How to Remove Ghost Followers on TikTok

How to Remove Ghost Followers on TikTok

There are a few different ways you can remove ghost followers, but most of them will require either some work on your part or payment to another person or company to take care of your ghost following problem.

What Is A Ghost Follower on TikTok?

A ghost follower on TikTok is an account within the TikTok platform for someone who follows your TikTok content but essentially remains inactive on the platform and does not participate in the typical behavior of TikTok users.

Sometimes, you will hear of a ghost account on TikTok referred to as a “ghost”, a “lurker”, or a “ghost account”, but these are all just different titles for the same concept.

The concept of a ghost follower is also not exclusive to only TikTok’s platform; you also hear about these types of accounts on other social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.

Frequently, a ghost follower is not a real person and is actually a bot. These bots can find innocent TikTok profiles and follow them for a variety of reasons.

The two most common reasons for a ghost follower landing on your TikTok follower list are a scammer created to try and access your personal information or a TikTok creator paid for followers to increase their platform.

Remember that your TikTok profile is automatically set to “Public Mode”, meaning any person, including a ghost follower, can follow you without having to obtain your permission.

You can alter your profile to be in “Private Mode” through your TikTok’s settings. If you change your profile to “Private Mode”, your TikTok content will not be visible to another account unless you accept their request to follow you.

Can You Remove Ghost Followers on TikTok?

Yes, removing any ghost followers from your TikTok’s following list is possible. In fact, it is encouraged.

There are a few different ways you can remove ghost followers, but most of them will require either some work on your part or payment to another person or company to take care of your ghost following problem.

How to Remove Ghost Followers on TikTok

Before you open your list of TikTok Followers and start removing suspected ghost followers, you will need to identify which accounts are actually ghosted followers and which accounts are legitimate. There are some tips later in this article to help you make that assessment.

Once you have certified that there are, in fact, ghost followers who are following your TikTok account, you will need to remove them.

Luckily for you, multiple options are available to clean up your TikTok followers list.

1. Pay Someone to Manually Go Through Your Followers and Remove Them

The task of manually going through your followers and removing them is no big deal if you are only dealing with a small handful of accounts on your followers list.

However, if you have thousands of followers, that task is going to take a long time and seem pretty overwhelming.

In the pre-internet world, if someone needed to hire someone to do something for them, they would turn to the phonebook or the newspaper and look up the service they required. Fortunately for you, you can just turn to the internet.

There are numerous options available to you whenever you need to hire someone to do anything for you related to technology. One platform many uses to accomplish things like removing ghost followers from their TikTok account is Upwork

Upwork operates the same way that a phonebook or newspaper classified page used to in that it connects you with different people that you can pay to do all sorts of jobs for you, except your list of available options is not limited to your nearby location.

The cost varies depending on who you choose, but if you do not have the time to do it yourself, you can certainly hire someone else to do it for you.

You will only need to search for the task you need completed and then look through the available list of people who can complete it for you.

Be careful with this method, as it will likely require you to supply your TikTok account login information so that the Upwork person you hire is able to access your followers and start sorting them.

2. Remove Accounts That Look Fake

If you would rather save your money or protect your privacy and remove the potential ghost followers yourself, then you will have to do it manually. The time required for this will vary depending on your number of followers.

To remove anyone who follows you, whether they are a legitimate follower or a ghost follower, you will first need to locate the list of your TikTok followers.

You can easily access this list by going to your TikTok profile page and tapping on the “Followers” section at the top of the page. This will show you the TikTok accounts that are following you.

Now, it is time to start sifting. Sometimes, you can tell that an account is a legitimate follower just by the information given to you from the follower’s list.

If the profile picture is someone you recognize and they have an original TikTok handle, they could very well be a legitimate follower. If they have a blue checkmark next to their username, they are a verified TikTok profile, so you can definitely skip over these followers.

Regardless of whether you can tell just from your followers list or if you have to go to that account’s profile, the act of removing an account is the same.

