How to remove the Instagram Shadowban

July 23, 2018
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I was shadow banned on Instagram for a while. I am not any more. Here is how I fixed the Instagram shadow ban.

Shadowban on instagram how to fix it

When your hashtags are not visible to the public but only to your followers, you are shadow banned.

So what is casually called the ‘shadow ban’ is basically the following: Your hashtags are invisible to the public, they are only visible to people who follow you.

 

I didn’t know that something like this even exists before it hit my account. Apparently, this is a method to fight spammy accounts. Sometimes it affects innocent feeds – like in my case. I’ve told my story in this article.

How did I fix the Instagram shadow ban?

I didn’t use any broken or banned hashtags, but Instagram seemed to have a problem with my #lilvienna hashtag. I added it to every Instagram post – so maybe it was too much. Whatever the reason for this was, I found out that this harmless hashtag caused all the problems.

 

Every hashtag that I added below #lilvienna was banned too. Since I always added my signature hashtag first, all of my hashtags didn’t work as a consequence. I only figured this out with checking the triberr shadow ban tester since it shows problematic hashtags –> Note: Right now the website doesn’t work. They are working on making updates and it should be available in the near future. That’s what their support team told me in an e-mail from 07/23/2018 . You can use this shadow ban tester website in the meantime, but I like the one by triberr better since it checks your previous 10 posts.

 

The first thing I did, was to drop the #lilvienna hashtag. As for the rest: I only used about 5 or 10 hashtags in the beginning, which I put into the caption, not the comments. I used to add almost 30 hashtags and always put them in the comments. It worked! I slowly increased the number of hashtags and mixed them up (do not always use the same). I use between 20 and 30 hashtags now and always put them in the caption.

 

This worked for me, so maybe it will work for some of you too. If you are not sure if one of your hashtags is suspicious to Instagram, only use 2 or 3 in every post, put them in the caption, and check if they show. You have to be signed out of your account to check if they really show (read more here). Instagram tricks you in showing them anyways when you are signed in and it will show your hashtags for all your followers.

 

If the hashtags show, add two more in the next post and so on. Check every hashtag every time when signed out of your account after posting. This is how I got rid of the Instagram shadowban.

 
Find my story, reasons why your account may be banned, and some further tips in this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to remove the Instagram Shadowban was last modified: July 23rd, 2018 by Ursula

95 thoughts on “How to remove the Instagram Shadowban

  1. Gayle

    Hi I have been shadow banned for about 3 weeks now. It’s so so annoying. Did you remove your lilvienna from ALL of your Instagram posts or just the most recent? I wonder if I have to go back to 2014 and remove every banned or broken hashtag. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Gayle,

      I know what you are talking about! It’s so annoying and frustrating. I seriously thought about leaving the platform for good. I only started not to add the suspicious hashtag to my new posts. I left it in my old posts as is and it worked for me. Try not to post every day and give it some time (a few weeks). And remove any app that as access to your account (stats or analytics apps, apps where you can see unfollowers etc). I hope this will work for you, really I do!

      Reply
      1. Gayle

        Thank you for your reply! Really appreciate it! I have never used analytics apps or follower apps. I just have a personal account. I think I have been banned after being reported or blocked by other users. Its the only explanation that makes sense. I have been challenging people who have posted racist or sexist comments and i think I have had a steady stream of being blocked by these people. Instagram probably thinks I’m a bot or a bad account. Lesson learned for me not to try and engage with people who are being racist!! Thanks for your help!

        Reply
        1. Ursula Post author

          This could be true. Sad but true. And the worst consequence is that this system helps to discourage people like you, standing you for your beliefs ;-(

          Reply
  2. Brad Reason

    This is extremely excellent and correct info. There’s many rumors floating around as to what is a shadowban or ghosting, why it happens, what to do about it. The info you’ve provided is 110% correct.

    Here’s an analogy I like to use for instagram hashtags and the shadowban:

    Let’s say you have a bucket with a small hole at the bottom. That hole allows water to drain out in 2-3 days. Water represents actions on Instagram. Every time you do an action on Instagram, some more water fills into the bucket.
    Floating on top of the water are all these balls of various sizes. The balls are hashtags. If you use the same hashtag often, the ball is larger. If the water fills too high, the balls start overflowing out of the bucket. You get shadowbanned when hashtag balls fall out of the bucket because more balls get added and more water gets added into the bucket. To get rid of the shadowban, don’t do anything, so the water can drain out of the bucket.

