Spam, Suspensions, and Shadowbans on Reddit

Learn how to avoid getting your account suspended or shadowbanned, and what to do next if it is.
Written by Grant, Creator of Postpone
Updated 7 months ago

When Reddit thinks an account is submitting spam they will typically perform the following actions in escalating order:

  1. Remove posts as spam.
  2. Send the account a message indicating they are spamming or subverting a suspension and must stop.
  3. Suspend the account for 3-7 days.
  4. Suspend the account permanently.

Reddit can skip any step, such as removing posts then later suspending the account for 3-7 days or sending a warning message about spam then later suspending the account permanently.

Spam detection takes place automatically by Reddit each time a post is submitted. However, what Reddit considers spam is not always clear. Reddit does not provide details about their spam detection algorithms, because then it would be easier for actual spammers to circumvent detection.

Will Reddit suspend my account for spam if I use Postpone?

Simply put: no. Reddit does not suspend accounts simply for using Postpone. Postpone is an approved application for Reddit, uses all of Reddit's official tools, has been explicitly "whitelisted" by Reddit's internal security team, and has been exempted from Reddit's API restrictions and limitations.

However, it is still possible to use Postpone in a way that results in your account being suspended. For instance, creating a Postpone account then submitting hundreds of Reddit posts spaced out by 2 minutes with the same title to dozens of subreddits will likely result in your account being suspended. That's why it is important to follow the advice in this guide.

What factors does Reddit use when detecting spam?

There are several factors that are either certainly or likely at play. They are:

  1. Account age. Newer accounts (0-30 days old) are much more likely to be detected as spam.
  2. Global link karma (upvotes). Accounts with low karma haven’t contributed much and are more likely to be considered spam.
  3. Per-subreddit link karma (upvotes). Reddit tracks karma across both globally for an account and per subreddit. If an account has little or no karma in a subreddit then their posts are more likely to be detected as spam, at least until they can grow their karma.
  4. Comment karma (upvotes). Reddit doesn’t only want accounts to submit posts. They also want accounts that engage with communities by commenting on others’ posts and replying to comments.
  5. Email verification. Reddit gives users the ability to add a verified email address, which can reduce the chances of being detected as spam.
  6. Number of reports. Users and moderators alike can report accounts for breaking site-wide rules. The more an account has been reported, the more likely the account will be considered spam.
  7. Submitting the exact same link or title to many subreddits. If a user submits the same content too many times then Reddit may think the account is spamming. Users should remember to vary the content, title, and times of the posts they submit.
  8. Frequency of posts removed by subreddit moderators. It’s important for users to follow subreddit rules and submit relevant content. If they don’t, moderators will remove their posts, which increases the chances of future posts being considered spam.
  9. Frequency of user being banned from subreddits. If moderators across different subreddits ban the same user then Reddit is more likely to consider that account a spammer.
  10. Evading bans with multiple accounts. If Reddit thinks a banned user is evading their ban by creating a new account to submit the same posts to the same subreddits then they may ban that second user as well.
  11. Using vote manipulation software. Some users use third party tools to automatically upvote the posts they submit on Reddit. If Reddit suspects the user is using a tool like this then they will ban the account. Postpone does not endorse the usage of vote manipulation software (i.e. "upvote bots"), which breaks Reddit’s terms of service.

What to do if Reddit has shadowbanned or suspended your account

Here are some tips if Reddit has performed any of the prior actions on your account:

  1. Check the "What factors does Reddit use when detecting spam?" list to make sure your account is not violating any of these factors.
  2. Check your Reddit inbox for a reason why their account was temporarily suspended. Reddit does not always send a message with a reason, so this may not be present.
  3. Read up on our “Best Practices to Succeed on Reddit” help guide.
  4. File an appeal following our "How to Appeal a Suspension on Reddit"
     guide.
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