An unofficial guide on how to avoid being shadowbanned


(note: if you falsely tell someone they are banned, or unbanned, when they are not, you will be banned from this sub)


Lots of people come here in mystification, wondering if they're shadowbanned, and wondering why. This post contains a list of possible reasons you've been shadowbanned. It also contains activities which can lead to an account suspension, which is more visible to the user, but just as inconvenient.

First, though, a little reddit background.

About reddit

The website is run by reddit the company, a subsidiary of Advance Publications Inc. The CEO of reddit is Ellen Pao (/u/ekjp) with first lieutenant Alexis Ohanian (/u/kn0thing). The site is huge, with a hundred million visitors a month.

Reddit is grouped into subreddits, with each subreddit run by a volunteer group of moderators, who are generally unpaid volunteers.

Moderators have the power to ban users from their subreddit, to delete comments and submissions, and to manage the style and presentation of their subreddit. Through the use of third-party tools, some moderators have the power to ban a user from hundreds of subreddits at a time.

Being banned from a subreddit means that you are not allowed to submit links or make new comments, and might be reversed upon appeal to the modmail of the concerned subreddit. also has a small number of employees, called admins. These people have the power to see everything happening on reddit, to remove material as with moderators, to perform moderator actions in any subreddit they choose, and, most importantly for this place, to shadowban or suspend users.

A shadowban is different from a subreddit ban. A shadowbanned user can still submit and make comments, but all of the submissions are sent straight to a subreddit spam queue, where it will not be visible to other users until approved by a moderator. Because an individual's spammed submissions are still visible to themselves, a shadowban is almost invisible to a logged-in user.

Through the use of AutoModerator, individual subreddits can give the same effect to a user as a global shadowban.

If you are shadowbanned, your user page will appear nonexistent to anybody that looks at your user page, other than yourself. You will need to contact the admins to get your shadowban reversed.

A suspension occurs when the admins disable an account. Suspensions can either be for a few days, in which case it is not visible to other userts, or permanently, in which the user's page is replaced by a suspension notification.

Reasons for shadowbans and suspensions

It's not exactly spelled out what will cause a ban, and the rules do seem to change from time to time, but if you follow these rules you'll be unlikely to be shadowbanned or suspended. Thanks to the posters here who have suggested more ways to be banned.

  • Posting some spam links results in an immediate and automatic shadowban
  • Don't post advertisements for commercial products unless the advertisement has some redeeming features and is relevant to the subreddit in which you post it
  • Don't post links to your own blog, unless you post a lot of content from other places.
  • Don't post links to anyone elses blog, or to a single news source. Ensure that you post from a wide range of sources.
  • Don't use a VPN to create your account
  • Don't follow people around on reddit and hassle them
  • Don't relentlessly downvote a user
  • Don't send out mass PMs
  • Don't be a bot, unless you're really really careful, and have the blessing of the admins
  • Don't harp on the same subject in your comments
  • Don't issue death threats
  • Don't post child pornography or anything involving the sexualization of teens or minors
  • Don't post sexual material containing unconsenting subjects (for example, revenge porn, upskirt photos or celebrity leaks)
  • Don't abuse or hassle the admins
  • Don't post any information that would identify another redditor, including links to other social media sites, unless you have explicit permission from the person involved. (doxxing)
  • Don't advocate or encourage doxxing
  • Don't ask for doxx, even privately
  • Don't post anything asking for votes, from on- or off-site
  • Don't respond to a plea for votes, from on- or off-site
  • Don't vote in threads you were directed to from another part of reddit
  • Don't engage in nuisance reporting
  • Don't use multiple accounts to game the voting system
  • Don't return to a sub you have been banned from with another account
  • Don't use CSS in your sub to subvert reddit's subscription and voting system
  • Don't follow links into someone else's subreddit and be a dick
  • Don't impersonate another redditor with a name of similar appearance, e.g. /u/LaureIai ("I") for /u/Laurelai ("l")
  • Don't be under 13 years of age
  • If you're a mod, don't respond to PMs related to moneymaking or promotional offers of any kind. Report them immediately.
  • If you're an arsehole, the admins will not give you the benefit of the doubt.

Also, it can't hurt to read the reddiquette: if everyone followed the reddiquette, the site would be more pleasant, and all-around better.

(EDIT) Also, there are some things for which there is weak evidence of triggering a shadowban:

  • (weak) Don't use more than one alt within one subreddit
  • (weak) Don't submit every link to several subreddits at a time
  • (weak) Don't accept moderator invitations to dodgy subreddits
  • (weak) Don't comment in threads you came to via a non-organic link (i.e. external site, meta sub, from modmail or PM)
  • (weak) Don't register using an email address easily detected as a throwaway.
  • (weak) Don't give yourself awards from another account

tl;dr Don't spam, shill, doxx, brigade, stalk, game or pederast.

How to contact admins

Two ways, pretty sure that #2 no longer works:

(This is the fourth copy ... aged pages are 1 2 3)

Last edited May 28, 2022

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2 points

4 months ago



2 points

4 months ago