    Reply
  3. ashmeet

    hii can anyone help me
    i can see that my followers are increasing but the final count on profile is not increasing.
    its very frustrating for me
    i changed hashtags also
    i also checked my post are shadowban or not but after anylsis 1/10 was shadowban ..
    so it means my account is not shadowban
    still the nubers are not increasing ..can anyone help me
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi,
      If you get new followers and at the same time the followers are decreasing, that simply means that people unfollow you. A lot of people do so and instagram doesn’t show unfollowers. That’s normal…

      Reply
  4. Kate Alden

    So I did the tribe shadowban check with my username which is @itsjustakatething. The results was “no such user found.” Theres no explanation of results so do I assume that means my whole username is blocked?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Kate,
      I just checked your instagram username with the triber tester and all your posts (hashtags) seem fine. I got results for the latest 10 posts, maybe the site had a problem when you tried. So it seems that you are not shadow banned. I noticed a drop in engagement lately due to a new algorithm, so maybe this hits your account as well. I noticed it with mine!! Likes dropped to half or even less ;-(
      One thing I can suggest is to use a few more hashtags for people to find your pictures. All the best, Ursula

      Reply
  5. Lucas Moraes

    Hi, I’m from Brazil, I have taken all the hashtags that have compromised, I used the verification site and I continued without appearing as tags, imagine what could be?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Lucas,
      Often, it takes some time. Try using hashtags you have never used before (only 1-3 hashtags) and check if they are showing (log out of your account or use the shadow ban tester website). Try this method when posting your next couple of pictures. I really hope it works!

      Reply
  6. Oyin

    Hello, please I have taken the showdow ban tester and all my 10 resent post seems fine, also added a never been used hashtag to my post still I couldn’t find in post in the hashtag..this is really frustrating me😓 what do i do to get out of this ban and how long can instagram banning take

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Oyin,
      This sounds really weird. I mean that all posts seem fine with the tester tool but you can’t find them. Try once again, using a hastag with a typo like #potatosala to make sure nobody is using this hashtag and for easier checking. I have no idea how you might be banned. I was banned a few weeks until mixing up my hashtags and now, even my broken hashtag (#lilvienna) works again. I hope the problem solves itself! Best of luck.

      Reply
  7. Oyin

    Hi, thanks for your response…I’m experiencing shadow banning can I continue using my account, may be to post, like pictures and comments or i have to log out of my account completely?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Oyin,
      When checking if your picture shows under a certain hashtag, you have to log out completely. You can certainly continue to post pictures or write comments when signed into your account. The logging out is just for checking if your pictures show.

      Reply
  8. Lindsay

    Hey there! All of the sudden none of my posts are appearing anywhere except to my current followers. It has been within the last week or so. I assume I have been shadowbanned. I have tried to find my posts under various hashtags Ive used and cant locate them. 2 questions…. 1. I posted a few recent photos with hashtags in the comments instead of caption (I didnt know that was a problem at the time). I tried to go back and delete those comments but instagram wont let me. I can delete literally any comment but the comments with hashtags in them. any idea why? 2. Can you take a look at @homeandawayhospitality and let me know if you think we have been shadowbanned? It is the only explanation I can find. One minute we were getting between 30-50 likes a photo using hashtags, and the next, 10 or so, and ALL likes are from only my followers. Thanks for any help! also, you mentioned in a comment above that there is another new algorithm that instagram introduced recently. Do you know what it is or how to avoid it causing issues? Thanks SO much!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Lindsay,
      So sorry to hear that you are having these kind of issues. I tried to find your pics using some of your hashtags and they all show. Your most recent post was published 3 hours ago, and I even find this one. So either the problem has solved or something else is causing your drop in likes. I ran your profile through the triberr shadow ban tester and it says most of your pictures and hashtags are fine. Check it out and don’t use the ones that are showing in red color.
      @deleting comments: I honestly have never had this issue. I am always able to delete all my comments. Sorry I can’t help you with that.
      @new algorithm: IG changed it a while ago and I noticed a sudden drop in likes. It’s been a little better for my account now but still less likes than a year ago. I think there is not really something we can do about it. Unfortunately, we are all dependent on IG and the changes they make, if we like it or not.
      Hope this helps in any way! Ursula

      Reply
  9. Roman&Amir

    Thank you for this helpful and informative article, it seems most other articles are repetitive or click-baity. Our account @romanandamir was recently shadow banned, although that doesn’t show up on the triberr page (they claim everything is ok, but we checked and our hashtags are simply non existent) I think Instagram thinks we’re going to fast, or my theory is that I tagged one too many other pages in our posts and we might have gotten reported in the process. The funny thing is that it happened like this: the moment I hit post, IG gave told me to confirm my account using an sms code. After that our post showed up on most of the hashtag-trending pages, but after thirty minutes that post, and all our other posts disappeared from the hashtag universe. Currently engaging manually and trying to avoid hashtags alltogether. Hopefully it doesn’t last too long….

