How to Tell if You’ve Been Shadowbanned on Reddit

Shadowbanning is one of several means that social media platforms use to combat unwanted content posted on their platforms, especially spam. Reddit has publicly acknowledged using the tactic to combat unwanted content. As a result, If no Reddit user is viewing your new posts and comments, your account may have been shadowbanned. So here is how to determine if Reddit has shadowbanned you. 

What is a shadowban?

Shadowbanning on Reddit is when you can not make new posts and comments on the platform. This is slightly misleading as you can technically make posts and comments when you are shadowbanned. What is different is that they will not be visible to anyone other than you and the subreddit’s moderators. 

Therefore, If you have been making posts on Reddit and you observe that your posts are getting no attention or interactions, you may be shadowbanned. It is a way to allow spammers to keep spamming without other community (and non-community) members seeing what they do. 

Reddit openly shadowbanned users that broke its rules up until 2015 by hiding their posts. However, the platform announced that they had replaced the shadowbanning system with an account suspension system. This was because they felt banning real human users without telling them what they did wrong was unfair. 

Telling if you have been shadowbanned

There are different ways to determine if Reddit has shadowbanned your account, and here are some of them:

Incognito mode

Opening your test post in incognito mode is easy to ascertain if you’re shadowbanned. You can open your post in incognito mode by selecting the share icon below the post and choosing “Copy Link” to copy the link. 

Next, create a new incognito window. You can open one by clicking the three-dot icon at the top-right corner of the screen (If you use the Chrome browser). This will reveal a window below; look for and click on the “New incognito tab” on the window. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut on your keyboard – Ctrl+Shift+N (Ctrl+Shift+P if you use Firefox) to open the incognito window. Paste the link you copied in the window’s address bar after opening it. 

If you can see and interact with your post’s body and title and body in incognito mode, then it is very likely that Reddit has not shadowbanned you. However, Reddit has probably shadowbanned you if you cannot view or interact with your post in the window. 


Another way to ascertain if you have been shadowbanned is by posting to the r/ShadowBan subreddit. You can use any text as a sample in the post’s title and then post it.

Wait for a bit for the MarkdownShadowBot bot to evaluate your account and reply to your post. Together with whether your account is shadowbanned or not, the bot also shows your previous 100 comments and submissions and their subreddit details. In addition to that, the bot also attaches your posts or comments via links and displays whether or not the community’s mods have removed the post.

Reasons for getting shadowbanned

There are several reasons you may be shadowbanned, and one of them is Including too many links in your posts. This behavior will raise some flags and may eventually get you banned. As such, ensure you are following Reddit’s content guidelines when posting links. 

Another reason you may be shadowbanned is by upvoting your post with your secondary account. Reddit does not condone this behavior, so doing this may get you banned. Reddit prohibits upvoting your post with a secondary account because it is trying to keep out spammers.

Posting spam may also get you shadowbanned. Self-promotion doesn’t go down well on the platform, and you may get shadowbanned when you self-promote by sharing the same post several times across different subreddits. Instead, you can share the posts after brief intervals. 

What may get you shadowbanned is not exactly certain, and the rules seem to change from time to time. However, observing these rules will make you less likely to get shadowbanned or suspended. 

Removing a shadow ban

If you discover that Reddit has shadowbanned your account, you can appeal the decision to get your account back. You can either complete and submit Reddit’s appeals form or send Reddit a direct message to raise an appeal.

Reddit appeal

If you have reviewed Reddit’s content policy and suspension help articles and believe your account was wrongfully suspended, you may fill and submit the Reddit appeal form here 

Submit the form after filling it, and hope Reddit agrees with your reasoning. You cannot submit an appeal if your account is still functional and not under any ban.

Reddit private message 

Another way to appeal your ban is to send Reddit a direct message via this link. The direct link lets you describe your challenges before sending an appeal. You will get an auto-reply noting that Reddit has received your message and that the support team will soon reply to your request.

Other forms of Reddit sanctions

Reddit can also take other steps via various content policy-enforcement means, some of which are:

Subreddit ban

Subreddit moderators can also ban contravening users from their respective communities. These bans may either be indefinite or for a specific period. A subreddit ban typically restricts you from posting or commenting in that community. Unlike a shadowban, you will get a message telling you that your account activities have been restricted. The message will also explain why you are a recipient of the action and the ban’s duration.

Automoderator ban

The auto moderator bot can also ban you from posting or commenting on a community. This is as subreddit moderators also enlist the bot feature to implement tasks on Reddit. These tasks often include removing posts or comments that users make. Unlike other subreddit bans that restrict users from posting and commenting on the community or the whole Reddit, the auto moderator ban will only remove the erring content immediately after you post them.

Account suspension

Reddit account suspension is a mixture of a shadowban and a subreddit ban. Similar to a shadowban, only a Reddit admin can suspend your account. Nevertheless, you will receive a notification that your account is temporarily inactive, unlike a shadowban where you receive nothing.

Get Notified when keywords you care about are mentioned on Reddit, Twitter and so much more!

How Notifier helps you become the Hero!