Wednesday, 21 November 2018

What is my problem with Twitter, anyway?

If you follow me on Twitter, you may see me complaining that I have become invisible.

What do I mean by this? Well, if I reply to anyone on twitter, I do not appear in their notifications. If I @ anyone, I do not appear in their notifications.

If I like a tweet, *including my own replies*, they do appear in notifications.

I do appear on the timeline of people that follow me, and I do show up in threads if you read the replies. It's simply notifications - the lifeblood of twitter, where conversations start - that I do not appear.

I have never been suspended by twitter or received any sort of warning. I do not generally participate in controversial threads, and I certainly don't go around attacking random people with my unwanted opinions.

I just enjoy interacting with my twitter friends.

Having researched this issue, I understand that the term for this sort of behaviour is that I have been "shadow banned".

However, I can find no evidence that Twitter engages in this sort of shadow banning of people. Here is Twitter's policy on Shadow Banning: https://blog.twitter.com/official/en_us/topics/company/2018/Setting-the-record-straight-on-shadow-banning.html
I have searched the internet and cannot find anyone who describes a problem like this. 

When anyone mentions a shadow ban in regards to twitter, it tends to relate to searches. I have found this Shadow Ban Checker service which checks for the common problems, and it flags up no problems with my account: https://shadowban.eu/tunrip

This leads me to only two likely conclusions:
1. Contrary to their stated policy, Twitter does shadow ban and has done to me for some reason (perhaps by accident?)
2. Twitter has a problem and some accounts are simply not generating notifications

I have described this problem on my twitter, here: https://twitter.com/Tunrip/status/1065154905466380288

I've done tests between two twitter accounts on both web and mobile accounts and you can see my evidence of the problem here: https://twitter.com/Tunrip/status/1064533354463338496

I was first alerted to this problem on Saturday, although I believe it had started before that: https://twitter.com/Hughes87n/status/1063710628332937218

Here are some of the things I have tried to resolve it:
 - Checking and adjusting settings (e.g. turning "Quality filter" on/off)
 - Ensuring I have a valid email address and phone number linked to my twitter account
 - Changing profile information
 - Using the "log out of all devices" option on twitter and logging in again
 - Deleting and reinstalling the mobile app
 - Setting my account to private, and then to open again
 - Changing my password
 - Deactivating and reactivating my twitter account (scary!)

I think if I could see any word from twitter acknowledging that this could happen, or that it lasts for X amount of time, or any of those things then I'd be happy. But right now I've been silenced and have no information about when or if I'll get my twitter voice back again.

Frankly, if I read someone else describing this, I'd be suspicious. Whether due to them having cocked something up, or thinking they had done more than they said.

I hope with this post I have suggested both unlikely. I have investigated every avenue I can to try to determine whether this is a problem I can solve or may have caused. I hope that by the depth of this post and my investigation of issues I have also shown that I am not the sort to go shouting for no reason.

For some reason, whether it be by accident or not, I have been silenced on Twitter, and I do not know why.

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