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Roman & Amir,
      You are right. I was searching for your most recent 2 posts and couldn’t find them. And the shadow ban tester says you are fine. That’s weird. Never saw this happening before. I’m sorry, but I really don’t have any clue what happened there. Maybe you got reported, because having to confirm and then suddenly getting these kind of problems sounds very strange….. I’d try to mix up hashtags anyways and always include one hashtag that’s really long or that doesn’t make sense (a hashtag with hardly any picutres) so that you can check easily if your pictures start to appear again. Sorry that I couldn’t really help you there. I hope this issue resolves itself, it often does! Best of luck for you, Ursula

      Reply
      1. Roman&Amir

        Thank you so much for your reply, you’re very nice to try to help out. I think I’ll try to make our account go to private for a little and then going public again. Who knows if it will help…

        Reply
  10. Carter

    I have been shadow banned since july. I even went as long as from July till October with no instagram app on my phone. But for some reason i am still shadow ban. Any idea what the problem could possibly be??
    My ig is @cartercarterr

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Carter,
      Your posts seem clear when running thru the shadow ban tester tool. I checked myself (the post with with the red and blue outfit) and found your hashtag #stationsquare and also #overtimeboyz, the one with the video. Maybe the issue resolved itself? Ursula

      Reply
  11. Carter

    this is so frustrating. Its making me wnna start a new account. I have 14k followers and literally only have 78 views on my video, after 3 hours. When i used to get THOUSANDS of views. 😒😒😒

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Yes, indeed. It is frustrating!!! I tried to open a new account, but was shadow banned after posting 2 pics again. So that may not be a solution at all. In my case, the issue with my original account disappeared after a few weeks.

      Reply
  12. Carter

    Oh really?? Interesting. Then now im curious as to why my engagement and views are so low 🤔🤔🤔 you can see where my videos views clearly went waaayyyy down.. i used to get hundreds if not thousands of views. Now on my latest post i didnt even get 200 views. Kinda odd with the amount of followers i have. Instagram is so frustrating. This is exactly why i took a break before. Sigh……. I might end up taking a break again, see if thAt helps any..

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Yup, odd indeed. My engagement also rapidly dropped at some point – I think it had to do with the change of IG algorithm. I’m back to normal though.

      Reply
      1. zara

        I tried everything to get my Insta engagement up . I think my Insta is shadow banned, my account is @enjoy.___ . I feel it has something to do with Insta algorithm

        Reply
        1. Ursula Post author

          Hi there,
          check if your hashtags are showing (if using any). If you don’t use any hashtags, the shadowban will not concern you anyways because then you are posting for your followers only. The reason could also be a change in algorithm…. Sorry to hear that your engagement dropped.

          Reply
  13. ashley

    So apparently I got shadowbanned today for some reason unknown to me. None of my posts are showing to the public, under any hashtag. And like you, my personal hashtag was also banned entirely. Which is sad, because I’ve been using that hashtag for branding and I really want to keep that.
    Do you know if this ban is permanent? If not, how long does it last. What can I do?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hey,
      Sorry to hear that :-( In my case it took a few weeks until it lifted – after doing what I’ve explained in the article above. And it took me another few months for my personal hashtag to appear again. I didn’t use it until I noticed that my pics were visible again under my hashtag. Now, it’s working again. Hope the same happens to you! I know how annoying this is….

      Reply
  14. Beni

    Hi, interesting article, so there this thing for my account where I am gaining new followers but keep loosing others a few hours later. My account seems to be stuck at a certain number of followers. Like every day, I gain a couple of new followers, but a few hours later it my follower count will go back to 5,434. I know I am gaining new real followers, and it’s frustrating me because I want to grow my following, do you think this is a shadow ban?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      No, I don’t think so. The same happens to me now. I’m not shadowbanned any more but I’m more or less stuck with the same number of followers. It’s becoming more difficult to gain a higher number than it used to be. Sorry.

