Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.
By making a user’s contributions invisible or less prominent to other members of the service, the hope may be that in the absence of reactions to their comments, the problematic or otherwise out-of-favor user will become bored or frustrated and leave the site.
In 40+ years of air addiction, I have had hundreds of victories and thousands of defeats, so losing in a competition or an event does not bothers me anymore. In most of the cases, I just step back and review what happened. Most times, I did my best and I could not change anything – my competition was simply better at that time. Other times, I am able to identify areas of improvement and decide to work on them in time for the next competition. What never, NEVER happened to me before was that I was not allowed to compete… until last month.
When you enter to this website, you see an awards section on the right side of the screen. In the past two years, I participated in Kinkly’s Top 100 Sex Blogger Superheroes contest. This competition is more about bragging rights and the sense of accomplishment than a monetary prize, but being recognized as part of the Top 100 of your “field” is always a positive accolade, specially when your field has thousands of participants. As a sex toy reviewer, specially a heterosexual male one, this type of recognition is valuable because we are a minority in the field.
Although the rules change every year, it usually works this way: Kinkly opens the consideration process in the first week of October. The bloggers interested in participating publish a link to their Kinkly profile on their social media allowing their followers to vote for them. Kinkly is required to consider any blog receiving between 5 to 10 votes (the number changes every year). In early November, Kinkly publishes the list of the blogs that were considered the best based on different criteria such as content, look, quality, and how inclusive and sex positive they are.
My first participation in this contest was in 2016. That year I got a spot on their Top 100 and the following year (2017), I got a Top 10 spot in my category. I was expecting to shoot for similar spots this year… but it did not happened. In 2018, Kinkly basically shadow banned my sex blogger profile.
This year, the blog disappeared from their list of sex bloggers – although I do have an active profile. I could access my profile when logging in, but it was not made public. I contacted Kinkly about the situation and it was re-instated – for about one hour. An hour after being reinstated, my profile disappeared again from the public eye although I still could access it after login in. Basically, my blogger profile was put in jail and my readers could not vote for this blog to be considered for this year’s contest.
I contacted Kinkly by e-mail, Tweeter’s DM, and even through public twits. There was no answer from them.
I only wanted them to confirm two things: 1) Was I banned from their website? and 2) Why?
Honestly, I believe that I have been banned from their website due to my opinions, my reviews of sex dolls, and my identification as MGTOW – all topics I have commented and reviewed here well before 2016. Apparently, my blog is so “toxic” that they could not even fathom considering my website for this year’s competition.
Not being part of the Top 100 does not bother me – it is a competition and there are hundreds of professional sex bloggers out there. What bothers me is that I WAS NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE and that they did not have the decency to at least contact me directly and tell me “Hey Casque, suddenly your blog is too toxic for us. We do not want to touch you even with a 100 meters long pole. Please get lost…”
At least that would have given me some peace of mind…
Since I was not allowed to compete, I am not a sore loser. Congratulations to all 2018’s Kinkly’s Top 100 Sex Blogger Superheroes and keep doing what you do!
I will also continue doing what I am doing. I did not need promoting the blog before 2016, I do not need it now…
Meanwhile, I leave you with Faith No More’s A Small Victory – the inspiration for this post’s title.