shadow ban

Image: Brett Jordan


A Technological censorship and technology at the service of censorship

The use of technology to silence opinions contrary to Western thought is not new. Now it does not spare even world-famous figures, whose activities are not related to politics. We found the termshadowban” thanks to the American supermodel of Palestinian descent, Bella Hadid. A media star with 51 million followers on Instagram (@bellahadid), whose fame and fortune do not make her forget her roots.

In a recent report by the Russian Today – RT (, Bella Hadid denounced that Instagram prevents her from publishing her stories, especially when she comes out in defense of Palestine: “immediately, they put me under the effects of 'shadowban’, through which nearly a million fewer of you see my stories and posts.”

What is shadowban? Technological censorship or technology at the service of censorship, no more and no less. It's so "normal" that even the Wikipedia explains what it's all about: "Shadow banishment"shadowban" or "shadow banning”), or covert deletion, is a covert and usually temporary form of blocking or restriction on social media, the internet and communities Online, with the aim of hiding content inserted by a user in his account through different methods, depending on the functioning of each service”. It would be common practice to hide a user's account, comments, photographs, videos, in short, any type of content so that it is not visible to other users.

Social networks at the service of the West practice the shadowban and other mechanisms of totalitarian control. Most people are unaware of their existence, while these networks present themselves to the world as the defenders of freedom. When they don't censor, they act as ideological police. For example, the Bitly application, used to shorten links, when applied to a publication by RT, warns in 5 languages: “The page you are browsing has been marked as a potential source of misinformation”.

The same is automatically done by Facebook, alerting you: "This content belongs to a publisher that Facebook believes may be partly or wholly under the editorial control of the Russian government." Marc Zuckerberg, president of “Meta Platforms, Inc.”, owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, will never inform that his company is controlled by the Pentagon.

Weeks ago, Facebook and Instagram were banned in Russia. When that happened, champions of free speech protested little. One might think that it was out of “coherence”, given the absolute silence they maintained about the blocking and banning of various Russian media outlets in Europe. But the reason is another. Everything indicates that they were silent to prevent people from knowing the real reason that led Russia to ban them: terrorism.

Anyone who has had their account suspended on Facebook or Instagram for any image or text deemed inappropriate "will be surprised" that Meta, so politically correct to block "inappropriate" content, has decided to "temporarily" suspend its protocols to allow messages of hatred against Russia. This is not a self-interested interpretation on our part, it has been acknowledged without any moral controversy by Meta spokesperson Andy Stone: “As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we temporarily allow forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules, with a violent speech like 'death to the Russian invaders'”. As if that were not enough, Mr. Andy Stone leaves open the future possibility that they may also allow hate speech against the entire Russian people: “We still will not allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians”. Yet…

While Meta authorizes hate mail against Russia in the real world, in virtual space (, speaks of its commitment to the future of communication: “The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection (…) so we are changing our name to reflect our commitment to this future”. A future of hate and censorship?

Let's be aware. We can no longer continue issuing opinions on the networks without first taking into account the mechanisms that filter, manipulate and censor our communication. The injustices and arbitrariness practiced by imperialism and by the governments subordinated to it are so blatant that they cannot coexist with the most elementary truths. More and more will be intolerant with the rebels that we insist on telling the truth.

By using Google and social networks at the service of the unipolar world, we are using the roads and vehicles they built to preserve the situation of inequality and injustice in which the world lives. They will tolerate us as long as we write domesticated or seemingly radical messages that only reach a minority.

Let's correct this by thinking about the quality and effectiveness of what we do, especially in networks hostile to the truth, and let's start using alternative networks more and more until the people who build the new multipolar world are able to create truly free and uncensored connectivity channels. In Venezuela, we are making our contribution to this fight by creating our own social network. It is under construction, so we invite you to participate in the, making the recommendations they deem necessary to improve and enhance it.

The communicational supremacy of the imperialists has feet of clay. Censorship and widespread manipulation show its weakness. If they ban our voices, it is because they are no longer able to convince or continue deceiving people with colored mirrors. We should all strive to build true communication. Reason is on our side.

*Anisio Pires he is professor of sociology at the Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela (UBV).

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves.


See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Impasses and solutions for the political momentjose dirceu 12/06/2024 By JOSÉ DIRCEU: The development program must be the basis of a political commitment from the democratic front
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table
  • A myopic logicRED MAN WALKING _ 12/06/2024 By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL: The government does not have the political will to make education a priority, while it courts the military or highway police, who do not move a millimeter away from the Bolsonarism that they continue to support
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives