The term “shadow ban” means that Instagram is banning a person’s account without them knowing it. This means that when you post a picture and put on some hashtags, that you might not appear in the „recent“ section of the hashtags and people will not see your picture.
First, let me tell you. Shadow banning is not dangerous. It is just very annoying to people, who want to grow their profiles and who are putting a lot of effort into their work. It can be very frustrating if you put hours of work into a nice picture and then only a couple of 100 people are seeing it. Your pictures literally vanish, disappear in the shadow and people who are not following you do ‚t see your pictures anymore.
Why is this happening?
Well, here again, there are a lot of rumor and I have to admit, that I am not an expert in that field. There are wild speculations from angry people and a lot of blog posts about it. To sum it up what I heard so far from different sources is:
You might be banned because:
- You buy followers and likes or you bought followers and likes in the past
- You use Bot Apps, who comment and like for you very fast and automatically
- You comment and like „too much“ – (sounds strange but Instagram might thing you are a Bot ;)) – Take it easy on liking other posts and go for a walk or bake a banana bread. This is a good recipe I heard;)
Well, Instagram itself is aware of the „problem“ and posted the following message, telling people not to rely on hashtags but rather focussing on creative content. I would love to focus on both things; just saying…
As far as I know only business profiles on Instagram are dealing with this problem. You might be affected if your amount of likes drops steadily and if your amount of followers is not growing over weeks. The mean thing is, that when you look at your own profile, you won’t notice a change and you see the pictures, but as soon as you log in from a personal account or a friends account and unfollow your profile, the picture does not appear in the hashtag sections anymore. This brings me to the question on how to find out if your account is affected.
Is my account Victim to shadow banning?
Has your amount of likes on Instagram significantly dropped? If you suspect that you are a victim of shadow banning you can check by uploading a picture and using several hashtags. Then log in from your own or a friend’s personal account and unfollow the account you think might be affected. Check the hashtags you use and see if your picture appears in the recent section of the hashtags. I made a little experiment to show you in pictures what I mean.
So this is the latest picture that I posted on Instagram.
Then I checked the hashtag #chocolatemousse and #bestofvegan, still logged in from Vanillacrunnch. Everything looks fine nd it would also look like this in an affected account. The big change is when we look at it from the perspective of a person who is not following you. So, I used my personal account, unfollowed me (@vanillacrunnch) and then checked the hashtags again. Luckily they were still there, so I am not affected.
HELP! What can I do when I am affected?
So bad news is, I guess once you are affected there is not a lot you can do. Of course, you can use the “Report a Problem” feature on Instagram to ask about having your shadow ban rescinded. I reported an issue on Instagram two times in the past and never heard back, so no big hopes on this option to be honest.
I heard rumors, that changing an account back to a personal account helps to save the problem. As I haven’t dealt with Shadow banning so far and since my account is not affected, I can not tell you if it really helps.
Last but not least. try to relax. I know it’s hard, but Instagram is not the world. Take a little time out and check back in after some weeks. It will do you good, promise.
I found an article about an affected account and if you are interested you can read it here.
This is a very short and „not deep at all“ article but I got so many questions when I posted about Shadow banning in my Insta stories, that I thought I could answer some questions with this blog post. Let me know if you have had issues with shadow banning or if you want to know more about it.