      Reply
  15. Ruth

    Hi Ursula,
    I’m so glad I found this place, I hope you can help me. Since 2 days ago 150 post of my page @bumptobabyacademy have been removed without my consent.
    The engement is decreased more than ever and the number of followers are dropping, this never happened before to my account. My page is about childbirth and breastfeeding.. I’m wondering if that’s the reason behind. There are many pages as mine, so I don’t understand why it’s happening to my page. Could you please let me know what do you? Am I going to have back the post deleted? Thank you!!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Ruth,
      The article above is a ‘general guidline’ how I removed the shadowban in my case. It should give people a clue what to do if they are having a similar problem. Your issue seems to be a lot different though. There have never been posts removed from my feed without my consent so I really don’t know what’s happening or why. Maybe someone reported your account or pics? Sorry that I can’t you help any further. I really hope that you find a solution since I know how frustrating this can be, especially with a rather large following, like in your case :-(

      Reply
  16. Josie

    I am shadow banned. My posts don’t show under my hadtages. I was using the same set repeatedly so many evdime were bad. I also can’t post videos on my feed. As soon as I upload it it disappears. No warning. But I can still post pictures! What’s the best way to find what I did wrong and how to fix it? Should I stop posting? Stop using hashtags? I don’t want to stop posting as I run a successful business on Instagram. And this past week I was just getting great engagement! My account is @beardsbyjosiebee and my hashtag I use is #thebeardqueen

    Thanks so much! Great and helpful article!!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Josie,
      Sorry to hear that! I just ran your account thru the triberr shadwo ban tester tool and your recent posts seem fine. Mix up your hashtags and put them into the caption (as you do anyways). Only use a few hastags. Usually the issue solves itself, or at least that’s what it did in my case.

      Reply
  17. Amazigh fdoux

    Hi Ursula
    Thank you for your informative article.
    Mybe I’m Shadowbanned. Cause my hashtags don’t show under insight in reach and impressions. Thank you for your response and your help.
    My account is @healthy_recipes_fitness_food
    🙏

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi there,
      It seems that you are using zero hashtags. Or did you delete them? The ones you used with the pic “zero carb keto food” are all fine. Best, Ursula

      Reply
  18. Adam

    Hi Ursula,

    The shadowban test link had an error message when I entered my insta account NolanMillerCollector. Not sure what to do? I deleted the app and am going to be inactive for 4 days and see what happens. Its been 24 hours and my hashtags still do not pull up my posts… None of mine are controversial– its all relating to fashion, so i dont know what the deal is. Any advise? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Adam,
      I don’t see any hashtags in your posts. Did you not use any or did you delete them? Sometimes the tester website is down for a few hours. Now it seems fine again. The only issue is that you didn’t use hashtags…. Best, Ursula

      Reply
      1. Adam

        Thank you for your reply! I started deleting my hash tags in hopes that would lift the ban. I’ve only deleted the hashtags in my top 20 or so recent posts out of 200 plus posts. Originally I had 30 hashtags for each post and they all have to do with the same thing so I was using the same hashtags often with a few variations. Is that why I got shadow banned?

        Reply
        1. Ursula Post author

          It’s possible. I copy-pasted my hasthags so I used always kind of the same ones. Now I mix them up better plus I put them in the caption and not the comments any more. In my case this helped. If you make a new post, try to use 3 hashtags or so (new ones) and check if they appear (whan signed out of your account). Try it a few times. I hope this works for you too!! I wish you all the best since I know how annyoing this is :-/

          Reply
          1. Adam

            Thanks for the help. I’m still banned….. was off for 2 days. Made a post with way less hashtags. The hashtag website you supplied said all of them were good. Not sure what else I can do. This is so frustrating!!!!!

          2. Ursula Post author

            I posted a few IG posts before everything went back to normal. Sorry I can’t help you any further :-( I know, it’s so frustration if you don’t know what the reason for the ban was. IG is so random….

  19. Brittany

    I have a curious problem. I have been banned also. However, it is different. I don’t appear on any hashtag at all. I can use them, but I never appear, for anyone. So, I can’t see it, neither can my followers. Also, it is like all old ones were turned off. So, I don’t appear on any hashtag feed anywhere at all. I have some specific to my account that only I really use, so it is easy to track. Have you heard of this before? Any way you can help?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Brittany,
      Sorry, never heard of this before. Strange that not even your followers can see your posts…. I’ve noticed people complaining about disappearing pictures on their own feed but not this…. Hope you’ll find a solution to this issue :-(

      Reply
  20. Amazigh fdoux

    Hi Ursula
    Thank you so much for your response, no, at least, I used 30 hashtags. But after a big reach cause one successful Pic (this: 50 low carb snack) my instagram account doesn’t display his hashtags in “insights” I think something may have happened, and my own three hashtags are hidden as Instagram writes below.
    My account is: @healthy_recipes_fitness_food7

    Reply
  21. Amazigh fdoux

    Hi Ursula
    I noticed that ALL thanks for your patience with all answers, And that’s of your kindness.
    I found an old hashtag that didn’t work anymore. I found it “hidden” from Instagram, Which is why, as some say, I had to erase all the old tags in my account. I hope my account comes back.
    Thanks so much Ursula

