Has Your Instagram Account Been Hit by the Shadowban?

Here’s how you can make sure you’re in the clear.

Every so often, buzzwords start swirling around the social media landscape and the word of the moment is ‘shadow ban’, and everyone is freaking out.

What is a shadowban? It’s basically turning an account into a ghost, but not telling the user they are a ghost. So the users keeps uploading and hashtagging, but have no idea their hashtags aren’t working and that’s why their engagement is down because everything looks normal from their end, but in reality they’re now operating from a shadow.

How can you tell if you’re shadowbanned? There are 2 options: Have an account who does not follow you to try and find your photos under one of the hashtags you used. Or you can use this automatic tool to check for you.

How to get around it (for now) There are a few theories floating around that are said to assist in keeping your content in the clear:

  1. Stop automating your content. Every action you make on Instagram is sent from an IP address. So if you’re uploading and engaging from your phone, but you have a bot running in India, it’s clear that one of them is a third-party app and Instagram is rumoured to be cracking down on this activity.
  2. Start interacting with users organically. It’s what the platform was originally created for and like I previously mentioned, Isntagram can tell where your actions are coming from and it’s safer to do it all from your phone.
  3. Try putting your hashtags in your caption. When using the automatic shadowban checker, I went from being banned to in the clear when I put my hashtags in the caption.
  4. Check your hashtags. Believe it or not, banned hashtags do exist. Why? Overly used hashtags start to get diluted with unrelated content, like porn/ spam, etc. so when this happens, Instagram blacklists the hashtag and using it can actually disable your image, causing all the hashtags you used in the same cluster to not work. Click here for a full list of banned hashtags.

  • that is indeed terrifying getting your account banned… hope it won’t happen to mine!

    The Fashion Matters– Travel & Fashion Blog

    • Jessica Luxe

      It’s not a full-ban and luckily from what I know, it’s not permanent and on an image to image basis so if it ever happens to you, you can always fix it!

  • Thanks so much for listing the site that checks your Instagram, I’ve just had a look and mine is safe (‘for tonight’ haha!). You’re so right about the banned hashtags, it’s amazing how many have made it already onto the banned list!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • Jessica Luxe

      I know 😐 I’m so glad I looked into it and could share it so we can all get educated!

  • Instagram has gotten so complicated lately. Why can’t it be more simple? I have definitely been a victim of this so-called shadowban. I’ve got a lot of TLC to give my Instagram account this weekend. Thanks for the tips!

    xx Yasmin


    • Jessica Luxe

      Your content is too good to be in the shadows, Yasmin! I hope it works for you xx

  • Ugh the shadow ban has been killing me over the last few weeks – my engagement has cut in half! I’ve also found that putting hashtags in the caption has helped.

    • Jessica Luxe

      It’s been savage for sure. Hashtags in the caption seem to be a common fix so I’m glad it’s working for you!

  • This shadow ban is so silly – honestly so over it! But I’m just gonna keep doing what I do and take note from these tips!

    Aicha | the fashion heist

    • Jessica Luxe

      I can see why Instagram would implement it, people are abusing the hashtags and ruining the nature of the platform – however, I wish Instagram was more public about it so those who aren’t abusing the system wouldn’t be caught in the crossfire. Hope the tips help!

  • Kairee Tann

    Wow Jessica I had no idea- your simple test revealed that it’s definitely an issue w/ hashtagging in the comments. I deleted the comment and added the hashtag to the caption (in the edit post feature) and instantly that post was no longer banned. If you hadn’t liked and commented on one of my “partially banned” posts I wouldn’t have known about this. I’ve been struggling for months. I knew something was going on. Thanks, I appreciate you!

    • Jessica Luxe

      I am SO GLAD you found a fix – hopefully it continues to help in the future!