Tinder is an amazingly popular dating app that helps singles from all over the world hookup, go on dates – and even find love.
But while Tinder sounds like a recipe for dating success, it can also be VERY frustrating.
In this article, I’m going to take a look at one of the most frustrating things about Tinder: The Tinder shadowban. I’ll be revealing exactly what it is – as well as the steps you must take in order to get rid of it.
If you break Tinder’s community guidelines, Tinder will do one of two things:
- Tinder will either kick you right out by shutting your account down completely.
- Tinder will shadowban you.
What's Tinder Shadowban?
Tinder's shadowban is supposedly different from an outright ban. When Tinder shadowban’s you, they remove a number of your privileges. When you are shadowbanned, you can no longer:
- Send messages
- Swipe right for people
- Match with people
- Receive messages
I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking “wtf! What’s the point of even using Tinder if I’m shadowbanned?”
It’s a good question. See, when Tinder shadowban you, your profile is effectively worthless. You can still log in to the app and look through your current matches and past conversations, but you can’t really DO anything. You certainly can’t arrange dates! What gives?
Let’s explore this some more …
Why Does Tinder Shadowban?
Tinder doesn’t just shadowban random profiles for no good reason. If you’ve been shadowbanned, it’s highly likely because you’ve been reported by at least one other user for inappropriate behavior.
What’s less unclear is why Tinder would shadowban a user instead of outright banning them. My personal theory for this is that Tinder permanently shuts down free accounts but decides to shadowban paying accounts.
This way, YOU still can’t really do anything on the app but Tinder continues to take your cash until you realize you’ve been shadowbanned. It’s sneaky but it wouldn’t at all surprise me if this is the case. That said, there is no clear evidence that this is true.
How to Tell If You're Shadowbanned?
Users tend to suspect that they’ve been shadowbanned by the app when a few weird things start happening.
First, their matches drop off. Where they used to get at least a handful of matches a week, they now don’t get any.
Second, any matches they’ve landed recently never message back. Sometimes, they’ll test this out by messaging older matches just to see if they reply. But nope! No matter how awesome their opening message is, NO ONE replies. It’s almost like they’re a ghost LOL (and, indeed, many users refer to being shadowbanned as being turned into a ghost).
Third, they use Tinder Gold but even that has started to work against them. Whereas previously they would get a few new “Likes” each week, they now get zero.
Fourth, the app itself has actually sent them a warning for “inappropriate behavior.” This is the biggest giveaway that you’ve been shadowbanned. In fact, unless you get a message from Tinder warning you of your inappropriate behavior, there isn’t really any reason to suspect that you’ve been shadowbanned.
See, I’ve had emails from guys and girls in the past who are worried that they’ve been shadowbanned. Their matches have tailed off and no one seems to be replying to them. Usually, though, this is down to either changes in the algorithm, bad luck, or problems with their own profile (such as poor photos). If it’s down to changes in the algorithm, a quick reset of your profile is often a way to get your matches and conversations back on track.
In other words, you can only be sure you’ve been shadowbanned if you’re getting zero matches, no one is replying to your messages, and Tinder has warned you about your conduct.
With all that in mind …
How do I get Unshadowbanned from Tinder?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of reversing a shadowban, let’s be clear: Reversing a shadowban isn’t rocket science and you don’t have to be some sort of evil genius hacker type person who knows how to code. At the same time, it isn’t super easy, either.
The first thing you need to do is make a list of the things Tinder knows about you. This is because, if you’re to ‘reverse’ a shadowban, Tinder must not know that it’s you.
For example, if you use the same Facebook account to create a second profile, Tinder will know who you are right away and the shadowban will stay in place.
It’s the same if you use the same phone number, the same IP address – and even the same photos. Yup, seriously. Tinder’s robots are VERY smart and they will recognize your pics. So you need to change all of that stuff if you’re to ever land matches ever again.
With that all said, the next thing you need to do is open your settings in the Tinder app. From there, delete your account. Don’t hover over the ‘Delete Account’ button worried that you’ll regret this. Just go ahead and do it.
Don’t stop there, either – delete Tinder from your phone.
Next, go to the Facebook page that you linked to your profile. Head over to settings, locate “apps and websites” and find the Tinder icon.
Found it? Good. Now remove it.
Then, you’ll need a new SIM card.
I know, this already sounds like a lot of hassle. But it’s worth it.
Once you’ve inserted your new SIM into your phone, you’ll need to create an entirely new Apple ID or Google account. This shouldn’t take too long, and once it’s down you need to unplug your router and plug it back in again.
Why? To reset your IP address. Et voila.
Now, you can re-download Tinder and install it on your phone and set up a new account.
Remember, though, that you shouldn’t use the same photos as last time. Don’t link out to your old social media profiles, too. This is just playing into Tinder’s hands.
Also, avoid the rookie mistake of paying for boosts or Tinder Gold with the same payment method you used last time.
So, you’ve now learned a) what a Tinder shadowban is, b) why Tinder implements a shadowban and c) what you need to do to reverse your shadowban.
As you can see, reversing a shadowban requires a bit of effort (and a new SIM card!), so you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Personally, I think it is because Tinder is easily one of the best dating apps out there.
However, Tinder likely shadowbanned you for a reason. If they sent you a message warning you about your inappropriate behavior, you should take heed and make sure that you obey the rules and guidelines the second time around. I’ve helped you out this time, but you can’t keep buying new SIM cards all the time, huh?