How to Not get Banned on StumbleUpon

StumbledFor me, StumbleUpon is a great place to make connections, see great pictures, and find articles or sites that I would otherwise not be exposed to. The whole idea of SU is to share great finds with your friends and for great content to get exposure.

This concept has evolved, to say the least. Now you may be exposed to sites that are not relevant to your preferences just because it has been thumbed up many times by your friends, and their friends, and so on. These sites have been “pushed” through the system, for the sake of traffic/views. Recently SU has been trying to combat this situation by adding the share feature, and even offering advertisement etc. In addition, they are banning “circles” of mutuals that seem to be sharing, thumbing, and reviewing the same sites.

If you happen to be in one of these “circles,” you run the risk of getting “ghost” banned or completely banned.

Ghost Banned on StumbleUpon: You can thumb up, thumb down, discover… pretty much anything a regular user can do. The only thing is, your efforts don’t count. You can tell if you’re “ghost banned” by discovering a page, opening up a different browser, and visiting the review page of the site you just discovered. If it says “Discovered by someone” and not you, you’re a ghost. No word yet on how to reverse this.

Here are some things to avoid:

As you know the share feature can be pretty annoying. I usually have around 50 pages waiting for me a day, and it’s very hard to keep up with. Most of the pages sent to me are from my social media friends who are also on Digg, Reddit, etc. They are sending me things they like or want to promote. Now, this is actually not against TOS as long as it isn’t their personal site, however, it’s usually a site that is beneficial to them in some way, and that is against TOS.

StumbleUponSU has caught on to this particular “gaming” of the system, and therfore they are banning not only the people who own the site who are “pushing” it, but the people who actually thumb these sites up often. This may seem a little unfair because you are just trying to be nice and a good social media friend.  Just giving it a thumb shouldn’t be that harmful to you. However, it is necessary on their part if you think about it. I have been very weary of discovering my friend’s sites since the banning initially began several months ago. I personally will discover what I truly like, and what I feel is relevant to my basic theme or what I believe in, but I can no longer do this for some of my favorites, and this to me is the unfortunate part.

Unfortunately, the friends who have good content will have to understand that you cannot keep thumbing up their stuff all the time. If you continue to do this for anyone, you will be flagged eventually. Remember, you don’t have to review it, you just have to thumb it and it becomes a red flag when you do this often for the same source. Once you get banned or ghost banned, you could lose all the hard work you have put into your discoveries.

The whole point is for diversity. SU wants different sources.  They want content from around the Internet – good content/pictures that deserve exposure based on what people like to see/read. In order to assure this, they must not encourage the same sites getting pushed through the preference pages simply because your friends shared it with a ton of other friends who all thumb it just because they asked them to through the share feature. You would not be exposed to anything other than a handful of sites if this continued.

In conclusion, your best bet is to just say NO. You are not obligated to thumb every page sent to you. If you are wanting to have reciprocated thumbs or reviews when you have a good site etc..then they will thumb it without you asking if it’s good. If you are discovering spammy sites whose content isn’t really any good, then SU is not the place to go. One thing to keep in mind is the timing. Make sure that some of your top friends are online before you make a discovery if you are wanting it to get exposure immediately.  In theory, they will see the page even if you don’t sent it if they’re subscribed to you. If the content is good enough, it will get thumbs and reviews.

The only way to get loyal subscribers however, is to make sure you are discovering worthy material. They will follow you.

Many serious users on SU are picky about what they are looking at, and if they notice they are being forced to view things that are not their preference or the same sources day after day, they will flag you or just stop looking all together.

Another tip is if you mistag a discovery, you might as well just pack it up. There was a time when marketers/spammers were tagging their content with “viewable” or popular tags in order for it to be seen more often. However, their tags were not relevant and were misleading. These people were banned pretty quickly. Just be mindful of your tags – make certain it fits.

