TikTok Shadow Ban

By Nate McCallister

Last Updated March 23, 2021


Do you think your TikTok account has been shadow banned? In this article I'm going to show you how to find out of it really has been. I'm also going to show you how to find out why and what to do to get your account back in good standing.

What Is a TikTok "Shadow Ban" 

Shadow banning occurs when a social media platform intentionally limits the organic reach of a user's account as a result of some action by the user that the platform doesn't like.

The degree of shadow banning might vary from minor to completely cut off from organic exposure on the platform and maybe even to your existing followers. 

This is typically due to a violation of policy of some kind. Due to the ever evolving nature of social media algorithms, it's difficult to tell exactly what causes a shadow ban but we can make some very educated guesses based on the many real world examples we've seen. 

The term "shadow banning" has been around for as long as there have been social media algorithms. For example, Twitter users in 2006 had their content hidden from the public if Twitter deemed fit. 

This is no different with TikTok. Due to the massive amount of exposure that is "free" from the platform, a real shadow ban can be very obvious.

Your videos might normally get 10,000+ views each and then, seemingly out of the blue, your latest videos are barely reaching 50 views a piece. 

How Can I Tell If My TikTok Is Shadow Banned?

Just because it might seem like your organic reach dropped tremendously doesn't mean that you've been shadow banned.  However, here's how we can tell for sure. 

If you've received any traffic from the #foryou page, your account is NOT shadowbanned.

Checking this is simple. 

First, open up a video that you posted AFTER you believe the shadow ban started that has been live for at least 72 hours. 

From the video click the "..." towards the bottom right.

TikTok Shadow Ban Tutorial

Next click on "Analytics"

TikTok Analytics to See if you're shadowbanned

You will see the traffic sources on the analytics page. If you have even a single view from the For You page, you're not shadow banned.

TikTok Shadow Ban Example

I want to give a shout out to YouTuber Robert Benjamin for showing me how to do this in this video.

What Causes a Shadow Ban on TikTok?

There are a number of reasons why TikTok might temporarily shadow ban your account from the platform. 

  • Violating community guidelines
  • Being banned from a live video
  • Removing videos
  • Making videos private
  • Buying fake engagement
  • Buying fake followers
  • Using copyrighted audio or video
  • Using certain hashtags (whether fair or not)
  • Exploited a minor (made them afraid, put in danger or ashamed)

The common denominator here is that you're doing something that is harming the platform and TikTok doesn't want to reward you with free views for it. 

How Long Does a Tik Tok Shadow Ban Last?

The average shadow ban length, unfortunately, is growing. At the early stages of TikTok, it was around 24 hrs. Then it went to about 3 days. Then a week. Now they are up to about 2 weeks.

How Do You Get Rid of the Tik Tok Shadow Ban?

First, you need to understand why your account was shadow banned. Refer to TikTok's Community Guidelines if the things I mentioned above don't apply. 

If you still can't find an explanation, you might be collateral damage to their bots. That is, your content is being throttled because an automation mistook something for a violation and banned you accordingly. 

Once you've tried to locate the cause, do the following.

#1 Delete any content that may have been against TikTok's terms and conditions or community guidelines.

#2 Clear your TikTok cache.

#3 Continue posting content regularly (1x per day) ensuring that the content you post is clean and meets all of the community guidelines.

#4 Wait up to 14 days and review your analytics for For You views.

If after 14 days you still aren't receiving any for you page views, try to...

#5 Delete the app and re-download.

Then...

#6 Escalate to the TikTok support team.


About the author

Nate is the founder and main contributor of EntreResource.com. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur who spends his time building businesses and raising his four kids Sawyer, Brooks, Van and Lua with his beautiful wife Emily. His main interests include copywriting, economics and piano.

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