Gaining popularity on TikTok is as simple as getting your videos seen and liked by as many people as possible. TikTok may be your ticket to fame, but if you break the rules, the app may delete your account or severely restrict your ability to promote your videos.
Shadowbanning is the term for such restricted access. This article is for you if you use TikTok and have never heard of it before.
Exactly What Does “Shadow-Banning” Means?
In the early days of the internet, moderators took a more targeted approach known as “shadow-banning,” in which abusive users’ posts were hidden from everyone except the users themselves (think: bots, spammers, trolls, etc.).
Even though this isn’t always the case, there is still a possibility that the targeted connotation of the term “shadow ban” will be retained in its modern usage. These days, the term “shadow-banning” encompasses a broader range of actions whereby a service obscures or otherwise restricts access to a user’s content.
It’s possible that a shadow-banned user will see a decline in engagement metrics like post likes, comments, and views. Users of TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube have reported worrying that their accounts have been shadow-banned after experiencing a sudden and pervasive decline in viewership.
How Do You Get Shadow-Banned On TikTok?
We don’t know why users get shadow-banned; apps don’t even confirm the practice exists, and if it does, there’s probably more than one reason for it. Efforts by platforms like TikTok to restrict spammers may be to blame. You may find that TikTok stops showing your videos to others on their For You pages if you exhibit behaviours indicative of a bot, such as liking a large number of posts in a single day or following a large number of accounts in quick succession.
A further possible justification for shadow banning? Repeatedly posting content that violates TikTok’s community guidelines, such as that which promotes hate speech, nudity, drugs, fake news, violence, or any of the other behaviours explicitly forbidden by the app.
It’s also important to remember that some content might not be explicitly banned (i.e. reported or removed from the platform), but it might still be removed from the For You page. That feed “is intended for a general audience that includes everyone from our teenage users to great grandparents,” the TikTok website says.
When deciding which pieces of content to highlight with the platform’s algorithm, we take into account the demographics of our user base. Videos showing “dangerous sports or stunts” or “overtly sexualized content” may fall into this category in TikTok’s eyes.
(For context, The New York Times reviewed an internal document detailing how the TikTok app’s recommendation system operates; it states that the algorithm relies on “machine learning and actual user behaviour. Based on users’ reactions (likes, comments, and time spent watching), the app calculates a score for each video and “returns to users videos with the highest scores.”
When Have I Been Shadow Banned, And How Do I Find Out?
Unexpectedly low levels of interaction with your posts may indicate that you’ve been shadow-banned. If this happens, your videos might stop showing up in feed aggregators (like TikTok’s For You page) or be inaccessible in hashtag searches. However, other factors, such as posting at a slow time on the app, experiencing a drop in followers, or posting new or different content than your followers are used to, may also contribute to a decline in engagement.
Switching to a TikTok Pro account and keeping tabs on your engagement with the provided analytics is the best way to determine if you are being subjected to a shadow ban. If your engagement has gone up or down over time, this section of data will show you why, and it will also tell you when to post for maximum impact.
Just What Steps Do You Need To Take To Undo Your TikTok ShadowBan?
There are a few options available to you if your TikTok account has been shadowbanned.
How to avoid being “shadowbanned” on TikTok, and what to do if you already have been:
1. Delete TikTok and Reinstall It.
Deleting your most recent video should be your first step.
If that doesn’t work, try erasing and reinstalling the TikTok app to see if that helps. It’s possible that all your app needs are a new version to start working properly again.
You can repost the video if you’re confident it doesn’t break any rules. There is sufficient interest to move forward.
2. Switch To A Business TikTok Account
Maybe you haven’t been shadowbanned after all, and you should be paying more attention to your analytics.
TikTok, like Instagram, lets its users view analytics about their accounts. Doing so makes it simple to track your level of participation over time. Use this to learn more about how to attract a larger audience. Follow these steps to upgrade to a business account:
- Load up your TikTok page.
- Select the hamburger menu in the upper right.
- Navigate to Privacy and Account Settings > Manage Account > Make the change to a Business Account and carry out the subsequent procedures.
3 Don’t Upload Anything That Violates TikTok’s Rules For Users
Making videos that don’t follow TikTok’s posting guidelines can extend your shadowban or get your account permanently banned. Content that violates TikTok’s community guidelines can lead to a temporary ban or a permanent closure of your account.
Alternatively, you could rely on content creation to boost your position in the algorithm and, in turn, your viewership. A quick look at your video analytics will tell you this.
4. Don’t Be A Spammer On TikTok
Following a large number of people quickly on TikTok may seem like a harmless way to quickly grow your following. Well, you can actually get shadowbanned for this sort of spam behaviour, so ease up on the follows.
What Went Wrong With Your TikTok Account That Led To Its Permanent Suspension?
There was a previous settlement involving TikTok and over $5 million due to the app’s alleged violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. A large number of accounts were banned after that for children’s safety reasons.
Even though you may be of legal age, you could have had your account permanently banned if you were unable to provide proof of your age.
In addition, the content you’ve shared may have violated TikTok’s policies and standards. It’s possible that a repeat offence could result in an indefinite suspension. It’s going to be very difficult to restore your account at this point.