    Reply
  22. Saoru

    Hello! I’m an artist who has been posting my work on Instagram since April of last year and recently some of my posts have been getting shadowbanned for no particular reason. I have even made a genuine effort to change some of my hashtags yet it still continues to block some of my posts and it is very frustrating. I have never went above the 30 hashtag limit either. It’s nearly impossible to grow as it is and this ban just makes it unnecessarily more difficult. I really hope it disappears for good, it’s really destroying my ability to reach more people. If you could check to see if something might be wrong, I would be very grateful for a response! Thank you! Instagram: saoruart

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Saoru,
      Sorry to hear that! I know, it takes all the fun out of Instagram :-(
      I checked your account and it seems fine. I ran it through the triberr shadow ban tester and only one hashtag was found banned in your previous 10 posts (#jinbts). Other than that, your posts should appear. Sometimes when Instagram changes something, like their algorithm, we notice a drop in likes and comments. Maybe this is what’s happening to you. Hope everything goes back to normal though! Ursula

      Reply
  23. Amazigh fdoux

    Hi Ursula
    How are you, my Shadowban is removed today after two weeks ago 😊 I’m so glad.
    Thank you so much Ursula for your interaction 🙏🙏

    Reply
  24. renatoriverae

    Hi Ursula,
    I tried using Triberr but every time y try it says: “We are having issues while processing your request. Please try again later.”
    Lately I’ve been noticing a huge engagement drop and none of my latest posts will show under my hashtags.
    I do gain lots of followers though, but I hardly ever reach 100 likes per post.
    My account is: renatoriverae
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi renatoriverae,
      I just tried to check your username with the shadow ban tester and it tells me the exact same thing. Sometimes this tester is down for a day or so and works fine the next day. The weird thing is: I checked my username before and it worked fine, then I checked yours and it didn’t work, again I checked mine and now it doesn’t work any more :-( You can try to check out my tips above in the article. I hope it works for you. This is the way I solved the shadow ban but of course this is no guarantee that it will work for every account. Best of luck for you and try the shadow ban tester again tomorrow or in 2 days. Hope it works again…

      Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Sabrina,
      There is no “rule” about this. I wouldn’t post every day, probably. Simply try to slow things down a little. And yes: Use less hashtags (ones that you will find again to check).

      Reply
  25. Robyn

    Hi Ursula

    Yesterday I was shadowbanned because I posted an old photo – 1898 – which was of a tenement building but also a naked child. I broke the Community Guidelines.

    I have stopped using IG and will do so for 48 hours at least. I did post a couple of posts after I was banned and my followers are seeing them. Also I made some comments on some posts and they showed up on my other personal account I use in which I don’t acfually follow myself.

    How long do you think I’ll be shadowbanned for the community guideline breach and what else can I do.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Robyn,
      So sorry to hear that…. I have no experience with being shadow banned because of breaking the community guidelines. So I’ve no idea how long this will last. I hope you will be back to normal soon. Sorry that I can’t help you :-(

      Reply
      1. Robyn

        I have checked on the shadow tester and it comes up that my posts are clear except for two posts which have one hashtag each that is banned. but when I go and check my hashtags on Instagram my posts they aren’t showing. Why is that?

        Reply
      2. Robyn

        I’ve must opened IG again and gone into my account. Have deleted the two hashtags on two of the posts that were shadowbanned, and I have no apps to revoke. Tried the shadowbanned tester and I pass with flying colours but yet I’m not showing up when I go into any of my hashtags…..can you check for me………

        Reply
  26. KBTOYREVIEWS

    I believe I have been part of a shadowban. I noticed this approx. 2 wks ago. I had done a post of a Easter Basket. I used the hashtag easter which came to find out later it was a banned hashtag. How-ever this ban could have come from a different source going too fast acting like a bot/spam or someone reported my account which I really don’t have a reason for someone to do so. I did confirm this information through Facebook as well my posts are not appearing under the hashtags. I was given no clarification as to when the block will be lifted. they mentioned to check back daily and possibly take a couple day break in which I did I took a 3 day break. I also asked if I can still do my regular posts and they said yes… I have screen shot all the messages from the Facebook conversation.
    Do you know typically how long these last and what is the best method to slowly gain back your account? Your advice would be appreciated. Is it wise to switch your account from business to personal? As well before that to I need to disconnect the Facebook page from the IG account?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi there,
      So sorry to hear that you have an issue with this! First of all, who did answer your questions on FB? Somebody from IG? Secondly, I don’t think switching your account from business to personal will help, since a lot of people – including me – had to deal with the shadow ban with their personal accounts. If somebody reported one of your posts, this would be a different matter. I only had to deal with a ‘regular’ shadow ban, without somebody reporting my post/account. As for a solution to solving this problem, I can only repeat what I’ve posted in the article above: Mix up your hasthtags, find out if you are using # that make problems (triberr shadow ban tester) and put your hashtags in the caption, not comments. Hopefully, you are back to normal soon.