Send stuff to different friends each time, not just everyone all the time if you plan on doing the share feature often. Make sure the content you are sending them is at the very least pretty good and from different sources. Chances are, if it’s not interesting enough for you to read it or look at it yourself, then they won’t either and you will get a “blind” thumb. Eventually this will lead to you and them getting banned.  If you have a good post, and most of your friends thumb it or give it a review without you asking, don’t be fearful of it being flagged just because most of your friends thumbed it up because chances are that if they did this without you asking, others who are not your friends will as well (this is how you get new subscribers and friends in the first place). This is very good for you simply because it shows that you are reaching a more diverse audience based on a good post/discovery, rather than a forced one, and SU will see that.  You will be more rewarded on SU for having good content more than most places. SU also loves good pictures, and it’s a great place to find some never-seen-before photography etc.

For those of you who are planning on using it as a traffic generator, your time will be short if you are posting trash or asking the same people to thumb the same stuff all the time. That is the difference I have noticed on SU versus any of the other social media sites, and that is why it’s my favorite place to be on the Internet.

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Read more StumbleUpon Tips right here.

65 thoughts on “How to Not get Banned on StumbleUpon

  1. This is something few of us know and fewer of us think about. I was aware that people could be banned for thumbing up friends things, but I never thought people could be “ghost banned”. Well, it seems like a great method to get rid of spammer but it can’t be fun the be hit by.

  2. It’s tough – why would they want you to be able to share, then hit you if you thumb up too much that is shared? I don’t understand StumbleUpon sometimes, but then again, it’s better than other social sites in the way they treat their users.

  3. I have noticed the ghost banning of people lately. I hope SU lets these people clean up their act and rejoin the community. When all is said and done I don’t care why someone is thumbing something, as long as it’s good content.

  4. “if you plan on doing the share feature often. Make sure the content you are sending them is at the very least pretty good and from different sources.”

    Amen to that! It amazes me how many people will spam the same site over and over again. This becomes annoying when I am trying to get my friend shares and one person keep sending me the same damn blog over and over. This undermines the purpose of StumlbeUpon, which is to find cool new stuff on the web.

  5. StumbleUpon is going to go the way of Digg pretty soon if they don’t cut this out. Digg tries so hard to combat powerusers and constant sharing that all they do is create more powerusers who are just better at gaming the system, so people who are actually there to share stuff with friends get screwed. The whole point of StumbleUpon, for me at least, is to connect with friends and share resources with them. This kinda defeats that purpose.

  6. I’ve noticed sometime ago that it doesn’t matter how I tag a post the tag gets changed to something else unrelated to the initial tag. When I submit it to have it changed, the time spent is a total waste of my time.

    Just sign me,
    Dazed and confused

    ps-life goes on anyway

  7. First of all, thank you all for your comments.

    @Gerald Weber..exactly. That is one of the reasons I wrote this article.

    @Eric Shafer I understand what you are saying, and I had the same thought at first. But, IMO Digg tries to combat the powerspammers, not the powerusers, and unfortunately it makes it hard for the some of the others who are just trying to post good content and see their stuff on the FP.
    I think that SU is taking a different approach however. They are wanting to get rid of the spammers for the users who are there for the sole purpose of finding and sharing good stuff.
    I think that SU actually has all users in mind, giving anyone the opportunity to get traffic to a good post or discovery. I feel what they are doing is necessary, even if it means that we are going to have to watch what we thumb up/down and review more closely. At least it keeps us aware of what we are looking at, versus just thumbing because someone asks you to.

    @McLaughlin I know it may seem like it defeats the purpose in some ways, but you have to understand that if you are thumbing or reviewing good content, the kind that a lot of people like who may or may not be your friends, you will be fine. If you are a casual user who just thumbs what you like rather than thumbing on things just sent to you through the share feature, you will be fine. Just make sure that you are naturally stumbling on top of what your friends are sending you. Trust me, SU is not attacking it’s users who do these things. They are going after the people who are obviously gaming the system.
    When I said that it was unfortunate that I can’t thumb some of my favorites from my friends, I was meaning stuff that they send me often from the same sources. I have some pretty good friends that know quality, and sometimes I like all of what they send. I just have to be more careful.

    @Phaoloo This is the idea. When I first joined SU there were just a little over a million, now there are around 8 million users. So, it can be hard because eventually you will have people gaming the system when it gets that much traffic. I think they are trying, and not sacrificing their good users in the process. That to me is a big accomplishment in the social media world. There are many other sites who obviously care less about their users, so I am happy being SU. You can’t make everyone happy though, that is just the way it goes.

