TikTok Shadowban: What is it and how to prevent it
Are you experiencing a lack of engagement on your posts on TikTok? It might be possible that your account has a shadowban. A shadowban causes a lack of engagement; reduces growth & negatively impacts your TikTok account.
A shadowban is often talked about on social media, but what exactly is a shadowban, what causes a shadowban and how can you prevent one? We have answered all your questions in this article.
What is a shadowban?
A shadowban is familiar between all social media networks. If your TikTok account is shadowbanned, your account becomes partially blocked on the app; your content will be availalbe to less users on the platform. Your content won’t show up on the For You Page, which causes a significant drop in engagement. Often you hear about the shadowban for the first time, when you have experienced an engagement drop and you’re looking for the possible reason. Even though it is possible that your content / your account is not relevant overnight, it is often caused by a shadowban.
The algorithm of TikTok processes automatic quality checks. TikTok wants to protect its useres from spam, threats, dangerous and inappropriate content. A shadowban can be seen as a temporary timeout, which will often disappear over time.
A shadowban on your TikTok account means your content will be hidden from the For You page, hashtags and sounds. In addition, your account will lower in search results. Your followers will still see your content on their following timeline, but also there your content will be lower in the algorithm.
What Causes a TikTok Shadowban?
TikTok wants its users to follow their guidelines (TikTok guidelines).
Although a TikTok shadowban is a common understanding under markters, TikTok has never officially commented on it. Therefor there are also no specific rules and violations that cause a shadowban.
That being said, TikTok discloses what violates the platform’s guidelines. According to TikTok, “We will temporarily or permanently ban accounts and/or users that are involved in severe or repeated on-platform violations [of our Community Guidelines].” There are a couple of reasons which cause a temporarily restriction on your account. Most common violations:
- Hate speech
- Fake news / misinformation
- Spam behavior
The TikTok platform is enormous, it has over 1 billion active users worldwide. TikTok relies on automated moderation software to check potential violations of the community guidelines. If people report your video, fair or unfairly, that can trigger a video removal, which can trigger a shadowban.
Because user reports play a major role in the TikTok flag system, it does not reward to post anything that’s close to a potential violation. Even if it’s not a violation, it’s hard to appeal and get your videos back up. Adding statements as “This is not real TikTok”, “This is fake TikTok” to your videos does not change anything and does not prevent potential removal.
How do I know if TikTok shadowbanned me?
The annoying part of being shadowbanned, is actually knowing whether you’re shadowbanned or not. TikTok does not notify you when you get a shadowban. But, there are some indicators, which can tell that you have a restriction on your content:
- Content is not visible on For You and search pages
- Videos are ‘under review’ or ‘processing’
- Huge engagement drop
If (one of) those statements apply to your account, you’re likely shadowbanned. It’s a good moment to take a look at your content. Has any of your content been removed / violated the guidelines? Could your content possibly violate the terms?
How long does a TikTok shadowban last?
The TikTok shadowban is in a grey area. Since TikTok does not actually tell if you’re shadowbanned, it’s just guessing how long the ban lasts. There is no clear answer.
But we can still make an estimate, based on our reports. Usually a TikTok shadowban lasts between 2 weeks and 1 month.
How do I fix shadowban on TikTok?
Now comes the most important question; how to remove the shadowban? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer.
There is no fix method on the shadowban. You need to sit your time out. Important: keep your account active. Do not stop posting. A lot of people fall for the trap and stop producing content. You should keep posting, to keep your audience active. Even though you will have lower engagement & less followers will see your content, your followers will still enjoy your content. We know it is demotivating that your content will not get the same amount of engagement it used to get. But not posting at all, will make it even worse when you get back on the platform. Don’t change anything about your strategy. Keep posting the same amount of content, post on the same times & don’t change content type. Basically; don’t freak out & keep going. Eventually, your engagement will increase and TikTok will lift your shadowban.
How to avoid a shadowban?
Knowing that you can’t simply fix a shadowban, it’s important to know how to avoid one in the future. At some point, your shadowban will be gone. You need to know how to avoid one, as you don’t want to experience this again.
Take the following steps:
- Follow TikTok’s community guidelines; make sure your content does not violate the guidelines;
- Delete flagged content; have you been noticed that your content has been removed / restricted? Remove the content from your account;
- Avoid mass actions; don’t act like a bot. Stop liking all content, follow hundreds of people at the same time, etc. This is spam behavior and TikTok does not like that.
We know a shadowban is very trustrating, since they can come out of nowhere. The best way to avoid one is following TikTok’s guidelines & don’t come close to possible violations. But don’t forget, a shadowban on your account is not the end of the world. Don’t stop your TikTok adventure because of a shadowban. Keep doing your thing and you again will have the great TikTok experience sooner than you think.