      Reply
  27. Monica

    Hello, Ursula!

    Thanks for sharing your story. Something very simillar happened to the account I manage @fiskjoinville. I noticed that suddenly my posts stopped showing under the hashtags I use, together with a drop in engagement. I also have a custom hashtag that I use in every post #fiskjoinville and after I noticed the shadowban, when I searched for #fiskjoinville that message of broken tag appeared in recent posts – “top posts from #fiskjoinville are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines”. Well, I switched from business to personal profile, found out we used a couple of brokent tags like #valentinesday #happythanksgiving #tgif #sextou… So I went over each and every posto and edited the captions, removing the broken ones. I logged out of all devices on Saturday morning (March 09th) and haven’t logged in so far. Now I noticed that when I look for #fiskjoinville a couple of post are shown, instead of that previous message, but none of our posts, neither under #fiskjoinville nor any other tags we used.

    What do you suggest me to do? I’m so sad… We started the account last July and we were doing really great. We want it to get back to normal!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Monica,
      Sounds pretty familiar. I kind of had the same thing happening to my account. I stopped using my signiture hashtag, everything else didn’t work for me…. When my posts did show up again, I added it again – but sometimes it would still not show, at least the other hashtags showed. I know, it’s so sad and makes you realize that you are relying on somebody else’s platform :-/

      Reply
  28. Wing S.

    Hi Ursula, glad to have found this forum on shedding some light on shadow banning. I just experienced it 3 days ago with no engagement from hashtags used (except followers). I realized I’ve been using the same set of hashtags too repetitively (being a new user I didn’t know that could be a problem). Please help to check my hashtag visibility and confirm any shadow banning and issues involved. My account is @cook.play.repeat and thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Wing,
      Sorry, but I can’t check everybody’s personal account, I’m sure you do understand. I get a ton of requests every day and am not able to do so since I simply don’t have the time. But you can check it yourself using the Triberr shadow ban tester. Sometime the site doesn’t work, but one or two days later it usually works. Cheers, Ursula

      Reply
  29. Brad

    I just came here to share my experiences… I started using Instagram for the first time in early February, and quickly fell in love with it. I started running a successful shout out page and realized right as I hit 1,000 followers that my normally constant reach and engagement had severely dropped. I didn’t even know what a shadow ban or banned hashtag was. After some research, I realized I had been using a seemingly innocent, but actually banned hashtag. I tried to wait out the shadowban, but the lack of growth on my page was depressing to me, and so I started a new page and deleted the shadowbanned one.

    Well, I was able to regain about half of my following in a week, and was extra careful with hashtags, slowed way down on posting. Nonetheless, the new account was shadowbanned. Again, I deleted the page due to stress and impatience, quit Insta for about a week, returned and made a new page that was shadowbanned after just a few posts… again, I quit for about a week and came back. Once again, I tried running a shout out pages this time being EXTREMELY careful mixing hashtags, rarely using the same one, and decreasing my activity even less than ever before. Everything was smooth sailing and I was able to gain 1,000 followers even faster this time!

    Much to my shock and dismay, I noticed my very first post after hitting 1k was not showing in hashtags. I immediately deleted the post, but unfortunately, all my posts slowly started disappearing from the hashtags and explore, and my likes and follows once again slowed to a crawl. I was only reaching about 10% of my followers and gaining no new ones. After trying to wait out the ban for a few days, I said screw this, and deleted my page.

    I’m at my wit’s end with this, and I honestly have no idea why Instagram has shadowbanned every page I create every time they start to gain momentum. I’m sorry for the long story. Needless to say, this experience has been a nightmare, and has taken all the fun out of even trying to run an Instagram page, knowing that sooner or later, Instagram’s bots and algorithms will just take the wind out of my sails when I hit some sort of milestone that I’m excited about. I’m officially done and won’t bother with running an Instagram page ever again. If I can’t post in a way that feels right to me, that people in my niche obviously enjoyed every time I made a page, then I see no point in messing with it. What a complete joke and waste of time. I feel sorry for people who put money into their pages, only to have Instagram force them to start from scratch due to some sort of “abuse” that they don’t ever even bother telling you about.. Unbelievable.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Brad,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your story. After I noticed that my account was shadow banned (I didn’t know about that this even existed either), I opened another account since I was really pi…… After posting about 4 or 5 pics, this account was shadow banned as well, so I thought the reason for it may be that I had both accounts on my phone. I thought, maybe they noticed it’s the same IP address. So after a while, I started a third one, just to see if the same thing happenes again. I didn’t use the same device or email. Everything new. After about 5 pics it was the same: my hashtags didn’t show any more…. It was so frustrating! Also, I had about 2k of followers on my first account that I built up slowly and with nice engagement – it was very time-consuming. So I thought about quitting IG for good. After a couple of weeks I tried again and switched up the hashtags and everything that I explained above in the artice and after a while it worked again. But it made me realize, that I am so dependent on the flaws of the IG platform. I didn’t do anything wrong. I would never build a business on it.
      Yesterday, I noticed, that my signatures hashtag was banned again in my lastest posts. But at least only one hashtag, not all of them as before.