    @Saboma Yes, this can seem annoying. This is completely necessary, although not flawless. They had to do this to get rid of the stupid people purposely “mistagging” their stuff. When some of the users noticed this, a lot of them left, and others just started groups to flag these people. It had to be addressed, and I don’t know of any other way to have done it.

  8. Being a blogger, this worries me. I write poetry, etc. and put it on my personal blogs, my intention is not to spam people, but to share my blog posts with my friends who are interested in my content, that’s why they became my friends in the first place. Will i get banned because i share posts from the same blog, even though each blog post is unique, but from the same blog? I love stumble upon, i have made many friends, and to be honest i get close to 70% of all my blog traffic from stumble upon.

  9. Thank you for the good information. I like SU so much. I do not want to make any fatal mistakes.

  10. “Another tip is if you mistag a discovery, you might as well just pack it up.”

    One thing I’ve found with SU is that if I mistag something, it’s impossible to change it. For instance, I once stumbled something which I think had to do with poetry and somehow accidentally hit “auto parts” for the topic…and no matter what I did, it was still categorized as a page about auto parts…

  11. Wow thx so much for putting this post together, I had noticed something similar happening.

    This is an odd one, on one hand i get that SU wants to keep the network as clean as possible from blocks of thumb ups to the same time. But on the other hand part of the growth of the system is in people getting pages into the system for others to see and pass along.

    Prob is SU’s policy is just going to generate large numbers of accounts on unique ip’s to game the system. It wont really change anything in the long run imo.

    Interesting what @jaward says about SU premium accounts are they immune to “Ghost” bans? Was considering a premium account because i really like SU if it helps me avoid a ban then even more happy to pay it.

    I have made so many friends via SU in the last few months and I know most of them really love my articles and like to pass them along to their SU friends.

    food for thought i suppose.


  12. Great article!

    But what do you do when someone else tags your site incorrectly and you can’t get it changed? You can’t get them banned!
    My blog has been tagged as pornography but there’s nothing on there that warrants that. I love SU and use it a great deal but there are plenty of people out there willing to abuse the system.

  13. Jonathan,

    I have gone through this, but didn’t know about the ghost banning. Very interesting read and so far I am on my 3rd SU account, but this time I am trying to keep under the radar.

  14. Censorship is wrong, period. That’s what this is about plain and simple.

    Too bad they’ve patented it, yay for a total lack of competition breeding stupidity and stagnation.

    This “ghost banning” crap is typical of the deceptive best of both worlds for them worst of both worlds for us attitude that has come to utterly dominate SU developer/moderator thinking.

    These people if they had their way would turn the Internet into a disgusting digital hybrid of Demolition Man and Catholicism where no one ever says anything “offensive” and we all line up to pay our 10% for nothing.

  15. The greatest strength of the internet is ability to elude censorship! A new Global Morality is unfolding click by click that will erode obsolete social systems designed to promote harm to any being— the www is alive, insomuch as any thought can have life….

  16. It’s actually more complicated (and more sneaky)then you realize.

    There isn’t just “ghost” banning. There’s a whole host of other things that SU does as well.

    It’s possible for a site to be on a “inspection” list of sorts. When thumbed up it goes into a sandbox, with limited (or no distribution). Initial views seem to compe from Once released they get traffic like a normal site.

    Or a site/user combination. If a user thumbs up multiple pagse on the site, this is flagged as suspect, and that users submission can be sandboxed. Or if the site contains affiliate links or unusual redirection.

    I enjoy getting stumble recommendations from my friends. I just wish there as a “serpate” button to view them. It’s kinda annoying that when i hit the Stumble! button, it has to go through the list of all the pages people have sent me first, before I get to see the ‘random’ stuff. It would be nice if I could turn this “feature” off.

    I’ll still continue using it though, to much fun stuff not too!

  17. StumbleUpon was the first social website I’ve joined. It was good until spammers overwhelmed it.

  18. I can see how some people that overuse the share system would be upset about this, but for the little guy or the average person on StumbleUpon it is a good thing.

