President Trump made a pretty direct threat to online communities today.

Shadow banning (or global ignore), which is not an “illegal practice,” is when you allow someone to continue to use your community or platform, but dramatically reduce or completely eliminate their visibility to others. They post, but they receive limited or no response because no one is seeing their content. The hope is that they leave.

Most community and platform operators reserve this tool for particularly destructive users, and those who will not respect ordinary bans. Some, in my view, abuse it. And, within the industry, you’ll find disagreement on the ethics of deploying such a tool.

But regardless, it goes to the core of community management, and the ability to block people and content in the manner that you deem appropriate for the community that you are responsible for.

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