TikTok is unlike any other social media platform. It gets to know users quite quickly and it's the perfect area for artistic expression, especially dance. However, despite being extremely popular, TikTok is not available everywhere. Some countries have even imposed a ban on TikTok.
Moreover, as a platform made up of mostly young users, TikTok has established strict guidelines and failure to follow them results in temporary account bans. These efforts have led users to come up with different ways to circumvent these prohibitions.
But with TikTok, that's often easier said than done. This article will explore the main causes of TikTok being banned and the best ways to circumvent them.
Where is TikTok banned?
Before figuring out which countries have banned TikTok, let's see why they would do it in the first place. Some countries have temporarily banned or censored TikTok due to its "inappropriate content".
This type of ban is usually issued by conservative governments. This was the case in Bangladesh and Indonesia, where TikTok was briefly banned, then reinstated but with new censorship.
In Pakistan, TikTok is completely banned due to “inappropriate content”. In July 2022, the app was banned there for the fourth time.
The other, most common cause of TikTok bans is the perception of security threats associated with the platform. The problem stems from the fact that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance. Some governments believe that even a private Chinese company cannot refuse their government's request to access user data. These concerns have led the Indian government to ban the use of TikTok in the country since June 2022.
Still, there were nearly 200 million TikTok users in India, and the country was the company's biggest overseas market. Naturally, the news of this ban echoed around the world and prompted other countries to consider banning TikTok as well.
What other reasons could get you banned?
Countries banning TikTok are well known, but TikTok can ban users even in the country where the app is freely used. This happens when specific users violate TikTok's community guidelines.
Over the years, TikTok has had its share of controversies, mostly over the type of content it offers. As the popularity of the app grew, so did the guidelines.
Although there is a lot of content on TikTok that some might call controversial and problematic, users must break the platform's specific rules to get a ban. The Community Guidelines are explained in detail on the official TikTok Help page, and users should go through them in detail.
Most of the rules are aimed at keeping dangerous actions away from the platform. Therefore, users who promote any type of violence, extremism, hateful behavior and illegal activities will receive an automatic ban.
Additionally, users creating content that contains an invitation to self-harm, sexual activity, or endangering a minor will be kicked out of TikTok. Finally, users can be temporarily banned if the app detects spam activity or is reported by users as spam.
How to Bypass a TikTok Ban
In general, if TikTok has banned your account due to violations of community guidelines, there is no way to circumvent it. You can appeal and ask for the ban to be lifted, but we'll talk about that later.
However, bypassing a TikTok ban is only a viable option if you're using the app in a country where it's not officially banned. If you were to travel to India, for example, you wouldn't be able to use your TikTok app, whether you were banned or not.
The only solution to a ban is to use a trustworthy virtual private network (VPN) service. But how does it work exactly? First, you should know that a VPN connects your device to a server in another part of the country or world, making your IP address appear to be based there.
So, to bypass a TikTok ban, you need to choose a VPN that can successfully hide your real IP location from TikTok.
With this process, it's best to forget about free services and choose a great product like ExpressVPN. It's super-fast, offers a massive number of server locations, and has great customer support.
So here's how you can use ExpressVPN to access TikTok in a country where it's banned:
- On the official website, subscribe to the VPN service.
- Then download the Android or iOS mobile app to your phone.
- Log in to your account, then select a VPN server in a country that supports TikTok. Make sure to choose the geographically closest country as you will get better speeds.
If you are having trouble with this method, you may need to factory reset your phone and remove it from any identification.
If the local internet service provider is blocking the TikTok mobile app, even the VPN won't help. However, if TikTok has simply been removed from app stores, the VPN can work around this problem.
Keep in mind that even if your ISP has banned the TikTok app, you will still be able to access it through a browser on the TikTok website, phone, or computer.
Can I recover my banned account with these methods?
It can be very upsetting to wake up one morning and find that your TikTok account has been banned. TikTok has been known to suspend user accounts for various issues, often in a massive purge at a time.
This can pose a particular problem for users with large followings who have made careers on TikTok. There is, however, some light at the end of this dark tunnel.
Even if your account has been banned, it is possible to recover it. TikTok rightly removes many accounts, but some users have been unfairly affected. So if something like this happens to you and you think it was done by mistake, here's what you should do:
1. Open the notification from TikTok informing you that you have been banned.
2. Press "Call".
3. Follow all on-screen prompts.
You will have the opportunity to claim the reasons why your account was banned in error. TikTok will review your appeal and determine the correct course of action.
TikTok has a term for these situations. They call it “human moderation errors,” which means unfair bans do indeed happen.
Is using a VPN to bypass in a banned country illegal?
In India, the government has not made it illegal to circumvent the TikTok ban with a VPN. Many users rely on VPN services to enjoy TikTok content.
However, that doesn't mean it won't change in the future. But it is also possible that they will also lift the ban on TikTok. That's why it's essential to keep an eye out for these issues when traveling to a country where a specific app is banned.
How long does a TikTok ban last?
A temporary ban due to a violation of community guidelines can last from one day to two weeks. Once the suspension expires, you can resume your activities as usual, but you must take note of TikTok's policies.
However, there is also a permanent ban from TikTok. This usually happens when a user has violated multiple policies in a short period of time.
If this happens, you will see a message stating that your account has been permanently banned. The only recourse is to open a new TikTok account (under a different name) and follow all the rules.
Is TikTok banned in Hong Kong?
If you were to travel to Hong Kong, you would notice that he does not have access to TikTok. But that's not because it was banned. On the contrary, in mid-2022, TikTok decided to withdraw its services from Hong Kong.
They cited new security laws imposed by China on the city as the reason. Users who have enjoyed the app so far received a notification informing them of the shutdown of TikTok services in the city.
Will TikTok be banned in the United States?
Discussions about banning TikTok in the United States have been active for some time due to "national security risks". There has even been talk of an executive order that would immediately implement this ban. Fortunately, TikTok isn't banned or censored in the US at this time, but individual users can still be kicked off the platform or violate guidelines.
Enjoy TikTok trends safely everywhere
The popularity of TikTok is increasing day by day. So it's hard to imagine the app being banned or censored in some places. However, that's the reality, but users who love learning fun choreography and sketching have a way around it.
A VPN service can be incredibly effective, but it won't be a workaround if the local ISP has completely banned the mobile app. You can still enjoy TikTok through a browser, but that definitely dulls the experience.
Additionally, failure to follow community guidelines can result in individual bans from TikTok. Some of these prohibitions are temporary and serve as a warning, and others are permanent.
Has TikTok ever banned your account? Would you use a VPN to access TikTok? Let us know in the comments section below.