Have you recently noticed that there has been an unusual and steep decrease in your TikTok engagements, seemingly out of nowhere? Maybe you’re having a difficult time getting your TikTok posted, or you can’t see any of your content on anyone’s For You page or even when searching for them with a hashtag. If you’ve experienced any of these scenarios, there’s good reason to think that you may have been shadowbanned on TikTok.
Getting shadowbanned is every creator’s nightmare. Not only do you suffer from a temporary loss of discoverability and engagement, but you also do not get alerted about getting shadowbanned at all. Thus, there is no definite way to know what caused you to get shadowbanned, or if you’re actually getting shadowbanned in the first place.
Read on to learn more about shadowbanning on TikTok and what you can do if you believe this has happened to you.
Table of Contents
- What is a TikTok shadowban?
- How long does a TikTok shadowban last?
- Why did I get shadowbanned on TikTok?
- How do I know if I am shadowbanned on TikTok?
- What do I do if I think I have been TikTok shadowbanned?
What is a TikTok shadowban?
A shadowban is a more subtle form of banning that aims to decrease your visibility on TikTok. Whereas a permanent or temporary ban denies you complete access to the platform, a shadowban denies you your audience. While you can still access TikTok if you have been shadowbanned, it would still feel like you’re absent from the site because much fewer people get to see the content you’re creating.
Another important distinction is that if you have been shadowbanned, you do not get any kind of alert or notification from TikTok, which you otherwise would get if you have been permanently banned. Except for some indicators, there is no way to be sure if you’re experiencing a shadowban.
How long does a TikTok shadowban last?
Because a shadowban is not an official ban, it is impossible to ascertain when exactly it was imposed on the user, as well as when it gets lifted. However, several users have reported that their shadowbans lasted from two weeks up to a month. After this duration, they once again reached the same engagement levels they had prior to the ban.
Why did I get shadowbanned on TikTok?
Shadowbans are most likely caused by a violation of TikTok’s community guidelines. TikTok uses a moderator bot to filter out posts and/or restrict accounts that do not follow these guidelines. If viewers report a video, this also helps TikTok in filtering posts and possibly impose shadowbans or permanent bans.
The most common violations of community guidelines include the following:
● Rapidly following/unfollowing multiple accounts
● Spam liking an account, especially without watching the videos
● Other repetitive behavior on the app
Inappropriate, offensive, misleading, and/or dangerous posts
This refers to TikToks with content such as:
● Hate speech
● Bullying and harassment
● Suicide, self-harm, and disordered eating
● Dangerous acts and challenges
● Illegal activities and promoting substance use
● Violent and graphic content
● Adult nudity and sexual activities
● Copyrighted or trademarked content
It is uncertain what extent of violation of community guidelines would result in a suspension, a permanent ban, or the more subtle shadowban. However, if you are experiencing a shadowban, it is most likely because TikTok has recorded a violation from your account.
How do I know if I am shadowbanned on TikTok?
Because TikTok does not issue an alert or notification to the user if they have been shadowbanned, nobody can fully verify whether this is actually happening to them. It’s also difficult to confirm whether the reduced visibility of your account is because of shadowbanning or simply because of the quality or circumstance of your content.
Maybe you’re posting new TikToks that are different from what your followers are used to, or maybe your new posting schedule is during a slow time on the app. Factors like these, and not shadowbanning, may be what’s causing the dip in your engagement numbers.
That said, here are signs that you can look out for when asking if you’ve been shadowbanned on TikTok:
● There’s a decrease in your posts’ likes, views, and comments, especially if it’s unusual and comes after a trend of increasing engagement.
● Your videos’ analytics show extremely low traffic coming from the For You Pages, compared with your previous TikToks.
● You find it difficult to upload your TikToks and get them posted. Instead, the app says that they’re “under review” or “processing”.
If you have experienced any or all of these issues even while posting high-quality content and maintaining a good posting strategy, then there is a considerable chance that you have been shadowbanned.
What do I do if I think I have been TikTok shadowbanned?
Owing to its enigmatic nature, there is also no clear way to immediately lift a shadowban. Some users claim to have shortened or completely bypassed their shadowbans using different techniques. However, the general consensus is that it’s best to simply wait it out and let the shadowban lift on its own after two to four weeks.
While waiting, there are steps that you can do in the meantime that may help you better understand your content and prevent getting shadowbanned in the future.
Review your video content and analyze your engagement numbers.
If you don’t have one already, create a TikTok Pro account, which will give you access to your videos’ Analytics. Here you can view your differemt engagement numbers like views and likes, traffic source percentages, and number trends. Switching to a TikTok Pro account is free and only takes a few seconds to set up.
Remove any recent videos that may have violated community guidelines.
Visit TikTok’s community guidelines and review if one of your recent videos had violated or may be perceived to have violated one of the guidelines. Using the Analytics from your TikTok Pro account, you can get a good estimate of when views started declining and find the possible offenders.
Give your account a break and start fresh after a few days/weeks.
Take the shadowban downtime as an opportunity to take a few days off from TikTok and freshen up the mind so you can think of better ideas for quality content. Once you return and the shadowban has been lifted, you now have the opportunity to come back stronger and more engaging than before.