    When you have someone that has thousands of friends voting up their sites simply because they are kissing up and trying to get a return thumbs up you are never going to have a fair system. Some of these people don’t even read the content, but just vote it up because it came from “so & so”. This never gives the smaller sites and people with less friends a chance of having their sites seen.

  19. Great info, thank you so much for writing such an informative article….which I wouldn’t have found if not for a share from a friend.

    And I have to agree with this statement
    “I enjoy getting stumble recommendations from my friends. I just wish there as a “serpate” button to view them. It’s kinda annoying that when i hit the Stumble! button, it has to go through the list of all the pages people have sent me first, before I get to see the ‘random’ stuff. ”

    Wish there was a bit more of a place for you to be able to make comments to friends in a more of a social way. I love SU and hope we can get rid of more of the spammers, but I do hate the idea of being “ghost banned” for sending out articles from our blog. That’s just silly.

  20. I’m not sure I agree with the part:

    “Unfortunately, the friends who have good content will have to understand that you cannot keep thumbing up their stuff all the time. If you continue to do this for anyone, you will be flagged eventually.”

    For me, StumbleUpon is where I not only share content with others, but it’s become one of my main personal bookmarking sites, so I can come back to pages I like for reference.

    So let’s say I have a SU friend that shares their blog posts with me, and I thoroughly enjoy each of their posts. In order to not get banned, I cannot thumb up the posts I like? I do thumb up a variety of pages from lots of different sites, but I also thumb up the same sites regularly.

    I see what they are trying to prevent, but there has to be a better way than punishing good SU members and telling them they can no longer thumb up things they truly like for fear of being banned.

    ~ Kristi

  21. I completely agree with Kristi (Kikolani). I use SU as a great source for bookmarking. Whether it is tech blogs, funny sites, or whatever, I enjoy visiting lots of sites on a repeat basis. Naturally I also thumb up more articles from the sites I visit most often. I think it would be detrimental to the entire system to disallow or discourage someone from thumbing up something they find truly interesting. If I have to worry about what percentage of my stumbles are from what site, it removes part of the fun and actually seems to impose negativity for the entire process. While SU’s efforts may be very well intentioned, I find it easy enough to recognize and move past what I perceive to be spam.

  22. SU is dead wrong in the matter I am sharing. I’ve submitted sites that have had nothing to do with encryption yet, that’s what I’ve seen time and time again. I’ve tried changing it many times and for nought. It has happened so many times that I wonder if maybe I’ve developed schizophrenia and don’t have any sense due to being psychotic or something.

    SU may have had a problem, however that problem isn’t because of me being a member. It took me over a year before I figured out just what in the heck my purpose was to have an account with SU.

    As far as encryption goes, I’m not one who encrypts anything and am forthright in what I’m doing. I also encourage others to ask questions if there is something s/he doesn’t understand something about SU or about me for that matter. I am more than pleased to share what knowledge I have about how to understand or even seek written rules of the SU game.

    As far as I’m concerned and/or related to those who have been found gaming SU, I may as well be recklessly accused of soliciting porn. I am that offended and rightfully so. I am not guilty of any of those allegations. I’ve even nailed a few of the scamming dead beats myself. I didn’t raise hell, I simply dealt with it accordingly which included filing a report with my local law enforcement agency as well as with my banking institution. Like I said, I dealt with it on my own without punishment to any potential new contacts. I have put my foot down firmly and stand on my word in the sticky note I have on my front page. I am up front and expect SU to do the same in order us both to be on the same page. It’s called having a gentleman’s agreement minus the actual handshake.

    Forgive me for speaking up, kiddo, however, I’m dead serious in what I’ve just said.

    As always I remain,

  23. I have been around this game long enough to know that people use this to promote what they write. Bottom line is, I do not have a problem with it as long as it is good content and factual. What I hate to see is people giving out wrong information and others blindly thumbing that information up. Yet, it is a process that transcends each and every social media. I have discovered my own articles and shared my own out to my “friends” because I believe in the message that I have sent. Apparently, so do MOST of my friends. In a case such as this, I do not believe it to be SPAM.

    In the case where there are people that are being paid to pump out some of these sites, I personally think that this needs to stop. It is most of those people that leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. There again, everyone is entitled to free speech as well as the right to earn a living. With that being said, that is why someone created the delete button.

