X is preparing to release alerts that will inform users if their account has been “shadowbanned.” Designer Andrea Conway offered a preview of the upcoming feature, showcasing mock-ups of an alert in the notifications tab and an informational page explaining why X may limit the visibility of certain accounts. The message includes an appeal button for users to request a review of the initial decision. The update expands on X’s previous labeling feature for individual tweets and aims to address the long-standing issue of limited account reach and the conspiracy theories surrounding “shadowbans.”
Previously, Twitter faced criticism for its practice of “visibility filtering” without publicly sharing details or which accounts were affected. Elon Musk shed light on this issue when he shared internal emails and records discussing visibility filtering. He promised that an update would provide users with their true account status, reasons for shadowbanning, and a way to appeal. However, it is important to note that visibility filtering and true “shadowbanning” are not exactly the same thing. While shadowbanning makes content undiscoverable to everyone except the original poster, visibility filtering hides tweets from search results, recommendations, and other surfaces.
The forthcoming update from X will bring more transparency to this practice and may spark further controversy. While it is unclear when the feature will officially debut, Conway mentioned that the company will soon have more information to share. This development aims to address concerns regarding account reach limitations and provide users with a clearer understanding of their account status and the reasons behind it.