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What is an Instagram Shadow Ban and How Can I Avoid It?

Jan 24, 2019

What is the Instagram Shadow Ban?

The Instagram Shadow Ban is a ban that renders your posts invisible to the general Instagram Population through hashtag search results. All your posts, however, will still be visible to people who follow your account. As is implied by the name, users do not know that their posts are inaccessible through the hashtags unless they check.

How can I tell if I’ve been Shadow Banned?

In order to tell if you’ve been shadow banned, you can search for your posts under the hashtags attached to it. You can also use Triberr’s Instagram Shadow Ban tester, found at:

Why did the Instagram Shadow Ban come into practice?

The Instagram Shadow Ban came into practice in order to help protect its users from bots and spam accounts. It is also used to help filter out accounts and posts that do not comply with their rules and terms of use.


Why would my post be Shadow Banned?

It isn’t completely clear why a post may be shadow banned as Instagram have released no official statement on it. However, bloggers and businesses that are experiencing trouble as a result of the ban believe that it could be due to your post matching one of the protective algorithms or filters used on Instagram. It is estimated that your post is more likely to be banned if you over-use hashtags or use banned hashtags (though there is no way to find out which ones are banned). Your post is also likely to be banned if you follow or like too many accounts in an ‘inhumane’ rhythm. Naturally, you don’t like every post that you see, so by liking several pictures in quick succession the algorithm seems to pick it up as bot activity.

How can I fix/avoid the Shadow Ban?

In order to try to remove the shadow ban from your posts, you should identify hashtags that ‘flag up’ on your posts and change or remove them. Post high quality content and don’t use ‘bot follower accounts’. You should also be careful about how many hashtags and what hashtags you use in a post as the use of too many hashtags or banned hashtags may lead to your post being flagged by the algorithm. If possible, you could also take a break from Instagram for a day or two so that you don’t like or comment on anything, and it should help to reset the algorithm.


Check out our blog on How to Cook Up the Perfect Instagram Post! to help you avoid the shadow ban! The Creation Lab can also help by managing your social media for you! To find out more information, contact us!


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