If you are on your followers list, you will see a red “Follow Back” button next to anyone who is following you that you do not follow. If there is a light grey box that says “Friends”, it means that you both follow each other.

Next to these titles, you will see three vertically stacked dots. Tap on the dot for each profile that you suspect is a fake account and select the “Remove Follower” option. It will not send them a notification if you choose to remove them.

If you are on an individual TikTok user’s profile and suspect they are a fake account and you wish to remove them, you will choose the three vertical dots in the top right corner.

A screen that gives you a few different options will appear, but to remove them, select the “Remove Follower” option.

Sometimes ghost follower accounts find themselves banned, but they still appear on your follower’s list.

You can verify that they have been banned by going to their individual TikTok profile page; however, to remove them, you will need to return to your follower’s page and use the three vertical dots to remove them as a follower”.

If you are not sure if a follower is a fake account, there are a few signs that you can look for:

Do they have a profile picture? This is not a guarantee, but no profile picture at all might be suspicious.

Is their TikTok handle an actual username? If the username contains the word “user” with a series of numbers behind it, it is definitely a potential ghost follower.

Also, if their username is a celebrity’s name, it should be a warning. Celebrities are often verified on TikTok, and unless it is clearly a fan account, you might want to steer clear and remove them.

On your followers list, does it show their name above their TikTok handle, or does it just say “TikToker”?

Again, it is not a guaranteed indicator, but if you start trying to go to the profile pages for the people on your followers list that say “TikToker” instead of an actual name, you will often see the notification that the TikTok account has been banned.

Is there a disproportionate number of followers versus following listed on their profile? Ghost followers are often bots, so if there are not many accounts following them but a ton of accounts that they are following, it might be an indicator of a ghost follower.

Are there any videos posted on their TikTok profile? If their account is set to private and you do not follow them back, you will see a notification that their account is private.

You can always follow them back quickly if you suspect they are a ghost follower to see if there is content and then unfollow and remove them if your suspicions are confirmed.

3. Block Accounts That You’ve Never Seen In Your Notifications

Regardless of whether your account is in “Public Mode” or “Private Mode”, TikTok will still send you notifications unless you disable the feature.

To see your TikTok notifications, open your TikTok app and go to your inbox on the bottom screen. The first section will say “Activities” and have an arrow. Tap on the arrow, and you can see the people who requested to follow you as well as other information.

Take note of which accounts you see within your TikTok notifications, and then go back to your follower list. If there are names listed on your follower’s list, but there are zero notifications for their account, it could be a sign they are ghost followers and need to be blocked.

To block an account on TikTok, you will either need to go to each individual profile page for the users you want to block. To do this, you will manually need to search for them or you can use your TikTok follower list to access their TikTok profile easily.

To block manually from each account, go to the account holder’s profile page and tap on the three vertical dots in the top right corner. A menu with different options will appear.

Select the “Block” option. TikTok will ask you to confirm your decision by pressing “Block”.

4. Block Accounts That Have No Profile Picture and Never Post

You will receive a notification from TikTok any time someone follows you, regardless of whether you have a public or private Tiktok account.

Depending on when you receive the notification, you might not even pay attention to it, especially if you have a public TikTok account; however, these notifications can alert you to ghost followers.

Whenever you find that you have a new follower, look at their profile page. Is there a profile picture missing?

Sure, it is possible the account is newer and just has not gotten around to including a profile picture yet, but considering uploading a profile picture is part of the TikTok account creation process, it is a little suspicious.

It is even less likely that the account is legitimate if there is no profile picture but numerous people that the account is following.

From their profile page, also look to see if they have posted any content. If there is zero content and no profile picture, block them.

Keep in mind that some TikTok users only have accounts so they can scroll through TikTok, and posting content is not required to have a TikTok account; however, those profiles will still typically have a profile picture.

If you do not know them in real life and there are not a fairly proportioned number of followers and following accounts for their profile, you might want to block them.