    Now that I said all that, let me close with this. I think if SU developed a more precise relevancy string, then I think some people would not get what they do not want. For example, if I select “SPORTS” as my criteria, then I am subjecting myself to each and every sports article. If I select “BASEBALL” instead, then I limit myself to the sports articles that are baseball alone. However, from what I see, this is not how it is.

  24. This was a good article and well worth the read. Thank you for sharing. I was unaware of some of what you have talked about and it is important for SU enthusiasts to know about.

    I do hope that by thumbing up your article now – that you will not get banned – or myself for that matter. It seems counterproductive for SU to put a ban on people for bookmarking, because that is what the site is. I can find new stuff related to things I like, at the same time meet people who are interested in the same things that I like – and as they find different web pages about similar topics that we both can share – great. It I find someone that has a web site that I like and I want to book mark every article that they produce – then I should not be told, or punished because that is what I like.

    I book mark lots of site, pages and articles because I have a news website that I am working on building and I am always searching for reference material for research or new innovations, or I just like the material. My topics are very wide ranged and if I don’t like something – I just don’t do anything with it! It’s simple. And if someone starts sending offensive material or the same page over and over – I just text them and let them know.

    That is what communication is all about! Not having a babysitter telling me what I can watch and not watch – or in this case – which web sites I can look at and how often. We don’t need moderation – we need restraint in ourselves and just better communication between SU users. And if that doesn’t work – delete them from your friends list!

  25. Again, thank you all for your comments.

    I don’t want to confuse anyone to think that if they are thumbing their friends stuff often or they have favorites they go to often, that they will get banned. Most likely those who are wondering if this applies to them, you are probably going to be fine. Those that fall in this category, know it (and usually are the ones who have already been banned before).
    But, for those of you who are wondering if that would apply to you, what you have to be aware of are a particular friend’s habits and if they are submitting just their stuff, or mostly their stuff. Let’s say you do have a friend who has good content on their site, and they share this with you often; you are innocently thumbing up their stuff simply because you like it, that’s why you became friends in the first place. However, if the content you are thumbing from their site is the majority of your stumbling, and/or they get banned because they are breaking TOS, then you run the risk of being flagged as well.

    If you are sharing your stuff from your site a lot, then you have to be careful. The whole point of SU is to share different content from different sources, so if you are sharing from mostly your site or someone else’s, then obviously you are not on SU for the right least by their standards. You may never get banned for this because it isn’t being pushed (your posts, or theirs, may just be staying within your or their group of friends and not actually being exposed to others), making it less of a risk of getting flagged. If you notice bad content or sites getting pushed, and you contribute for whatever reason, you have to be careful, but that should be a given IMO.

    There are a lot of little cracks you can fall in so to speak, and there are flaws in the system, as to be expected. The bottom line is that all the social media sites have to fight spam, I have to fight it even on a simple blog post. Imagine it on a much larger scale. It can be difficult to weed out the bad users from the innocent ones from time to time, if those innocent ones are riding the line of just stumbling the same sites from less known sources that is.
    As long as they (SU) are trying their best to keep their users in mind the better off they will be. To me it seems like common sense from a social media perspective. If you are breaking TOS, then complaining that your rights are being violated because you want the freedom to post whatever, then you should make your own site where a ton of other people who feel the same way you do can post their stuff, and don’t dare give them limitations. It probably wouldn’t take long before you step in.

    If you are new to SU and you want to stumble casually, and not to promote yourself, then you are fine. If you are a social media person like myself, you just have to be careful…that’s all it comes down to in that regard. However, if you are a spammer, you can no longer get away with posting your trash, at least not for long, is all I’m saying, and you should go away! You are hurting everyone else because of it. It’s like those really stupid warnings (outside of the useful ones) that we feel is common sense on products we buy. They were put there because some person decided to go against common sense, and then decided to sue. We have to have rules for this reason, everyone knows this. I don’t feel however, that we should be limited on what kind of opinions we express. I feel that social media allows us to voice those opinions. But, to force someone to see them is another issue all together (I probably just opened up a whole new can of worms on that comment). But, you get my point.

