Everything You Need to Know about Avoiding a TikTok Shadow Ban

Have you noticed a sudden drop in your TikTok engagement? If so, you might be a victim of the dreaded shadow ban, which can seriously harm your performance on the platform. But fear not! This article will serve as your ultimate guide to understanding everything you need to know about shadow banning on TikTok.

What is a TikTok Shadow Ban?

A TikTok shadow ban occurs when TikTok restricts your account’s visibility without notifying you. In other words, your account becomes temporarily blocked or muted, causing your content to no longer show up on users’ “For You” pages or in the app’s hashtags section. This lack of visibility inevitably leads to a decline in engagement because fewer people are able to see your content.

Shadow banning is TikTok’s way of penalizing accounts that violate their Community Guidelines. Your account might be put on timeout for posting inappropriate or copyright-violating content, for example. It’s important to note that TikTok doesn’t officially acknowledge shadow banning, but there’s enough information to suggest that temporary restrictions are indeed placed on certain accounts at certain times.

How to Determine If You’ve Been Shadow Banned

Realizing that you’ve been shadow banned can be incredibly frustrating, especially since TikTok doesn’t notify you about account visibility restrictions. So, how can you tell if you’ve been shadow banned? Here are some telltale signs to watch out for:

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Your numbers see a significant drop

If you suddenly notice a massive decrease in your views, likes, and shares, it’s a clear indication of a shadow ban. While some fluctuations are normal, a dramatic nosedive in these numbers should be cause for concern, especially if you’ve been consistently experiencing growth.

You’re no longer showing up on “For You” pages

The “For You” page is where your content typically appears if your account is performing well on TikTok. However, when shadow banned, your content becomes invisible on the “For You” pages of relevant users. Ask your friends to check if your content has vanished from their “For You” pages as well, as this can confirm whether TikTok has restricted your content visibility.

You’re no longer showing up in relevant searches

A shadow ban will also affect your visibility in searches. Even if users search for the keywords and hashtags you’re using, your content won’t show up when your account is restricted. Ask a friend to search for the keywords and hashtags in your content to see if your content is appearing in the search results.

Your videos aren’t uploading

Consistently experiencing issues with video uploads, such as long “processing” or “under review” times, can also indicate a shadow ban. If your videos take an unusually long time to upload despite having a stable internet connection, it’s possible that you’ve been hit with a shadow ban.

3 Possible Reasons for Getting Shadow Banned on TikTok

Now that you know what a shadow ban is and how to detect it, let’s explore some of the main reasons why TikTok might shadow ban your account:

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Reason #1: Violating the TikTok Community Guidelines

TikTok may temporarily or permanently ban accounts that repeatedly or severely violate their Community Guidelines. Violations can include:

  • Posting adult content: TikTok strictly prohibits the sharing of sexually explicit content.
  • Promoting dangerous acts and challenges: TikTok discourages content that promotes or normalizes dangerous acts that could result in harm.
  • Engaging in bullying and harassment: TikTok aims to create an inclusive and respectful community, so any content that shames, bullies, or harasses others is not tolerated.
  • Engaging in hateful behavior: TikTok has zero tolerance for discrimination, hate speech, or the promotion of hateful ideologies.
  • Displaying violent extremism: TikTok prohibits users from inciting or threatening violence or promoting violent extremist organizations.

Moreover, copyright infringement is another common cause of a TikTok shadow ban. Reusing others’ content through Duets and Stitches is permitted, as long as you add something original to it. Reposting someone else’s copyrighted content without adding any value can lead to trouble.

Reason #2: Engaging in spammy behavior

Sometimes, it’s not just the content of your videos that results in a shadow ban, but also certain behaviors or activities seen as inauthentic and spammy. These can include acting like a bot by engaging in bulk followings, flooding the feed with excessive content, buying or selling fake engagements, impersonation, or spreading harmful misinformation. To avoid trouble, it’s crucial to steer clear of such activities.

Reason #3: Accidental shadow ban

In some cases, a shadow ban may be accidental rather than intentional. TikTok relies on an algorithm to enforce its rules, and occasionally, the algorithm may mistakenly flag certain topics or videos, leading to an unintended shadow ban.

5 Tips to Remove a TikTok Shadow Ban

If you’ve determined that you’re indeed shadow banned on TikTok, here are some steps you can take to remove the ban:

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1. Double-check for Community Guideline violations

To rule out an accidental shadow ban, review your content and comments to ensure they comply with the TikTok Community Guidelines. Sometimes, seemingly harmless actions like using a song outside of the TikTok music library can infringe on someone else’s copyrights, resulting in a shadow ban.

2. Remove any violating content

If you suspect that any of your content violates the Community Guidelines, remove it from your account. TikTok may explicitly inform you which videos have been flagged, making it easier for you to remove the offending content. However, if you’re not notified about the specific video, rely on your understanding of the guidelines to make an educated guess and remove the appropriate video.

3. Cease any spammy behavior

Evaluate your recent actions on the platform to identify any inauthentic or spammy behavior. Stop any activities that TikTok may consider inappropriate or spam-like, such as bulk-following accounts, posting excessive content, or engaging in fake engagement schemes. Avoid similar behavior in the future to prevent further restrictions.

4. Delete and reinstall the app

In some cases, simply removing the problematic video(s) will resolve the shadow ban. However, if the issue persists, consider deleting and reinstalling the TikTok app. This will clear the cache and potentially update the app, restoring its functionality. After reinstalling, you should start receiving engagements on your videos again.

5. Wait it out

Most TikTok shadow bans last for approximately two weeks, although some users report enduring longer bans. If the previous steps don’t work, you may have to wait until TikTok removes the shadow ban. During this time, your engagement may suffer, but it might be the only option if nothing else resolves the issue. If you prefer not to wait, you can report the problem to TikTok through the support page.

Avoiding a TikTok Shadow Ban

A TikTok shadow ban has the potential to significantly impact your engagement and hinder your efforts to grow your TikTok community. To avoid getting shadow banned, closely adhere to the Community Guidelines and create high-quality content that’s compliant with TikTok’s rules. Ensure your content is safe for all users, preventing it from being flagged by TikTok’s censors. By being mindful of these guidelines, you can enjoy a thriving TikTok presence without the worry of shadow bans.

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