Secret Censorship: What is Behind Instagram’s ‘Shadow ban’ and how can you fix it?

By | April 1, 2021

Wondering why your Instagram reach has reduced all of a sudden? Use of an Instagram marketing and growth service has no impact on your number of followers? Well, there is a possibility that you have become shadowbanned. Wondering what that is? And why this has happened to you? Before you engage a crook Instagram service provider and their quick ‘fixes’, we recommend that you read the following article.


Being shadowbanned’ means that your content is no longer surfacing to the appropriate degree. Your current and even potential users cannot see your content on the explorer page, home page, or hashtag feeds. While shadowbanned, your account cannot be discovered by new followers, and neither can they follow or engage with your content.

How to check if you’ve been shadowbanned

With the explanation of what shadowbanning means, the following explanation will make sense. Find a friend who doesn’t follow you with their Instagram account. Post on your Instagram account using popular hashtags and request the friend to look up the feeds of those hashtags.

So if your post doesn’t show on the hashtag feeds of a person who doesn’t follow you, this means that you are shadowbanned.

Possible reasons for being shadowbanned

If you have confirmed that you have indeed been shadowbanned on Instagram, here are some possible reasons why:

  • Inappropriate content’. Instagram installed an automated reporting threshold on the social media site. If your account is reported ‘inappropriate’ several times, it will be shadowbanned.
  • Use of an automation service/settings. Before you jump to conclusions, this needs some clarification. Use of an automation service (Instagram bot) will not get you shadowbanned. Use of an automation service that uses servers or settings that put your account at risk however will.
  • A safe community. Like other social media platforms, Instagram is committed to protecting the Instagram community from harmful content. Once your account is flagged by a user for harmful content/behavior, Instagram will take all the necessary measures and that means being shadowbanned.

How can you fix it?

Don’t be dismayed. It is possible to get your account back to normal. Here’s how:

  • Use a different automated service. If the automated service/bot is not in adherence to Instagram’s terms of service, remove them immediately.
  • Use of hashtags. Some hashtags have been banned. You will need to review past content and remove all banned hashtags from your content. And in the future, be quite selective of the hashtags that you use.

Read Instagram’s terms of use and community guidelines. How many people do this? A very small percentage that we recommend you join. If you are using Instagram to promote your brand or business, then it will do you good to read and abide by the rules.