The Shadow Ban

What is the infamous shadow ban?

The shadow ban is Instagram’s attempt to rid the app of accounts that are not complying with Instagram’s terms and conditions. It makes your account essentially invisible to accounts that are not already following you and inhibits your ability to reach new accounts.

why do they ban accounts?

While it sounds scary and feels really frustrating, the shadow ban exists as a way for Instagram to protect us from spam accounts. Of course there is no way to know for sure what account is spam and what is not, so sometimes regular accounts succumb to the shadow ban. It's important to avoid using growth bots or anything that is not one of Instagram's approved partners.

How to check to see if you are shadow banned:

If you see a major drop in your account's engagement, this is a sign that you may be shadow banned. But don't freak out any time that your posts get less likes and comments than usual! There are many reasons why some posts do better than others. However, if you're worried that you may have been shadow banned, it's easy to check.

If you have a secondary account, sign into that. From that account, unfollow your account that may be shadow banned, then go to one of the hashtags that you recently used. Remember that large hashtags (more than 500k posts) may be difficult to spot your posts as they are being used so often. Have accounts check the smaller hashtags that you have been using.

If you see that account's post show up, hurray! You are not shadow banned. If you do not see that post, you might be shadow banned. It's good to check from a few different accounts, so ask some friends or family to check for you as well (make sure they unfollow you first).

Why were you banned?

  • Following accounts too quickly

  • Liking too many posts too quickly

  • Using banned hashtags

  • Using the same hashtags too many times

  • Posting the same exact comment on lots of different posts

  • Using apps that are against Instagram's Terms of Service

  • Other accounts are reporting your account

How to fix your shadow banned account:

First, relax. You won't be shadow banned forever, you just need to make sure that Instagram knows you are not a spam account. Here are some ways to get your account back to normal:

  • Take a 48 - 72 hour break from Instagram

  • Stop using any automation apps or websites

  • Remove any banned hashtags from your old posts

  • Report the problem to Instagram

    • Settings > Report a Problem > Something Isn’t Working

  • Temporarily switch back to a personal account

  • Follow Instagram’s terms from now on

  • Only use Official Instagram Partners