Word: shadowban (2007)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 22 01:45:29 UTC 2012

The creators of the popular social media website Reddit felt that it
did not have enough content in its early days. So they created a large
number of fake accounts and submitted content themselves. I do not
know if there is a word for sockpuppeting on a grand scale.

But this note is actually about the word "shadowban" that is used in
following article:

How Reddit Got Huge: Tons of Fake Accounts
Posted by Derek_Mead on Thursday, Jun 21, 2012
[Begin excerpt]
…  like other sites, Reddit shadowbans users …
[End excerpt]

Urban Dictionary has two items about the word: shadowban. Here is the
first is dated 2007:
[Begin excerpt]
Banning a user from a web forum in such a way that the banned user is
unaware of the ban. Usually takes the form of showing that user's
posts/profile/etc. only to that user; other users never see them.
Considered underhanded chicken-shit behavior.
[End excerpt]

I was familiar with the idea of showing an individual deceptive or
tailored information based on a login identity, but I hadn't heard
this term before even though it is at least five years old.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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