Why is your Instagram shadowbanned? Tips and a rant from Legendary Social Media Vancouver


Got no likes on your latest Instagram selfie? Did your last #foodporn pic of your ramen dinner not get the #feedme comments you’ve grown used to?

People of Instagram, we are under attack by the platform itself. Instagram is shadowbanning accounts at an increasing rate.

Our Vancouver social media agency manages a slew of Instagram accounts for our clients. We looked into why this is happening, and laid it all out for you here.

What is the Instagram shadowban?

In short, getting shadowbanned means Instagram no longer shows your posts in people’s newsfeed. So when other Instagrammers scroll, your most recent picture of your puppy rolling in a mountain of garbage doesn’t get seen.

Shadowbanning also renders your hashtags pretty much useless. So although you added #pupstagram, #puppiesofig and #iguessitsbathtime to your caption, your award-winning photo doesn’t appear in the recent posts feed for those hashtags.


Why accounts get shadowbanned

Most often, Instagram accounts get shadowbanned when they do “bad stuff” that Instagram doesn’t like.

This includes:

Using a bot

Bots or apps that automate likes, follows and comments for you to increase engagement and followers is against Instagram’s policy. Doing so could get you on the naughty list.

Using a banned hashtaginstagram shadowban - legendary social media vancouver

Incredibly, #dogsofinstagram was banned because people misused it and ruined things for everyone (thanks a lot…). #asia is currently banned. Go figure…

Using the same hashtags over and over

This is a new one. But if you just copy and paste your hashtag cloud onto everything you post to Instagram, that can get you shadowbanned.

Getting reported

Those risque bathroom selfies or outright sexual/gross/spammy pictures you see in your feed can cause real-world problems. Not just the obvious problems, but if your photo or account gets reported for inappropriate content, that’s grounds for shadowbanning. So cut it out.

How to get un-shadowbanned

It’s usually pretty easy to un-shadowban your account. Here are a few things to try:

  • Stop all activity on your Instagram for 48 hours. You’ll likely be un-shadowbanned after that.
  • Stop using bots. They’re not “social” anyway, friends!
  • Click on each of the hashtags you use. If you see a message that pops up saying that hashtag has been disabled, stop using it, as it might be the culprit. Check this list of banned hashtags on Instagram.
  • Mix up your hashtags. No more copy and pasting. Get some variety in there.
  • Make an appeal to Instagram. Do it here.


And now a little rant from Legendary Social Media Vancouver

First, let me say that I LOVE Instagram. Like, too much. I love mindlessly looking at pictures and videos posted by people I’ll never meet, and food porn pictures from my friends.

But I’ve got to say that while Instagram has good intentions behind its shadowbanning spree, it’s causing legit accounts a lot of headache for no good reason. How would normal people know not to use #asia? Why punish regular people for doing what Instagram was all about, all along?

And overusing hashtags? Instagram wants us to change all the hashtags, every time we post. That can be a LOT of work.

I guess that’s why Vancouver social media management agencies like ours are in higher demand than ever: Instagram is (like Facebook) becoming more of a “job” than a fun social media platform for people to connect on.


Have you been shadowbanned? Need help upping your Instagram game? Drop us a line!


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