Reddit Ends Shadowbans, Replaces With Account Suspensions

About a month ago, Steve Huffman, the returning co-founder of Reddit who took up the role of CEO, detailed a number of really significant changes that would be coming to Reddit in an AMA he hosted.

One such change was to replace the controversial Shadowbans, with account suspensions:

What exactly is a Shadowban? 

Reddit defines it as “the tool we currently use to ban people when they are caught breaking a rule. It causes their submitted content and user profile page to be visible only to themselves while logged in. Moderators can see their comments within their subreddit (since they can see ‘removed’ comments in the subreddit they moderate), but no other users can see their content, and nobody else can see their userpage.”

Not sure if your account is Shadowbanned or not? You can find out by visiting your profile page while logged out of Reddit. If you see the ‘page not found’ similar to the above image, then your account is Shadowbanned. Another way is to use the /r/shadowban/ Subreddit to submit your profile URL and get a True or False marker.

Shadowbanned and want a reprieve, you can try messaging the mods of /r/ or use

Last night, Reddit announced that it has retired the Shadowban, and detailed their new account suspension policy.

“Today we’re rolling out a new type of account restriction called suspensions. Suspensions will replace shadowbans for the vast majority of real humans and increase transparency when handling users who violate Reddit’s content policy.”

Note that they mention the “vast majority of real humans” but do not close the door completely on using Shadowbans in the future. It is also not clear whether already Shadowbanned accounts will get a reprieve, but currently, all existing Shadowbans appear to still be in place.

Details from Reddit:

How Account Suspensions will work

  • Suspensions can only be applied to accounts by the Reddit admins (not moderators).
  • Suspended accounts will always receive a notification about the suspension including reason and the duration:
  • Suspended users can reply to the notification PM to appeal their suspension
  • Suspensions can be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of infraction and the user’s previous infractions.

What it Does to an Account

Suspended users effectively have their account put into read-only mode. The primary actions they will not be able to perform are:

  • Voting
  • Submitting posts
  • Commenting
  • Sending private messages

Moderators who have been suspended will not be able to perform any mod actions or access modmail while the suspension is in effect.

You can see the full list of forbidden actions for suspended users here.

Users in both temporary and permanent suspensions will always be able to delete/edit their posts and comments as usual.

Users browsing on a desktop version of the site will see a pop-up notice or notification page anytime they try and perform an action they are forbidden from doing. App users will receive an error depending on how each app developer chooses to indicate the status of suspended accounts.


All screenshots taken by author November 2015