TikTok recently updated the community guidelines to de-list “adult themes” from the For You Page

TikTok is notorious for banning adult creators or censoring their voices even if the content they are posting on the platform isn’t adult content and they stuck to their guns on March 7th, 2022. The mobile app well known for being a hub for “spicy accountants” to market themselves added new rules to their community guidelines that caused concern among adult performers because of the blatant admission of the applications intent to shadowban creators that they believe are creating “Overtly Sexualized Content.” Rather than calling it a shadowban (which is clearly what it is) they instead are saying that specific types of content will be “Ineligible for the For You feed.”

Let’s read the fine print

The update to their terms reads, “The goal of the For You feed (FYF) is to provide original content that honors our mission of inspiring creativity and bringing joy to our diverse community around the world. Each account holder’s FYF is based on a personalized recommendation system. Our recommendation system is designed with user safety as a primary consideration, meaning that some content may not be eligible for recommendation. While the spontaneity of the FYF is what makes TikTok unique, the FYF is intended for a general audience that includes everyone from our teenage users to great grandparents. We consider the breadth of our audience when we determine what content is eligible for algorithmic promotion on the platform. Provided that it does not violate local laws, the following types of content may be allowed on our platform, searchable, and viewed in Following feeds but not eligible for recommendation.” TikTok clearly states in this paragraph that the content they list is allowed but will basically be shadowbanned.

Prior to this update, all content posted was eligible for the For You Feed (more commonly known as the For You Page, weird flex on the name change!) They continue to list the ineligible types of content and rather than say adult content, they call it “Overtly Sexualized Content.” It reads, “We are mindful that not all content may be suitable for all users (particularly our teenage users) and/or may be culturally inappropriate in certain regions. To help maintain a comfortable and age-appropriate experience, content that is overtly sexually suggestive may not be eligible for recommendation. This would include content that depicts implied nudity, sexualizes body parts, or is blatantly erotic or sensual (e.g., strip teases).”

How are they determining For You Feed eligibility? Is it automated?

An initial concern of mine and other adult creators was that one flag on your account or previously being reported would result in your For Your Feed eligibility being entirely revoked and I am happy to report that doesn’t seem like the case! It would appear that if something you post alerts the system to potentially being risky, it sits in a queue and awaits a real human to actually review the video and decide on it’s post eligibility. There are 3 possibilities here; it gets posted and is recommended on the For You Feed (best option), it gets posted but is restricted to only your followers, or it gets removed and you receive a warning with the option to submit an appeal. The wait time for this process can vary from one hour to multiple days but if you upload a video and notice it is sitting there with 0 views for a prolonged period of time then it’s more than likely being held for review. There are some downsides to the human review queue which include not being able to ensure you’re posting during your viewers active watch times but there is also the benefit of the video being less likely to be removed for community guideline infringements in the future since it was reviewed before launch.

What do these new guidelines mean for my account?

These new guidelines mean that you may be making content that goes out to only the group of people following you rather than the For You Page, so you should now create “bait” content that is safe enough to land on the For You Feed and encourage people to follow you. Having variety in your videos so that at least half of them are landing on the For You Feed will help keep traffic coming to your spicy videos, continue to grow your followers, and overall make TikTok not totally unusable as a marketing source.

Want to learn more about marketing your spicy content?

Consider booking a consultation with me if you’re confused about how to market using TikTok! I have years of experience utilizing TikTok to market and grow my platforms including my social media and fanclub platforms. Not ready for that kind of commitment? Check out my blog about marketing on TikTok as an adult creator.

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