There are hoards of so-called TikTok “expert” accounts on the app and on YouTube, and they swear that TikTok does not shadowban users. I call bullshit.
Urban Dictionary defines a shadowban as “banning a user from a web forum in such a way that the banned user is unaware of the ban…” and it adds that it’s “considered underhanded chicken-shit behavior.” It then cites the overall censorship of said user’s content to the extent that no one else sees it, as an example. While a strict application of the exemplar cannot be applied to TikTok’s brand of suppression, it seems as though the common understanding of the term, among content creators and app users, signifies the type of low-grade suppression experienced when there’s an obvious shift in user engagement with no formal admonition from app moderation protocols.
I decided not to leave TikTok. I strategized: I will stop creating talking head videos and stick to a scenes-with-voiceover style video going forward. After a stretch of 6 of these, on the seventh video, I felt as though I broke out of whatever slump I’d fallen into on the algorithm. Video 7 has 23.1K views, after 3 days, video 8 has 44.9K. I was elated! Maybe the app is releasing my videos again. I will try very carefully not to misstep, so I can build on this momentum. I filmed Video 9. Same basic style, except I included some talking head action, and I did a bit more editorializing. That video spent hours on the platform before hitting 1K. Video 10? I reverted to the style of the vids that performed better, and I even went back to a similar topic as the ones in the tens of thousands of views. You’d think it would have turned around, but no.
I received no warnings or any other kind of notifications from the app for any problematic content or behavior. I’ve no explanation for the immense change, both upwards and again back down. If this isn’t underhanded and chicken shit app moderation, I don’t know what is!
TikTok “experts” are liars and charlatans, and I will tell you more about it in the video below.