    Bookmarking is a good thing on SU, and it’s the point. If you don’t fall within the lines described above, then your fine. You will probably see what I’m talking about, and what a few others on here have made a point of on tags, but you can still enjoy SU if you use it right.

    I wrote this to warm some of my social media friends who are trying to be a good friend, and then find out that their friend(s) who are not so innocent are putting them at risk. There is no need to be paranoid, just be mindful and use common sense.

    And I also agree with making the shares separate from my actual stumble button. It would make things a lot easier.

  26. @mysticdave Having friends and the share feature is for the point to share stuff you like. If your friends like your stuff, then the chances of them flagging it is very low. If you are not asking them to share it with others, then again, chances of it getting flagged is much lower. But, you also have to understand that if, let’s say, you and I have the same friend, but you and I are not friends, then the more you send them the more likely it is that I will end up seeing your site, and it may not even be a preference. That is a forced view. Even if I end up liking it, I just received a pushed page. Does this make sense?
    Your best bet, if you are not already, is to make sure that you make your shares and stumbles as diverse as possible. Don’t send to the same friends all the time, not only will this give you more exposure, it will not get viewed by the same people forced to see your site over and over again who are not your friends, thus decreasing your chances of getting flagged. If your content is good, it will hold up. But, if it is getting forced through because you share it often, then you are technically “spamming” your site. You should make sure that you stumble naturally more often than you share your site. I think seeing a friend share their stuff once or twice a week is plenty. But, every day or multiple times a day is down right annoying, regardless.

  27. @Matthew….lol the irony, wouldn’t that be funny! I did not post this article on my page, nor did I send it to anyone..seriously. That would be idiotic on my part if I did so. There have been people who have shared this, but not by me asking or sharing, or even asking anyone to share it. I am actually surprised to see this many respond. If this particular article gets traffic from SU, it’s because it deserves it (or so I would like to think), and it’s the point I’m trying to make. If someone takes my article and shares it, and asks others to share it, I am not at risk because I didn’t even post it to my SU page, nor did I thumb it. There was no ill intention here my friends, and SU knows it.

    I hope that you find it useful, if not, oh well. Hopefully you weren’t forced to read it…LOL!

    So, you are in the clear Matthew.

  28. “They are sending me things they like or want to promote. Now, this is actually not against TOS as long as it isn’t their personal site, however, it’s usually a site that is beneficial to them in some way, and that is against TOS.”

    Does anyone get banned because of sending personal site ? If someone does, I think half of the StumbleUpon members might be gone.

  29. Indeed a great article and thanks for the news on the development of banning platform–GHOST BANNING!

    I sincerely appreciate SU approach towards cleaning the system from spammy sites and fake members, who are more honest to their job/site than to the medium but here is a noteworthy suggestion: Kindly let the spammy user (who according to you is worth being banned) know atleast once prior to your banning and on receipt of response you can take a call on the honestly of the user. Also, you can give him/her a chance to scan his daily activities and keep him on a probation period of say 3-6weeks and then put your foot down to take a core decision.

    Having got my account banned in the past, i can well understand the pain once undergoes on loosing touch with all friends made there and also your utter ignorance on the development of things happening around, which use to come there with a click of a mouse.

    I still believe that SU would unban my account and keep me under probation as i my approach is to do value add to the system and not degrade it.

    do revert back SU guys if you are reading this.

  30. Indeed a great article and thanks for the news on the development of banning platform–GHOST BANNING!

    I sincerely appreciate SU approach towards cleaning the system from spammy sites and fake members, who are more honest to their job/site than to the medium but here is a noteworthy suggestion: Kindly let the spammy user (who according to you is worth being banned) know atleast once prior to your banning and on receipt of response you can take a call on the honestly of the user. Also, you can give him/her a chance to scan his daily activities and keep him on a probation period of say 3-6weeks and then put your foot down to take a core decision.

    Having got my account banned in the past, i can well understand the pain once undergoes on loosing touch with all friends made there and also your utter ignorance on the development of things happening around, which use to come there with a click of a mouse.

    I still believe that SU would unban my account and keep me under probation as i my approach is to do value add to the system and not degrade it.

    do revert back SU guys if you are reading this.

