X Nears Release of Shadowban Alerts, Adding Transparency to Account Restrictions
Transparency Ahead: X's Upcoming Feature to Alert Users of Shadowbans
This development addresses a long-standing issue for X, and more broadly, Twitter. The company has a history of limiting the reach of accounts that violate its rules, a practice formerly referred to as “visibility filtering” during Twitter’s previous management. However, the company had not publicly disclosed the specifics of this practice, leading to conspiracy theories surrounding “shadowbans.”
The matter gained renewed attention when Elon Musk shared internal emails and records with independent journalists, revealing discussions among Twitter executives regarding visibility filtering. Musk subsequently pledged that a future update would provide users with their true account status, clarifying whether they had been shadowbanned, the reason behind it, and how to appeal the decision.
It’s worth noting that visibility filtering and “shadowbanning” are not precisely the same thing. While Twitter defined shadowbanning as making someone’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the poster without their knowledge, visibility filtering involves hiding tweets from search, recommendations, and other surfaces, without completely concealing them.
While this forthcoming update brings added transparency to the practice, it may also stir controversy. The official release date for the feature remains uncertain, but Conway indicated that X would have more information to share soon.