Some months back I had written a couple of blogs to try to get across to people that this very real punishment exists in Twitter-land…particularly since so many people kept finding themselves in a state of being unseen in social networking hours under hashtags as well as not being able to be found in Twitter search. Until now, I didn’t think it necessary to write about how not to be ghostbanned (or Shadowbanned) by Twitter as every other article or blog on the web has already addressed this. I didn’t really want to re-invent the wheel, or the rules, I suppose in this case. But I believe after what I’ve been seeing happen on Twitter lately, I must write this.
First, I’m not the authority on how not to be ghostbanned. I’ve managed to get done for it on two accounts. So, why would you heed any advice from me? Because I have been there and now I know the rights and wrongs.
Part of the point of Twitter is as a platform for businesses to have their tweets retweeted and thusly, get more customers. I have a small online shop and I love to see my tweets being retweeted! It makes me feel I’m making a useful product and I also enjoy knowing that thousands more people than my 2K+ followers will see what we sell and maybe someone will fancy it enough to buy. However, every day I see hundreds of well-meaning tweeters who love to retweet businesses whose wares they really like, in multiple tweets. In other words, they will retweet several of one person’s tweets one after another. Sadly, not everybody is going to be as enamoured of that business’ products as you are and they will see this as spam after a time. Perhaps the first few times you do this they may let it go, but sincerely, after a while they will get sick of seeing the greatest deals going on @soandso’s Ebay shop and your followers will probably at the very least mute you. But some people don’t mind getting their hands dirty by reporting and blocking you.
Twitter does not allude to how many times a person must be reported and blocked – or only blocked – before they engage the kill switch on your search-ability. Rule Number One – Do not retweet one person’s account multiple times in one go. Put some other retweets between that account’s tweets. You do not have to stop at only one retweet per day of an account, just use common sense about distance. You do not want to upset your followers by spamming their feed.
Rule Number Two – Likewise for tweeting your products. Do not tweet the same product twice in a day (guilty – networking hours). In fact, it is better if you put a couple of days between tweeting the same product, if you can. Don’t try to get away with tweeting the same product with changes of hashtags, web links, pictures, or punctuation. If someone is not very happy with you in the first place, he or she will be happy to report and block you over the smallest thing. I believe (know) this is what has happened in my case. Someone with a vendetta has reported/blocked me from multiple accounts. I’m thrilled to be so important to this person but seriously…it’s time to grow up. We aren’t children anymore.
Rule Number Three – Communication. Do speak to people, join in on networking hours if that’s your thing, tweet funny things, poems, quotes. Do keep it respectful as possible, do be polite, and do be kind.
Rule Number Four – Make certain you have your profile complete. Have a banner and a picture of your business logo; if you don’t have a business, put whatever is meaningful to you in those spaces. But do put something there. Fill in your bio. I don’t care what year you were born so if you don’t want to share that, fine, but it is nice when you can wish a follower Happy Birthday so please add the date and month. If you prefer not to tell exactly where you are located, again, that is fine. You can use just your country or you can say something clever. The important thing is to fill in all the spaces. Don’t have a website? You can put the link to your Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram page, perhaps? It is an effective way to get more followers on those platforms.
Rule Number Five – Avoid the mistake of following 5,000 people before you utter your first tweet. Twitter (and other tweeters) seems to dislike it if you follow loads of people before anyone follows you. Of course, Twitter makes you follow a handful of pre-selected people from the pitch but you really shouldn’t go the whole hog and follow everyone remotely interesting. Chances are many of them won’t follow you back anyway. Follow a very few for starters. And never, never, ever buy followers! If someone follows me with 5,000 followers and has never tweeted, I smell a bot! Or someone with more money than sense. I won’t follow you back.
As I have said in the past blogs, Twitter set up this way of reporting and blocking for their tweeters to be able to police the social networking site and help protect it from those tweeting things that were not suitable for anybody’s eyes and to keep people from going spam-happy. Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with that but people, being what they are sometimes, will take advantage of a good thing and use it against whomever they like (or don’t like!) never caring what the result for that person or business will be. It is most certainly a form of bullying. Please use common sense and have a care in your social networking life. If you see something truly wrong and vulgar such as abuse and other things I don’t care to expound upon, please do report and block! That is what the method is used for. But, if you simply dislike or disagree with what the person says or sells, do remember the World has room for all walks of life and if you’re not pleased by seeing lady’s undergarments or a witch’s magic wands, just mute those folk…better still, just don’t follow them. But please, for the good of all of Twitter, do not report and block everyone you don’t agree with. If that were the case, you will eventually be reported and blocked as well. It won’t be so clever to you then, will it?
Rule Number Seven – I have not read this myself, however, it seems if you open a second account to “stay alive” after being ghosted, it will also be ghostbanned. I happen to know several whom have done this (no, I’m NOT telling!) and it hasn’t happened. I think you must figure out for yourself if it is a risk you want to take.
Rule Number Eight – Treat others as you wish to be treated. Be kind. Be polite. Thank people. Retweet people responsibly. Use common sense. Be balanced. Good luck and happy tweeting and retweeting.
The opinions of this blogger are her own and is in no capacity a Twitter employee