      I’m not sure what to recommend, honestly. I’m really fed up and I guess so are you. If there would be a certain reason for this ban, I’d understand. But it seems like it’s just a random thing that hits some people. I’d probably give it a few weeks and try again every now and then. As for now, I don’t have a better solution for this issue. I hope everything the ban will magically disappear as quickly as it emerged. Best of luck for you!! Ursula

      Reply
  30. Brad

    Right? I guess that’s all anyone can really do! Just wait and hope that eventually Instagram will come to their senses and realize the damage they’re causing to a lot of innocent pages by placing unfair restrictions on them. People act like a shadow ban isn’t that big of a deal, but they can be absolutely devastating to new and/or smaller pages that are still trying to grow and build their audience. I appreciate your quick response, and I’m sorry to hear you’re still dealing with these type of annoyances. Best wishes to you as well!

    Reply
  31. Valentina Zakaria

    Thank you for sharing your experience! My shadowban for my IG @tinashealthyworld just got lifted a week and a half ago. However, my posts are not doing as well as they use to. AT first i got hacked and all my posts got deleted by the hacker, but i still had my algortihm and my engagement was fine. But then i got an “action blocked” from commenting too fast/ too much (i was just replying back to my followers), and from there my ban started. Luckily it got lifted, but i dont understand why my account has such a low engagement compared to before. Does it take time to increase it back to normal or is it just dead/slow?
    i also tried triberr and it says my hashtags are not banned but posts arent found under the tags (red tag). However, when i looked through the browser and other accounts, my posts were showing in the top post section of the hashtags. I dont really know what going on. I try different sets but the post ends up doing worse compared to using same 30 hashtags.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Valentina,
      So sorry to hear about your troubles with IG :-( I’m not sure if the lower engagement has necessarily to do with the shadow ban. It seems that IG’s algorithm is a kind of a mystery…. For example, I noticed a massive drop in engagement (likes and comments) a few posts back but the hashtags showed. So it must either be the picture or IG’s algorithm. I’m really fed up with it, I’m telling you. If I were you, I’d try to post a couple of pics again and then have a look at the engagement. Maybe it is a temporarily. Oh, and I noticed you put your hashtags in the comments. I did so too but ever since I moved them into the caption, I have the feeling it got better. I know, it’s not pretty, but if nothing helps, try it…. Cheers, Ursula

      Reply
      1. Valentina Zakaria

        thank you for getting back to me! Do you have a recommendation on the number of hastags i should use or proper way to use hashtags? before i would use the same 30 and get massive engagement. However, after the shadow ban i did the same thing and my next 5 posts (the first week after the shadown) were doing fine with pretty good engagement (but not high like before). However, the second week after the shadowban my posts are getting really low engagement even if it shows that they are showing up in the hastags. I tried to change up my hastags a little but no luck :/

        Reply
        1. Ursula Post author

          Hi Valentina,
          Sorry, no recommendation from my side. I simply reduced the hashtags I’ve used after the shadowban to about 5, then 10 a few posts, then 20 and now I’m back to my regular 25-30. A drop in engagement is not necessarily due to the shadowban though. I experience ‘waves’ of changes in engagement, sometimes it drops for a few posts, then it goes up again. But in general, IG makes it more and more difficult to gain followers and engagement, I feel.

