If you noticed something off with your engagement rate on TikTok, the culprit may be something you have never seen nor acknowledged by the platform shadow ban. But what does a shadow banned TikTok account mean?
Now and then, a buzzword comes floating around the internet. And just recently, shadow ban happens to be that word. If you are used to soaring TikTok engagements and noticed a significant drop in the figures, you might be shadow banned on TikTok.
A shadow banned TikTok account may damage your performance on the platform as TikTok’s algorithm shows your content to fewer people, leading to lower TikTok engagement rates. But what does shadow banned on TikTok mean, and how do you get unbanned?
In this article, you will find what you need to know about a shadow banned TikTok and more.
What does shadow banned mean on TikTok?
Generally, a shadow ban occurs when a social media platform or forum mutes or blocks a user without prior notification. The same thing happens when you get a shadow banned TikTok account.
A TikTok shadow ban occurs when the TikTok algorithm temporarily restricts an account’s visibility without notifying the user. With a shadow banned TikTok account, the content will neither appear on the platform’s For You page nor the hashtag section.
The banning caused a significant decrease in visibility, translating to a decline in engagements since viewers were unable to see the content and interact with it. Shadow banning is one way of penalizing any account that violates the TikTok Community Guidelines.
Some users claim their TikTok posts are more difficult to find during shadow banning. In addition, they claim to have stopped receiving comments and likes on TikToks that would have previously done well. Regardless of all the speculations, TikTok never officially admitted to shadow-banning its users.
According to the platform, “We will temporarily or permanently ban accounts and/or users that are involved in severe or repeated on-platform violations [of our Community Guidelines].”
Is shadow banning included in this? We cannot confirm, but we do know something is going on.
How do you get a shadow banned TikTok account?
Whether or not TikTok admits to the banning, there is no denying it can ban certain accounts from using the platform. Here are some of the most common reasons to get shadow banned on TikTok.
Violating TikTok’s Community Guidelines
From the start, TikTok had made it crystal clear to block or restrict any user guilty of violating its community guidelines. Violating the community guidelines is the most obvious reason for a shadow banned TikTok account.
Different types of TikTok violations can put you on the bad side of the platform’s algorithm, and they are as follows:
Posting harmful and dangerous content, acts, or challenges
TikTok is not exempted from users creating various dangerous challenges and stunts.
The platform has been a constant source of highly dangerous viral challenges, from the Coronavirus challenge, where a woman licked a toilet bowl during the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the Benadryl challenge, where participants consumed excessive amounts of the drug.
TikTok prohibits content encouraging, depicting, normalizing, and promoting dangerous stunts that can cause severe injuries and death to make it a safe place.
Publishing adult content
While there is OnlyFans that allows almost all kinds of adult content, TikTok is far more different. The platform prohibits users from publishing adult content, such as pornography and nudity.
So, users who share this kind of content will not only have their accounts TikTok shadow banned but will be restricted from accessing the platform permanently.
Discriminating, bullying, and harassing other users
TikTok has no tolerance for hateful behavior, as it aims to create a safe and inclusive community that encourages the freedom to be oneself. Any abusive, threatening, harassing, and hateful content can put a TikTok account at risk of getting shadow banned or permanently banned.
TikTok also automatically removes any content promoting hateful ideology and violent extremist organizations.
Copyright infringement is another common cause of getting a shadow banned TikTok profile. Copyright infringement involves publishing TikTok content owned by other users, infringing on their intellectual property rights and copyrights.
The platform proactively prevents copyright infringement by providing a library of audio users may use when posting TikToks. Although, TikTok for business has fewer audio choices.
Engaging Like A Spammer
Aside from being careful with the content you post on TikTok, be wary of your engagement behavior on the platform. Any behavior that TikTok deems inauthentic or resembles a spammer can get you restricted from using the platform.
Resembling a spammer on TikTok involves behaving like a bot, flooding your TikTok feed with content, and bulk-following other accounts in one sitting.
Accidental Shadow Banning
Since TikTok is largely controlled by the algorithm, getting shadow-banned accidentally is possible. The algorithm may mistakenly flag specific topics, resulting in an accidental shadow ban.
How do you know if you’re shadow banned on TikTok?
So, how do you know if your shadow banned on TikTok? Getting a shadow banned TikTok account and decreasing your engagement is frustrating, let alone failing to realize you have been shadow banned in the first place. Since you cannot get any notifications from TikTok informing you of the ban, you will be left surprised by the decrease in engagement rates.
So, the question “How do I know if I am shadowbanned on TikTok?” can be hard to answer. To help you out, we curated the telltale signs that TikTok put you on hold through a shadow ban.
