Shadow Banning

I started this blog because I’m tired of automated algorithmic policy enforcement online, and having exhausted all other avenues, I’ve taken to the “public airwaves” to air my grievances. Not only does it affect me, it’s presumptuous, callous, and care-less. That the companies such as Amazon and Facebook and Twitter and Google can do this with impunity is maddening.

My base case is that Amazon has shut me out of my account, my “buyer’s account”, which started with me not being able to buy from them, but evolved to me not being to log in and thus have any access to 10’s of thousands of family photos, hundreds of audio books, no access to Prime anything, and basically a shadow ban of any activity which would naturally be possible within an Amazon account. You can read my story elsewhere on this blog.

Recently there was a good article in WAPO by Geoffrey A. Fowler on the practice of shadow banning. Here’s a link to that article.

“Shadow banning” as described in the article is, essentially, the same phenomenon as I and others have described in our stories (some in comments). In my case I was locked out of my Amazon buyer’s account and have not been able to get back in, nor can I even learn why, other than some risk of something (I really don’t know what). Because I can’t log in to buy, I can’t log in to see my family photos; I can’t listen to my 100+ audio books on Audible; I can’t use anything about my Amazon account. And I have no recourse.

Understanding that my situation was “shadow banning”, too, (essentially I am locked out of using my account) was helpful. That it was being written about it a major publication made me feel less alone, and like maybe something would happen, some day. It’s really hard to just be cast out and denied access to one’s account, especially without knowing why, and especially with no way of ever addressing the issue (I have tried. Read my story). I was delighted to read that there is some draft legislation about shadow banning. I will be diving into that and plan to follow those developments closely.

What’s your story? Have you had any success? Have you ever actually spoken to a human being who solved your problem? Do tell. Please post your story.

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