How to Avoid Ghost Followers in the First Place

Ghost followers are not the type of followers that TikTok account holders want on their follower list in the first place, but they do happen all the time.

The most obvious answer to avoiding ghost followers is to set your profile to private mode, but this will only prevent future ghost followers from being able to access your content and will not do anything about the ghost followers already lurking on your follower list.

You would still have to go in and manually remove them.

Further, having a private TikTok account means that any content you post will only be visible to your followers and will not appear on TikTok’s “For You Page”, so the chance to connect with actual TikTok accounts and increase your following will be severely limited.

If you need to keep your TikTok profile public, then there are a few things that you can do to help you avoid ghost followers.

1. Don’t Buy TikTok Accounts With Pre-Existing Followers

TikTok accounts are free to create, but you must start from scratch regarding followers. There are places online where you can purchase a TikTok account that already has pre-existing followers, which is sometimes done when someone wants to gain notoriety quickly on TikTok.

After all, TikTok can potentially generate an income for you if you have enough followers and your content is interacted with frequently. Having many followers also helps you get verified more quickly, meaning you are closer to drawing a paycheck.

To avoid ghost followers, you should not purchase a TikTok account with pre-existing followers. Sure, it might seem like a good idea because you already show up with thousands of followers, but the quality of these followers is not disclosed.

The point of TikTok and becoming “TikTok famous” is to connect your content with real TikTok accounts, and ghost followers are not going to help because they do not share or interact with your uploads.

If you want a legitimate following on TikTok, you need to start with a legitimate TikTok account.

2. Don’t Pay For Followers

Similar to purchasing a TikTok account with pre-existing followers, purchasing followers for your legitimate TikTok account is a likely way to end up with ghost followers.

Whenever you purchase followers, you do not get to choose the quality of followers, so you gamble your money hoping for an outcome that is not likely.

Paying for followers could also result in already existing followers choosing to unfollow you, so the process could be counter-intuitive.

If your ghost followers actually account for scammers, paying them to follow you means they now have access to your followers and can use the information to go after them.

If you want a quality list of followers, you will need to stick to the organic method of gaining followers naturally and going viral because you have good content, not because you paid for more followers.

3. Don’t Pay For Engagement

Paying for engagement is the same concept as paying for followers. Sure, it can potentially help your content go viral, but when legitimate accounts encounter the video on their “For You Page” and potentially figure it out, you have just lost yourself an actual follower.

The more engagement a video has, the more likely it will appear for accounts to see, depending on each account’s TikTok algorithm.

You do not want to pay for engagement on TikTok because the quality of the engagement is not guaranteed. Further, if someone figures it out, you might find yourself back where you started and will have wasted your money.

4. Ask Soon As An Account Follows You That Look Like A Spam Account, Block Them

Whenever you find yourself with a new follower, you might want to follow them back to show your appreciation immediately. Though it is good manners, you might want to check on the follower’s profile page first.

If their account appears to be a spam account, block them. Doing so protects the integrity of your follower’s list and ensures that your content is actually being seen by legitimate accounts.

Post More Engaging Content, So You Get More Engagement

If you want to gain TikTok notoriety, you need to do it the organic way. Your TikTok popularity depends on the quality of content you post, so start posting more engaging videos.

The more actual accounts interact with your videos and follow you, the more popularity you will encounter. The more popular your videos are, the more likely they will be available on different users’ “For You Page”, meaning you will see your follower’s list grow with actual, legitimate accounts and not ghost followers.

If you are not sure what you should do to make your Tiktok more engaging, go check out the people that you follow by accessing your following list from your TikTok profile.

Pay special attention to verified profiles, and watch some of their content to see what they are doing right. Often, you will see that they not only post something worthy of gaining a follower, but they also interact with the followers inside the video’s comment section.

By no means should you just copy what you are already seeing; after all, your content needs to be creative and original if you want to have a reputable list of followers.

You can, however, get ideas from accounts that have already figured it out or go onto YouTube and watch tutorials to create content that is more worthy of engagement.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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