Your figures drop significantly
As repeatedly mentioned in this article, the most visible TikTok shadow ban indication is a significant drop in your number of likes, views, and shares. If you have previously enjoyed an upward trend in engagements and suddenly hit the plateau, you might have been plagued with the ban.
The figures will never be constant, and fluctuations are inevitable, but a massive nosedive can be concerning.
Your content is no longer on the FYP
If your TikTok account is still doing well, people will find your content on their FYPs. The algorithm usually displays your content to users who interact and engage with accounts that post content similar to yours.
When you get a shadow banned TikTok, relevant users may no longer see your content on their FYPs. So, ask your friends or followers if they can no longer see your content surfacing on their FYPs; that way, you will identify whether your visibility on the app has been restricted.
Uploading your videos is challenging
Some users who claim to have been shadow banned on TikTok experienced issues uploading their TikTok videos. With your shadow banned TikTok account, uploading content may last longer, or you will encounter an under review or processing notification.
If you find this happening to you even when your internet connection is fine, you might want to consider yourself a shadow banned TikTok account.
You will not appear on relevant searches
Your disappearance from the app’s relevant searches is the final telltale sign of a shadow banned TikTok account. Alongside your affected FYP visibility is your tampered visibility in searches.
With this happening, your TikTok videos will not surface even when users search for the keywords and hashtag you are using.
How do you fix your shadow banned TikTok account?
Say you noticed at least two of the mentioned signs and are convinced you have been shadow-banned. Now what? How do I fix shadow ban on TikTok?
Luckily, we have compiled some of the possible measures you can take to stop the algorithm from shadow-banning you.
Check the community guidelines
Social media community guidelines are always there, and for good reasons. Double-check the guidelines and try to discover your violations. Then, cross-reference the guidelines with your content and comments to conclude whether or not you have violated any of TikTok’s rules.
Do not forget to check the audio you use on your content, especially if the audio is not on the TikTok audio library, as infringing copyrights can get you banned.
Delete your flagged content
If you are done checking and rechecking your feed and suspect that a particular content is the culprit, get rid of that video. TikTok mostly notifies and automatically hides an uploaded video that falls short of its rules, so you will know what not to post again. r
While this sounds straightforward, shadow ban cases are tricky as the algorithm will not notify you of any violations. In cases as this, refer to the preceding tip for fixing your shadow banned TikTok account.
Stop behaving like a spammer
When on TikTok, always behave like a typical user. You know how, in real life, our trust often leans toward people who do not act strangely? That scenario is the same for TikTok. Acting like a regular person in any situation is good life advice applicable to TikTok.
To avoid behaving like a spammer, limit your uploaded content and schedule them strategically. Using a content scheduler can do the job of uploading your videos on your desired schedule without the risk of being wrongfully tagged as a spammer. Read about one of the most reliable tools in this Planoly review.
Additionally, avoid signing up for online services that use bot accounts to spam comments on TikTok posts to allegedly increase your engagement rate.
Remember that TikTok is nonchalant about whether or not you are a real spammer, so you must stop acting like one to avoid a shadow banned TikTok account.
Check your analytics constantly
How will you know you have been shadow-banned if you are oblivious to how your account is doing? You will not.
Hence, one way of dodging a shadow banned TikTok is by staying on top of your analytics. That way, you will notice if something goes wrong with the figures, compelling you to act abruptly.
If you want to keep a close eye on your account, we recommend checking your performance consistently. One good way is to go beyond TikTok’s built-in analytics tool and invest in a comprehensive third-party social media management tool.
While the built-in tool is fine in doing the job, a comprehensive social media management tool helps you manage your account to avoid shadow bans and provides more services and features the native tool cannot.
Some social media management tools have a built-in content scheduler, so you might want to invest in that to save on the cost.
Check out one of our favorite tools in this Hootsuite review.
If all else fails, your only choice is to wait for TikTok to lift the ban, which often lasts two or more weeks. You may try to uninstall and reinstall the app as your final straw, but if you did everything and nothing seems to work, you have no other option but to wait for your shadow banned TikTok account to return to normal.
Patience is a virtue—a saying that never gets old!
Avoid the ban
If you are bent on growing your TikTok presence, getting a shadow banned TikTok account can tarnish your efforts in serious ways. Hence, it is imperative to abide by the set guidelines and post safe and original content to avoid getting flagged by the algorithm.
Now that you know what a shadow banned TikTok means, you might want to check out our TikTok Ban and the Creator Economy: What Gives? article.