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They filed for this in 2011.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_banning there is precedent from the 1980s, and Fogbugz had this feature in 2006. I don't know when Reddit implemented it, but by 2012 it was widely known that they did, so they may have implemented it first as well.

How was this patent granted?

Prior art may go back further than the 1980s. I seem to recall that on some old MUDs, you could be “toaded,” or maybe “frogged,” which would make you look to others like a toad/frog, and anything you said would display as “ribbit” or something.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUD and https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=kt367n...

From Wikipedia:

[MUD1] became the first Internet multiplayer online role-playing game in 1980, when the university connected its internal network to ARPANet.

Which dates that particular piece of prior art to 1980 or later.

[MUD1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUD

Yeah, you knew you were toaded. (Source: I still remember my original TinyMUD ID number, way back in the day. #17086.)

Do you remember a "Mirror" Sionnain?

She was made into an object if you investigated her. She was a "mirror".

Wow, thanks for the trip down memory lane. I can’t remember if the effected user would know it was happening on their end?

Usually they would know but there was a couple of MUDs that hid it. Of course you found out pretty quickly because everyone would find the hyperactive toad hilarious.

I don't either. That's why I hedged with the word 'may'.

Something Awful was "hellbanning" people ages ago.

Some discussion here: https://blog.codinghorror.com/suspension-ban-or-hellban/

Links to Metafilter discussion here: https://ask.metafilter.com/117775/What-was-the-first-website...

> On the Citadel BBSes I frequented in the late '80s, it was referred to as the "twit bit", and the disliked user would sometimes be said to have been "twitted".

That gives whole new perspective on Twitter. :)

> I don't know when Reddit implemented it

We implemented it sometime in 2007.

Wouldn't irc's ignore feature count as a version of shadowbanning too? Channel admins can silence a user channel wide or users can ignore individual users. In both cases, as far as i know, the ignored or silenced user receives no notification of this.

I also seem to rember msn messenger also had a silent blocking feature. Your activity would be invisible to the blocked user and you'd appear as offline.

IRC doesn't provide any feedback on messaging. Messages are sent silently. However if you're quiet banned (mode #chan +b ~q:), you can still receive messages, such as the notification that the channel mode/ban has been applied, and you can still use channel commands, such as viewing the list of bans.

Ignoring a user is entirely client-side. You might be able to test it with a ctcp, depending how the client is designed and configured, and depending on their umodes (if ctcps are blocked) as ctcps are standard messages with a prefix.

Silencing is unlike Reddit shadow bans; firstly, it only applies to private messages, not to channels. Secondly, it has to be configured by the individual users, not by admins.

Reddit originally didn't have a non-shadow ban. All account-level bans were shadowbans

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