  31. Hello Tammy,
    Thank you for the info. Heck, I had no idea that they had Ghost Accounts.

    I do not submit allot of sites to Stumble Upon. I have been trying to be more active & remember to bookmark the good post & pictures I find. I like to take breaks & just hit the Stumble button now & again to see what others have found. I just forget to thumbs up or review.

    I have noticed that in some categories I see sooo many blatant ads it ruins it. So, if some of the garbage gets cleared out that would be great. I just hope they do not accidentally ban people that contribute the good stuff.

  32. Great post. But what if someone intentionally and consistently keeps thumbs-downing a particular site? i.e. because the person has a vendetta against a particular blogger? How does SU address such situations?

  33. I for one like the concept SU has adopted.

    This is the reason I left Digg. It’s all the same people with the same viewpoints saying the same things. Blah.

  34. I never thought of getting banned from stumblupon !!
    As I am an regular user of it and don’t span in here ,
    But many of the times I receive friend requests from unknown people who don’t even show their identity .
    For them I have only one rule of reporting it to the stumble upon team !!

  35. Wow this is some serious stuff to consider. I have been on SU for about a year now and am still getting the hang on it in terms of friends/subscribers, etc. I guess I just don’t visit often enough.

    Thanks – this was very helpful.

  36. Please give us fair warning before this(banning) happens. I think I have been following the rules and I try to find new discoveries..I only post what I feel others may be interested in when they come to my page.I have several interests so I hope I bring a positive posts to the SU community. Many people don’t know your guidelines -I know this opened my eyes- Ty friends for sharing this!

  37. crap, crap, crap. I’VE BEEN BANNED! This is so mean. Can nothing be done to appeal this? I’ve been a member for 3 years with 18k favorites and 3k discoveries, how could they mistake me for a spammer? this totally ruined my evening stumbling. I feel i like I’ve been talking to myself all this time and never knew it =(

  38. @LEFT OUT
    I know that you can send them messages, but they should give you a reason for being banned. First of all, would you mind telling us what your SU user name is, or was.

    If you are being reviewed, then there is a good chance that if you were just a normal user who wasn’t pushing their own stuff or others, then you will be allowed back. However, if they banned you permanently, they will give you the reason in an email. I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t receive an email explaining why they have been banned.

    Like I said, you can send them emails. If you have any idea at all what the reason might be, then state your case. That’s all I know to do. However, I did notice that you have a complex you might want to make sure that isn’t the problem (I think you know what I mean). I give you the benefit of the doubt, but they don’t typically ban for no apparent reason. They will review though, even if it seems you have done nothing wrong. There might be someone within your network who has an account that has been banned. This can sometimes happen if you use your account at work for instance. This is just an assumption, and I could be way off.

    Either way, good luck, and I hope it works out for you.

  39. Interesting article. There is someone that tends to stumble every post of mine. If she gets to it before anyone else does and “discovers” it, I get no hits or next to no hits from that discovery, despite the fact that she has over 4000 favourites on SU. It seems like she stumbles anything she finds on a particular topic, rather than just the things that are really good. She doesn’t show up as a “ghost” but I wonder if her power has somehow been compromised by the amount of junk that she has stumbled in the past. So whether she stumbles a ho-hum post of mine or a great post of mine, it tends to go nowhere.

    If someone with a much lower number of favourites discovers one of my posts, I almost always get a good number of hits from it because the initial stumble will result in others seeing it who will then usually give it a thumbs up too.

    Anyways, I’m rambling, but I’ve considered asking this person NOT to stumble my stuff because it does more harm than good.


  40. I am glad you are concerned. I hope I don’t get Ghost Banned, because I like visiting different sites of interest and finding out new things.
    Thx SU

  41. Tammy

    How do you account for the new SU.PR which StumbleUpon has released to allow people to ‘self-promote’ and in fact encourage you to thumb up your articles for other SU users to ‘view’?

    I don’t want to get banned or ‘ghosted’ for using SU.PR. So what is your advice on this?


