What is an Instagram Shadowban and why should I care?

If you’ve noticed that your Instagram just hasn’t been getting the same traction as it used to and you’re losing followers when you’re using all the right hashtags and posting regularly, you may be victim to what’s called a “shadowban”.

We’re here to explain what it is, why it’s happeneing and what you can do to avoid it.

What is a “shadowban”?

A “shadowban”, also known as a stealth ban, basically means blocking someone from posting content online without them knowing.

Shadowbans aren’t new, even though you probably haven’t heard about them until recently. Twitter has been banning content for a while to try and limit abusive content and block Tweeters who don’t abide by terms and conditions.

Instagram is doing this too, with the purpose being to stop Instagrammers from spamming the platform or posting content that is deemed too inapproaprite.

When you are shadowbanned on Instagram it means that your posts are blocked from other Insta users who aren’t your followers. This ultimately limits your potential to gain followers and grow your profile because you aren’t visible on the explore page.



What causes a shadowban?

Instagram’s shadowbanning techniques are sneaky, with lots of influencers and users having no idea that their content is being blocked.

That’s because some of the behaviour Instagram deems to be “inappropriate” seems perfectly innocent to the average Insta user. Using the same hashtag or hashtags in your posts is an example, with Instagram deeming this to be a form of spam.


So what causes your account to get shadowbanned? It may be one of a few things.

1) You’re using bots and/or buying your followers and likes

If you have bought your followers using aps or you use bots that act as you online, Instagram will punish you. Instagram is clever enough to know that your phone can’t be in two places at once.

2) You go on a crazy following/commenting/liking spree

Insta is pretty strict about what it determines to be spam so you even have to be careful going on liking, following or commenting sprees (which most of us do on the way to work if we’re honest). Being too active can be a bad thing.

3) You’re using the same hashtags for every single post

Instagram is also punishing people for using the same hashtags in every social media post. For example, if you’re a fitness blogger and in every post you use the same progression of hashtags like #fitness #fitnessinspiration #fitfam, Instagram will punish your account for being “spammy.”

4) The hasthatags you’re using are “broken”

Instagram is also strict about content being shared that’s deemed inappropriate. That may mean content that is too violent or too sexual. The way Instagrammers usually share this content is through hashtags so some hashtags have been blocked and are now broken. If you use these hashtags you may be shadowbanned as a result, even if your content isn’t actually inappropriate.

Some hashtags that are broken or restricted include:

– #bikinibody

– #bra

– #curvy


You can see a full list of restricted hashtags here


What can I do to avoid being shadowbanned?

There a few really simple things you can do to make sure your account isn’t being punished by Instagram. Make sure you:

– Aren’t using any bots or automated services that boost your followers, comments or likes.

– Aren’t using the same hashtags and the same progression of hashtags in every post. Make sure you’re mixing it up!

– Have a look at the hashtags that are restricted or totally banned on Instagram and make sure you don’t use them.

– Don’t go on aggressive liking, commenting, following or unfollowing sprees. As fun as it is, it isn’t good for your profile!