Why are TikTok posts being 'shadowbanned' and placed 'under review'?

TikTok creators upset about getting shadowbanned and getting reviewed by the app (Image via TikTok/Facbook and alasi/Getty Images)
TikTok creators upset about getting shadowbanned and getting reviewed by the app (Image via TikTok/Facbook and alasi/Getty Images)

Clearly, TikTok isn't a niche platform anymore with thousands of new users registering on the app every day. Consequently, it has become crucial for the space to be monitored carefully, which has resulted in the app's AI system getting stricter by the day.

It has already been observed that the app is increasingly flagging more content that could be dangerous or violate the platform's guidelines. However, unsuspecting creators sometimes fall into the AI's radar without any violations and get wrongfully shadowbanned or placed under review.

Shadowban restrictsTikTok content from being seen

A shadowban restricts content from landing on the FYP (For You Page) or followers' feeds, affecting the creator's growth. This impedes the interaction a user gets with their account and can feel incredibly frustrating. Shadow bans are not permanent, but can last from two weeks to a month, delaying a creator's growth.

There is no clear reason for shadow bans but it usually occurs if a user violates community guidelines, like graphic content or rude comments. However, the app's AI can occasionally shadowban accounts for the wrong reasons.

Multiple users were banned in the middle of 2021, for wearing chokers, collars and harnesses, which were a fashion rage at the time.


Videos under review stay hidden until approved

While there is no known reason for an account to get reviewed, this usually occurs if the user has mildly violated the guidelines. The video under review will not show up on the user's feed and will only get posted after the review is completed, which can take anywhere from an hour to a few days.

The primary issue with a video being under review is that the content loses those vital first few hours where it could have gained the most viewer counts. Sometimes, this problem can be resolved by simply logging out or contacting the in-app help option.

While they might feel the same, 'shadowbans' and 'under review' affect accounts differently on TikTok. Normally, with 'shadowbans,' users can post and interact with their video and the video itself will still show up on a few followers' feeds as well. However, shadow-banned accounts will see less traffic than usual.

However, 'under review' videos will stay hidden until approved by the app, thereby preventing the content from getting any traction.

Creators suffer the most from such bans

These shadowbans obviously affect creators significantly, directly threatening their source of income. Charli D’Amelio, the most followed TikToker, called out the app on Twitter for a similar issue.

To avoid receiving such bans, users must always remember to follow the guidelines. Videos should not include any violence, bullying, illegal activities, graphic content, self-harm, n***ty and racism.

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Edited by Atul S