Is the engagement on your TikTok videos suddenly dwindling? Chances are you were shadowbanned. A shadowban is TikTok’s way of putting you on a timeout that negatively impacts your account’s reach. Although TikTok has not issued an official statement about shadowbans, proof suggests that violating its community guidelines has consequences. According to TikTok, it permanently or temporarily forbids content that repeatedly and severely infringes its rules.
What You Probably Did To Get A TikTok Shadowban
TikTok’s algorithm features a moderation system that monitors posts constantly. TikTok restricts content from users who post hate speech, share fake news and post content that features nudity, violence, or drugs. The social media platform also removes spam and videos that feature copyrighted music.
Interestingly, TikTok once admitted it restricts controversial content like LGBTQ posts in select regions of the world as a localised approach to censorship. A disgruntled TikTok user can also report a video and trigger a shadowban. TikTok limits your posts’ visibility to protect other users from offensive content. Nonetheless, TikTok’s algorithm mass moderation doesn’t always get it right.
Popular plus-size singer, Lizzo once accused TikTok of removing videos of her in certain clothes while average-weight girls get a pass. The TikTokers behind the Jewcrazy account likewise claim the platform occasionally restricts their posts on Judaism. Since the account focuses on Jewish beliefs, its comment section often fetches religious slurs, stereotypes, and anti-semitic responses. TikTok purportedly flagged Jewcrazy’s videos that debunked anti-semitic remarks.
How To Tell TikTok Shadowbanned You
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell if TikTok has shadowbanned you. The platform does not send a notification or warning to inform you of this timeout. We can only deduce a shadowban based on a couple of factors.
If your videos aren’t visible on TikTok’s search feature, hashtags, and For You page, it has probably shadowbanned you. TikTok hearts, views, shares, comments and new followers are indicators of user engagement. A sharp decline in these metrics implies a possible restriction on the app. Lastly, if TikTok tells you it’s processing or reviewing your content as you upload, it’s an attempt to limit your activity. If your account corresponds with all these factors, TikTok shadowbanned you.
How Long A Shadowban on TikTok Lasts
Shadowbans are still a grey area on social media; users don’t know how long they last. Fortunately, TikTok’s shadowban isn’t permanent. Users who experienced a shadowban claim it lasts for two weeks to a month.
What To Do When TikTok Shadowbans You
The bad news is there’s no secret formula to reverse a shadowban. Several steps can still prevent and fix a shadowban.
Follow community guidelines
Following TikTok’s community guidelines is the blanket approach to avoiding a shadowban. Algorithms often lack the discernment of filtering content tactfully; your TikTok account may experience a shadowban despite following all its rules. In this case, you should avoid spamming the app with too many hashtags, followings, and likes. Delete content TikTok flags as inappropriate immediately.
Report the problems
Like other social media apps, you can report your shadowban problem to TikTok’s team. A TikTok support ticket may resolve any issues you encounter as a TikToker.
Understand your audience
The wrong audience for your content increases the risk of TikTokers reporting your content as inappropriate. TikTok advises users to post suitable content for all people, especially minors and the elderly. Seemingly, accounts that create content on society’s sensitive topics are more prone to TikTok’s shadowbans.
Switch to a TikTok pro account
TikTok’s free pro account offers in-depth analytics that helps you monitor your account’s performance. It’s easier to conclude if TikTok has shadowbanned you with these metrics. An update on your app may also fix a shadowban issue.
Take a break
You can wait for TikTok to lift the ban until it deems you fit for the platform. Most affected TikTokers take a break from creating content and wait for the shadowban to end. After deleting offensive content from your TikTok account, take a break and post content on a clean slate.
TikTok is one of the most influential social media apps. Sometimes people post controversial content in an attempt to go viral. Such content has repercussions since TikTok can shadowban you. Following community guidelines and using hacks like understanding your audience can protect you from the dreaded shadowban.