account to Facebook with proof that the content was stolen.
When such an act persists, Facebook knowing that it is against their community guidelines will have no other option than to shadow ban the account of the culprit.
How to avoid it
Put your creative ability to test by creating your own content. No need for stealing content when you can create yours. Creating content for social media is now easy with the rate at which content creation tools flood the market. You can use the free plans if you can’t afford the premium plans.
For example, AI writing tools like Jasper, Rytr, Writesonic, and ClosersCopy have templates to create content for Facebook. Enter a title of what you want to write and within seconds, the AI will generate content. Edit and modify to suit your needs and then post on your Facebook.
If you can’t do without other people’s content, then learn how to give them credit for their work. That way it can’t be tagged content theft.
Here is how to go about it:
- Copy the content from another Facebook account
- Paste it on your Facebook
- State the Facebook account you got the content from where your audience can see it easily
- Paste a link to the original source of the content on Facebook
2. Inappropriate content
There are types of content Facebook frowns at. For example, content that promotes terrorism, violence, child abuse, or can lead people into harmful activities can make Facebook shadow ban your account.
Facebook supports a world free of harm and the policies of different countries where it operates have made it go tough against inappropriate content which they clearly defined in their community guidelines.
How to avoid it
Create content that will help Facebook users become better at what they do. If you must use images or words that portray violence for demonstration purposes, censor them to be on the safer side.
3. Spamming Links
You tend to post links frequently on Facebook with the aim of driving traffic to a page.
Take a look at the screenshot below
Newbie affiliate marketers who don’t have money to run ads on Facebook are often guilty of this.
They post their affiliate links many times on different Facebook groups they belong to even when they haven’t provided value. Some even spam their links on the comment section of sponsored posts with huge engagements.
Some users who see it annoying can report you and it can make Facebook shadow ban your account.
Facebook wants to keep users on their platform as long as possible and they believe that affiliate links can drive them away.
The algorithm tends to reward posts without affiliate links with much exposure which leads to high engagement. Even other social media platforms like LinkedIn kick against spamming Links.
That’s why LinkedIn users prefer to add links in the comment section and tell their audience to check it out there.
How to avoid it
Post links only when you have offered value to Facebook users so that the link will serve as a source to learn more about a topic.
What do I mean by offering value to Facebook users?
Provide valuable information that helps users solve their problems. In Facebook groups, users often ask questions that bother them based on what the group is about.
Capture the attention of the user that asked such a question and others in the group with insights and recommendations they can’t resist. Add your link at the end with a strong call to action like ” Click here to learn more”.
Run paid promotions on Facebook for your links if you have the budget instead of spamming them on different groups and pages. Facebook understands your audience based on their behavior and knows how to drive quality traffic to your links which can convert to leads and sales.
4. Use of unauthorized tools
Use of tools that Facebook doesn’t recognize to automate your content can lead to shadow banning of your account. The way these tools function can be seen as breaking the guidelines of Facebook. Some tools can generate and post content that goes against the community guidelines on your behalf.
How to avoid it
Research properly to identify the best software to automate your content on Facebook.
You can go with reputable social media management tools like Sprout Social, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Socialpilot. Alternatively, you can do away with tools and hire a social media virtual assistant to help you manage your Facebook account.
5. Buying engagements
It’s obvious that some Facebook users buy engagement to grow their accounts and compete with other popular accounts in their niche. This is common with small businesses that are desperate to have a viral post that can promote their products and services.
They easily order a certain number of engagements from unethical freelancing platforms. When all of a sudden a post generates 2K likes and 5K comments in an hour with all of them saying almost the same thing, then you know something is fishy.
Facebook algorithm is trained to detect such fake engagement, and that can lead to a Facebook marketplace shadow ban of your account.
How to avoid it
Create valuable content. That’s the only way to naturally generate high-quality engagement that will boost your account and grow your business on Facebook.
If your content is packed with value, your audience will like, share and comment on it without you telling them to do so.
You can also reply to the comments of your audience. That’s a way of boosting engagement and also letting them know you appreciate them.
How long does Facebook shadow ban last?
A Facebook shadow ban may last for 2 weeks. To deal with it, go through the community guidelines and delete the content you suspect could be the reason for the ban.
Be consistent with posting content that meets community guidelines. That’s a way to tell Facebook that you’re ready to play by the rules.
Contact the Facebook support team for help if you don’t see improvement in your reach and engagement after a while.
Is creating a new Facebook account a way out?
In rare cases, your Facebook account may not return to normal in terms of engagements. That’s when you become anxious about creating another Facebook account.
If you have huge followers that engage with your content, creating another account will make you lose them as you will focus on growing the new one.
It’s advisable you contact the support team again and complain about shadow posting. Ask them that despite posting content that meets the community guidelines, your engagement rate hasn’t improved. They will take a second look at your account, and that may solve the problem.
How does Facebook shadow ban affect small businesses?
If you grow your business on Facebook with organic reach and your account is shadow banned, it can be frustrating. Your posts that are meant to promote your products and services won’t get to your audience.
Some of them will even think you are out of business if they don’t see your posts for a while. It can be an advantage to your competitors as some of your loyal audience may begin to turn to them.
Your only option then will be to use paid promotion which isn’t cheap.
Final Thoughts on Facebook Shadow Banning
Facebook shadow ban is annoying. This post has exposed to you what it entails, the signs, causes, and how to avoid it. It is up to play by the rules and keep in mind the community guidelines when you want to post content on your page, group, and feed.
Facebook wants its audience to create and post more content frequently because that is how they make money.
But they won’t hesitate to raise the big hammer when you post content that will harm other users and damage the reputation of their platform.
FAQ’s About Facebook Shadow Banning
How long does Facebook shadowban last?
A Facebook shadowban can last for up to 2 weeks, but it may vary depending on the severity of the violation and how quickly the issue is resolved.
How do I get unshadowbanned from Facebook?
One of the most juggling questions is, “How to get un-shadowbanned on Facebook?” To get un-shadowbanned from Facebook, you need to identify and address the reason for the shadowban. This may involve reviewing and deleting any violating content, improving the quality of your posts, and following Facebook’s community guidelines. Once you have made the necessary changes, you can reach out to Facebook support for assistance.
What does shadow banned on FB mean?
Shadow banned on Facebook means that your account has been put in an invisible mode, limiting the reach and engagement of your content. Your posts will not be visible to your followers and may not show up in search results or news feeds. This is often done as a result of violating Facebook’s community guidelines or using tactics that are considered harmful or spammy.
Does Facebook use shadow banning?
Facebook has not officially confirmed the use of shadow banning, but its “remove, reduce, and inform” policy and algorithms are known to limit the reach of content that violates its community guidelines. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has also been known to use shadow banning.
Is there a Facebook shadow ban checker?
Facebook does not provide a shadow ban checker tool. However, you can check if your account has been shadow banned by posting content and asking your friends or followers if they can see it. If your posts are not showing up in search results or news feeds, this may also be an indication of a shadow ban. It is important to note that the best way to avoid a shadow ban is to follow Facebook’s community guidelines and post high-quality content that adds value to your followers.