What is a shadowban on TikTok and how to lift It

On TikTok, your content can skyrocket to immense popularity instantly, only to plummet back to obscurity just as quickly. In this post, we’ll explore what a shadowban on TikTok is, how to remove it, and strategies to avoid encountering it again.

Why Are There No Views on TikTok?

“A “TikTok shadowban” could be one of the culprits behind your videos’ dwindling view counts. This term refers to a covert account restriction.”

When shadowbanned, users aren’t alerted to their status and can continue to use the app as usual. However, a sudden drop in reach or the visibility of your content to non-followers could be a telltale sign of a shadowban on TikTok.

Why Does TikTok Block Videos?

Like other social platforms, TikTok does not officially acknowledge the practice of “hidden blocking” or shadowbanning. As a result, seeking explanations from moderators about diminished views on TikTok often proves fruitless. The concept of shadowbans is understood primarily through user experiences, making it challenging to completely safeguard against such issues without explicit guidelines from TikTok itself. Falling out of favor with TikTok’s algorithms can happen for various reasons, including videos that are too long, of poor quality, or irrelevant. The underlying aim of these sanctions is to shield viewers from low-quality content.

While recognizing a shadowban is useful, it may not always be the culprit behind reduced visibility. Trends may have faded, audience interest in particular topics may have disappeared, or perhaps new competitors have emerged with more engaging content. In essence, maintaining your presence on social media is a constant battle for relevance. Social networks demand vigilance and continuous effort, far from being places of rest.

In general, there are several reasons why TikTok restricts videos:

  1. Inappropriate content. Videos that even subtly hint at topics prohibited on TikTok, such as weapons, sex, drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, risk being shadowbanned. For instance, a cartoon depicting a wolf smoking a cigarette could be flagged. More severe violations, such as those that promote racism or violence, lead to more than just a shadowban.
  2. Repetitive uploads and mass deletion of content from your profile can signal spam or suspicious behavior to TikTok’s algorithms. To tidy up your profile without raising flags, consider setting unwanted videos to private.
  3. Engaging in mass liking, soliciting for subscriptions, or other forms of overactivity can lead to a lack of visibility. It’s recommended to steer clear of any shortcuts to popularity.
  4. Directly copying another’s content breaches TikTok’s rules. While adapting trends is common and accepted, outright plagiarism, including removing watermarks or copying videos without transformation, is prohibited.
  5. Using swear words or making hostile remarks can make your content shadowbanned. It’s important to maintain decency and respect in your videos.
  6. Complaints from third parties who are outraged by your content, or simply ill-wishers, may well bring disaster to your account, even if there is actually nothing wrong with the content. TikTok reviews these complaints, but the sheer volume can affect algorithmic visibility in the interim. If the reason given by the viewer is not relevant, you have nothing to fear. Rumor has it that while the top minds of TikTok are dealing with complaints, algorithms will automatically cut off the views of videos with complaints.
  7. Overusing hashtags or repeating them across multiple posts is seen as spammy behavior by TikTok’s system.
  8. The video contains unaccompanied children. The platform pays especially close attention to such videos. This is not surprising considering teenagers’ pathological interest in social networks.

How to Identify if You Are Shadowbanned on TikTok

Detecting a shadowban on TikTok can be challenging since the platform doesn’t alert users to hidden account restrictions. However, certain indicators can suggest you’ve been shadowbanned:

  • A significant drop in views: a noticeable decline in views, particularly if your content previously attracted thousands of views, can strongly indicate a shadowban.;
  • Lack of new subscriptions: if your content quality remains high yet new followers are conspicuously absent, it might signal a shadowban; 
  • Deletes comments: this is easy to check by leaving a comment under someone else’s video (preferably a neutral in nature comment – this way, there will be no doubt that the owner of the video did not delete it);
  • Invisibility in hashtag searches: Add a unique or less popular hashtag to your video and search for it from a different account. If it doesn’t show up, this could be a sign of a shadowban.

Recognizing TikTok Shadowban Through Analytics

Identifying a shadowban on TikTok can effectively be done by analyzing your account’s statistics. This is especially straightforward for users who have activated a PRO account, as it automatically gathers and presents relevant data. The “Review” tab within the analytics section offers a clear overview of your video views and new subscriber numbers. A sudden and significant drop in these metrics often signals a shadowban.

Typically, if your account is not restricted, a substantial portion of your views—often more than half—should originate from the platform’s recommendation feed. A noticeable decrease in this figure within the “Recommend” section of your traffic sources analytics points towards a shadowban. While detecting a shadowban might seem inconvenient, currently, the best approach is to diligently monitor your own statistics and look for these telltale signs.

Important: If your business account was not connected before discovering a shadowban through analytics, activating it afterward won’t be helpful. The system starts collecting statistics from the moment of connection, meaning you won’t be able to analyze past data to identify trends or the onset of the shadowban.