  42. @ Annie ‘PhD Parenting’

    That is a good question. If I were you, I would send them a message to let them know that it is effecting your traffic. If the same person is discovering I have also found that the traffic tends to decrease over time, so this may or may not have to do with that person’s history of discoveries, rather the algorithm. So, the best thing IMO you can do without hurting their feelings, is to make sure that you express how extremely grateful you are for their interest in your stuff, but that it is actually hurting you because the algorithm will not allow for you to get as much exposure if the same person is discovering it. May be they will be understanding.

    I hope this helps Annie, and good luck!

  43. @ Timberwolf

    Good question. is designed to basically send visitors directly to your site via 301 redirect. They also get to see other posts that you have made and that they can click on giving you a lot more exposure. This is an awesome tool for Twitter users especially, but it’s purpose is to get great content more exposure, faster.

    Even though this feature is designed to increase traffic, it doesn’t encourage people to spam their stuff, although initially it may seem easier in the eyes of the spammer. However, if a spammer is posting their spammy sites, then chances are they will be flagged even more through that feature, being that it allows the site to be viewed more easily in a relatively short amount of time. In other words, it won’t last long if it ain’t good, and may even get them banned more quickly. Additionally, the analytics are public so the source of traffic can be viewed, which seems like a tool to actually combat gaming. Natural posts get traffic from a variety of sources. If someone was gaming the system, this would make it more obvious because chances are their sources of traffic would be the same nearly every post.

    I think it is a great way to basically force people to submit worthy material because that is what the public demands. Does this make sense? I am still learning about, so this is in no way expert advice, but it’s the best I have.

    I hope I have answered your question.

  44. SU is censorship heaven in that it doesn’t fully rely on the user community to determine if someone is a spammer or not. It relies on peoples emotions. If you’re the kind of person who posts your honest feelings on an issue and you use words like “shit” “fuck” “ass” or whatever, then you will be ghosted. If SU had it their way, they’d charge you for every time you pushed that little button. There is an alternative for SU in the making that encourages freedom of speech and expression and doesn’t ghost people or mark them as spam. It just lets users block someones comment or blog their profile or recommendations but doesn’t block them from everyone. There is also not a review character limit and no arbitrary porn privileges that inevitably label you as a bad person. You see, I subscribe to adult content but I don’t share adult content and yet, when you visit my SU blog, it says “PORN” in big letters on the left showing my topics. This is not fair because clearly people want to keep their porn searching private but now I don’t make friends, I don’t get subscribers, none of my reviews are read, my discoveries are blinded to people because I’m a ghost all because I said “this shit sucks” on some review or because I thumbs upped some chick taking it 3 different holes. I must be a really bad guy. I guess I’m not really StumbleUpon quality and should probably just leave huh? Good idea.

  45. I have made it clear on my profile that I will not thumbs up sites which are just adsense sites or sites with little content. After time, I drop the people who send these sites.
    Stumbleupon is just channel surfing – looking for new stuff. Not blindly promoting any garbage.

  46. @Justin

    That thing on the ‘right’ are your tag clouds which are there for the purpose to allow people to see if you have the same interests as them. You cannot hide those, but I can say that I use tag clouds to determine if I want to add someone, in addition to other information available. People don’t have to automatically see the pages you have thumbed up, and you do that by going into preferences and changing it to show your reviews and blogs, rather than pages you liked. However, if someone is interested in seeing the specific pages you have thumbed, all they have to do is click on ‘likes’.

    I wouldn’t suggest leaving any kind of profanity on any review, simply because every one will see it who visits that pages’ reviews. If you want to use it, then you should leave it on appropriate places where the people do not care. I personally don’t like to read a bunch of profanity in a review because it isn’t helpful to most people. It doesn’t actually contribute anything. And when people see it, they will want to get rid of it. It makes it sound like you are a troll or something. Most social sites are like that though, with exception to Reddit where everyone pretty much uses profanity, even in the headlines.

    Being that SU has a site sharing format, the places that are visited by each user is not private. That would defeat the purpose of sharing content. They do have groups for that particular subject however, and you can make friends there.

  47. How do I know if my site has been banned by stumbleupon? I havent received any emails or messages from them but after building up my account, i discovered a blog post from my site and had a couple friends like it. however when i look at my profile it still shows that there has been only one view even though it displays the people who liked it.

    Is this normal/should i be worried/is there a way to discover if my site has been blacklisted? thanks!!

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