Twitter is all about building communities, right? Building communities so that we can all get to know each other, exchange ideas, chat, share, laugh and generally get along. But occasionally we glimpse a dark shadow behind the alleged open platforms of social media.
Shadowbans have been operating for several years now, with Twitter users sitting twiddling their thumbs wondering why no one reacts or replies to their tweets. Is it something you said? Are you just deeply dull? Did you miss the point totally? Or have you been shadowbanned?
What is a shadowban?
A Twitter account that has fallen prey to the shadowban forces is virtually operating in the dark – you can see other tweeters and send tweets, but no one can see your tweets and thus you are left in cold, lonely limbo, frantically waving but not being seen. It is also called ghost banning or stealth banning.
Releasing the curse of the shadowban
Some Twitter users have taken radical action , have set up a brand spanking new Twitter account and just set off into Twitterland again to grow their community.
Others have been more cunning and worked out how to get their accounts restored and bathed in sunshine again for all to see – including pretending to want to buy advertising, which seems to release the curse within hours.
Why have I been shadowbanned on Twitter?
The most common reason, according to Twitter support, is because it has been identified as spam – if you tweet too much or repeatedly send the same tweet, maybe as advertising, then you might be shadowbanned as spam. If you retweet a tweet from a shadowbanned account before it is targeted, then you, too might end up in the dark. It seems like a clear case of guilty without trial if this is happening. But you are in reality being hunted down and shut down by an algorithm.
Another reason is if you join in criticisms of a blue-ticked account – usually a public figure or celebrity. Maybe there is an algorithm that stays awake all night terrified of any resulting legal action a celebrity might inflict on the Twitter god.
But, recently, a new target of shadowbanning has come to light – the XRP community on Twitter.
The XRP Twitter Shadowban
Most people have now heard about cryptocurrencies – some of you may even have a little stash of cryptocurrency somewhere in cold storage.
But the XRP community on Twitter is increasingly reporting their accounts have been shadowbanned.
Twitter was originally set up by undergraduate Jack Dorsey and co-founder Evan Williams. There has been some fairly traditional investment poured into what was an undergraduate dream since then. If you look at the Twitter website, however, its mission statement reads:
“From our Twitter headquarters in San Francisco all the way to New Delhi, we’re dedicated to building a platform where all voices can be heard.”
Not if you’re shadowbanned.
What is XRP?
XRP – aka Ripple™ – is a platform that enables people to exchange funds. Lately, the actor Ashton Kutcher has invested in it and XRP is now the third most valuable cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and Ethereum are still leading the way, however. XRP was actually created in 2004 and is now used by many mainstream financial institutions and banks.
So why the alleged shadowbanning of XRP communities on Twitter if Ripple is the preferred choice of traditional financial institutions?
There is a chance that intensive tweeting might explain why this community has fallen foul of a Twitter algorithm – or has the rise of the cryptocurrency market as a people’s currency rattled the sabres of the established financial world to such an extent that now they are taking back control?
Where to now?
On 30 May 2018, Twitter Inc hosts its annual meeting of stockholders. The Twitter Inc website is awash with the names of major banks and financial institutions. It is, perhaps, not the people’s platform any more.
If you want to enjoy a more relaxed forum than Twitter Inc’s annual stockholder meeting and keep up-to-date with XRP, join https://www.xrpchat.com/.
Want to know if you have been shadowbanned on Twitter? Try the Shadowban Tester, as used by disgruntled XRP tweeters.
And remember, if you have been shadowbanned, try contacting Twitter support and say you are interested in buying advertising. Abracadabra, apparently.
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to check out my next article which covers the future of Blockchain and Artificial intelligence.