What Are the Consequences of a Shadowban?

Navigating a shadowban on TikTok can be quite tricky, especially since there are no official channels or acknowledgments of a “shadowban” status from TikTok itself. Based on user experiences, if an account is shadowbanned, it typically remains there for about 14 days. Unfortunately, there’s no way to shorten this period since the platform’s algorithms dictate it, and as you might guess, debating with a bot proves to be pointless. Generally, after two weeks, videos may start to reappear in recommendations, but recovery is gradual. This assumes, of course, that the reason for the shadowban has been addressed. One of the challenges is that pinpointing which specific video caused the issue on TikTok isn’t always straightforward.

For prominent creators, a shadowban can be particularly catastrophic. Regaining their former engagement levels can be a near-impossible task, to the point where starting anew with a different account might seem a more viable option. Smaller creators, on the other hand, may find their growth and engagement stunted for a while due to a shadowban, complicating efforts to expand their audience.

How to Lift a Shadowban on TikTok

Finding your way out of a shadowban on TikTok and figuring out why you were “punished” involves some detective work since official support is unlikely to provide clear guidance. If you’re in the dark about why your video views have plummeted to zero and suspect platform sanctions but are unwilling to sit tight for two weeks, here are some strategies from the experiences of others who’ve navigated these waters:

  1. Minimize social network activity. Take a 48-hour break from all activities on your profile—no posting, scrolling, or even logging in. This pause is a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with TikTok’s rules to avoid future violations.
  2. Pause all promotion methods and disconnect any third-party services linked to your TikTok account to ensure no automated activities compound the issue.
  3. Make recent videos private. However, instead of deleting them, make your recent videos private, especially if it’s unclear which content triggered the shadowban. Focus on hiding videos that might be considered low quality. You can delete one video with 0 views, but remember that mass deletion will only worsen the situation.
  4. Review the format and quality of your video content. Use this time to reflect on and possibly refine your video content’s format and quality. Remember, negativity or toxicity can alienate your audience. Aim for positivity and engagement.
  5. Engage your followers by encouraging your subscribers to interact with your posts. High engagement can signal to TikTok’s algorithm that your content is valuable, sometimes helping to lift a shadowban.
  6. Reinstall TikTok or clear the cache.
  7. Contact support for clarification on zero views can be a step worth taking alongside other efforts.
  8. Start fresh with a new account. In cases of extensive shadowbanning, starting anew with a different account might be the most straightforward solution, especially if the ban impacts both current and past videos.

It’s important to thoroughly understand and adhere to the platform’s community guidelines to avoid a TikTok ban. Enhancing viewer engagement and watch time is key. To captivate your audience and encourage them to watch your videos in full, craft compelling content from start to finish. Opt for your smartphone’s rear camera to achieve clearer and, ideally, professional-quality videos. Infuse your content with originality, incorporating striking visual elements and trending music to stand out. Always keep your audience in mind during the creative process.

How to Avoid a Shadowban for Affiliate Marketers

TikTok is one of the best sources for generating conditionally free traffic, making it a lucrative platform for affiliate marketers. However, the threat of shadowbans, and even outright bans, looms large, especially when promoting content that falls into grey areas. A reduction in visibility directly translates to a dip in potential earnings. Here are some strategies to safeguard your account while extending its lifespan:

  • do not use profanity in creatives;
  • do not feature individuals under the age of 18 in your videos;
  • stick to the TikTok music library to avoid copyright infringement;
  • steer clear of copying others’ work. If you must draw inspiration, ensure you significantly alter the original to make it unique;
  • be careful with cheating – while tempting, excessive engagement tactics or bot usage offer little value and can flag your account. Focus on building a genuine connection with your target audience;
  • if you plan to employ aggressive or borderline tactics like spam, use disposable accounts to mitigate the risk to your main account;
  • for mobile users, regularly resetting your device to factory settings or clearing the cache can help maintain account health;
  • when directing traffic to platforms like Telegram, embed the link in your profile description instead of spamming comments, which can attract unwanted attention.

For affiliates utilizing TikTok traffic via mobile and residential proxies, maintaining GEO consistency is important. Ensure that your proxy’s location and provider align closely with your actual or intended location to avoid triggering platform security measures. Advanced proxies with precise settings can help manage this concern effectively.

P.S. You’re now equipped with knowledge on how to detect a shadowban on TikTok and navigate around it. As you can see, the platform has numerous criteria for scrutinizing content, particularly advertisements. While encountering a shadowban is an unwelcome experience, it’s almost a rite of passage for content creators, offering valuable lessons on platform dynamics. Consider it a learning curve and aim to stay in the good graces of TikTok’s algorithms. Here’s to your success and profitability! 😉

Start earning!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get all of our marketing tips, case studies, and the latest developments at Los Pollos directly to your inbox!

You might also like