As most will know, TikTok is a hugely popular social media platform that allows users to watch and post short videos – not to mention communicating with one another through the built-in chat service.
However, just like other social media platforms, there are certain rules in place – with breaches of these said rules resulting in various punishments, including becoming shadowbanned.
But what exactly is shadowbanning, and is it possible to reverse this decision on TikTok?
What Is TikTok?
Widely popular, particularly amongst the younger generation, TikTok is a social media platform that was created and introduced in China under the name Douyin in 2016, before being released as TikTok internationally in 2017.
While a social media platform, TikTok’s gimmick is the ability to create and view user developed videos (see also “How To Get More Views On TikTok: 10 Essential Tips“) – short in nature, with the duration usually lasting anywhere from 15 seconds to around 10 minutes.
This has started the internet trend of short videos and ‘reels’ of people dancing, pranking one another, miming to music, and showcasing fashion – amongst countless other uses that have since become a mainstream part of social media culture.
What Is Shadowbanning?
With regards to social media, the term ‘shadowbanning’ refers to a punishment instilled by the companies upon users who breach their terms and conditions.
While a shadowban doesn’t remove the person from the site, or stop them from watching other people’s content, a shadowban does limit the ability of the user within the site, as well as the reach their content has to other users.
The term ‘shadowban’ comes from the fact that users can often not be aware of the fact that this limitation has been put in place – and the only people who will often be most readily aware of the ban are celebrities and influencers, whose large numbers of followers and likes can quickly reduce under such circumstances.
What Offenses Result In Shadowbanning?
When it comes to shadowbanning, and what actually constitutes a worthy offense, this is generally down to the specific rules of the company in question.
With regards to TikTok, there are numerous offenses, ranging from minor to more severe, and these are all considered worthy of a shadowban being implemented on the user.
Some examples include:
- The presence of hate speech
- Online bullying of other users
- Nudity and adult content
- Promoting violence
- Promoting criminal activity
- Promoting drugs and drug offenses
- Sharing fake news and information
- Racism and racist language
- Using copyrighted audio
- All forms of online spamming
- Using third party applications
- Buying fake followers and engagement numbers
- Using forbidden hashtags
- Being reported for stealing content
- Abusing minors in any form
- Sharing spoilers for movies and television series
As you can see, the offenses on this list range from relatively innocent and minor things – like sharing spoilers – to more serious, often criminal offenses such as hate speech, violence, and abuse.
What is stranger still though, is the degree to which all of these offenses are compared to one another, each of them resulting in the same blanket punishment, despite their difference and scale in terms of severity.
Can You Get Un-Shadowbanned?
The most common way to become un-shadowbanned on TikTok is to remove the content that was considered to be offensive (or a breach) and then wait for the 14 day waiting period for your full privileges to be reinstated.
Alternatively, users can also appeal the decision to the company itself, although this is often a long, drawn out process that doesn’t achieve anything worthwhile in the long run.
As such, it is usually easier for people to simply delete the content and wait out the shadowban.
Another way to avoid becoming shadowbanned in the future is to avoid the above offenses, as well as any material that could be classified as controversial or as ‘spam’ by fellow users.
How To Know You Have Been Shadowbanned?
After reading all of this, you might be sitting there wondering if you too have been subjected to a shadowban. Luckily, there are numerous ways you can check this to be sure.
Content Not Visible
One of the most notable ways of telling if you have been shadowbanned or not, is whether or not you can access content on the ‘For You’ and ‘Search’ sections.
If the answer is ‘no’, then chances are you have posted something (perhaps unwittingly) that breaches the guidelines, and have been subjected to a shadowban by TikTok.
Videos Won’t Upload
Alternatively, you might be experiencing trouble with uploading new videos – with the videos saying ‘under review’ or ‘processing’ instead of uploading.
If this is the case, then there is a good chance you have been shadowbanned.
Reduced Follower Responses
Another, perhaps more subtle sign is if you notice a distinct reduction in the number of likes, follows, views, and shares from your followers.
While this could just be a natural ebb and flow, it could also be a sign that you have been shadowbanned, and users cannot interact with (or see) your content in the same way as they could before.
Is A Shadowban Serious?
Generally speaking, if you have not broken the actual law in any way, then a shadowban is not considered serious.
However, things like hate speech, violence, and abuse are real world crimes, and could result in legal consequences depending on the specific context.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about TikTok, and whether or not you can get un-shadowbanned on the site.
It’s true that social media, including TikTok, has continued to take the world by storm, with new and unique platforms emerging all the time.
But if you want to continue to use them, you sometimes need to navigate the various rules that are in place.
So if you have found yourself shadowbanned, and you want to try and change that, then be sure to give these methods a try!