          Reply
  32. Zomx

    Hi Ursula,

    thank you for your article. I’ve read all the article and also the comments. I’ve been shadowbanned for 10 days now and still. I use the triberr shadowban tester the result is all my 10 recent posts are shadowbanned. (my account is @zomxandfoods) since I got shadowbanned I lost about 200 followers. I used to get 50-200 new followers per day. Now just 2-8 per day. I didn’t post anything since then. I even logout and uninstall the app. I researched alot about the shadowbanned articles. Some people said it takes 2 weeks to get unban. 4 days more to know if it’s true. Now i’m so hopeless and so sad. :'(

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Zomx,
      Sorry to hear that :-( – especially with a large following like yours. There is no certain amount of time to be unbanned. Some are banned for 1 day, some for 1 week and others for 1 month or even longer (until they are basically no longer interested in IG). I hope your account is back to normal soon, really! It’s just frustrating, I know. Unfortunately, I can’t give you any other tips than what I’ve written in the article above since I don’t have any new strategies….. So sorry. Ursula

      Reply
  33. Harold Harjantho

    Hi Ursula,

    My instagram account is related to fitness. Recently, I just came to realize that some of my recent instagram posts aren’t really appearing in any of the hashtags that I’ve written in my caption. Therefore, it hardly received any likes or comments(like after between 4 to 8 likes in less than 5 minutes, the post stopped receiving any likes or comments).

    The wierdest thing is that those instagram posts which are half naked body pictures aren’t really appearing in the hashtags and this has resulted into these posts not being reached to a wider audience (including non-followers) that hardly anyone likes them. Whereas those instagram posts which are fully dressed gym attire pictures have appeared in the hashtags as usual and therefore have reached to a wider audience and received many likes and comments.

    My half naked body pictures back then used to generate a number of likes (between 150 to 300 likes within 24 hours and to generate this amount of likes, 20 to 30 minutes later after posting the picture, I edit the caption to cut these hashtags and save the caption, and then I edit the caption again to paste these hashtags back into it. 20 to 30 minutes later, I did the samething over again and again) without any problem. I suspect that my half naked bodies pictutes were being shadowbanned. I admitted that both the half naked body pictures and fully dressed gym attire pictures I’ve been using the same set of 30 hashtags. As for the video posts of me doing my workout, I used slightly different set of hashtags.

    I just don’t really understand. Why my half naked bodies pictutes were being shadowbanned while both the fully dressed gym attire pictures and the video posts of me doing my workout were not shadowbanned? I just find it really wierd.

    Do you have any advice on this? I am feeling a little bit frustrated and I am a bit too eager to get my account back to normal.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Harold,
      Sorry that you have to deal with this issue. Since I only share food pics, I don’t have any advice here. It’s so weird that some pics (the half naked ones) are shadow banned and the rest of your pics is not. There are a lot of workout pics and videos out there where people are not entirely dressed, so it doesn’t make any sense to me. Sorry that I can’t help you with this :-( and so sorry for my late reply, I only noticed your comment now…. Good luck and I hope that your account is back to normal soon!!!

      Reply
  34. Ashish

    Hi Ursula,
    I’m facing the same problem as Harold for the last 2 months. I have an IG fitness blog – @AshmSport. Whenever I post a shirtless picture it does not show in any hashtags, the last I posted was a workout video and it didn’t work. Whereas pics with a tank top on work fine. So I tested it on another linked account – @fit127_ where I posted Sly Stallone’s rocky pics with no shirt and they too fail to show up on any tags. I created a new hashtag #fit12783 and it shows a message “Recent posts from #fit12783 are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram community guidelines”. To fix this I checked all the posts and removed any banned hashtags, it didn’t fix it, even promoted my shirtless posts on both the accounts still nogo. This is super annoying and I’m not able to generate engagement that I can. I’ve reported to IG several times with no response. What’s funny is their software detects that I’m not wearing a shirt and bans it, I thought just lifting the top till chest to show abs would work, it bans that too Lol. I’m out of ideas.
    Please let me know if you’re able to get a fix for such selective banning or come across someone else who was able to fix it. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Ashish,
      Oh no. It’s so annyoing since the shadowban is killing your engagement. I’ve been there. But I really have no idea what else to do in your case. I know that getting in touch with Instagram is impossilbe – at least it was for me. Nobody ever responded and I reported the problem like 50 times lol. I’ve also no idea if this will get to normal over time or if someone reported your pics the issue is different. So sorry that I cant’t really help you. I’m out of ideas too ;-(

      Reply
      1. Ashish

        Hi Ursula,
        Thanks for replying. So I’ve been trying different things to fix this issue. Yesterday I created a new hashtag #ashmsport and it works fine for all my posts except shirtless ones. But when I added #ashmsport to pics from my second account (@fit127_) none of them showed up, even pictuers of objects like a WWE title belt lol. I think it could be the second account which was creating problems. So I deleted it last night and will wait a couple of days to see if that makes any difference.
        As for reporting, my posts are pretty decent and I’ve never posted anything offensive that violates IG’s policies. But it is possible, someone out of spite might have reported me. It’s bizarre how easy it is for anyone to ruin someone’s account. And IG’s automated software just takes their word for it without even verifying it. I think I must have pissed off some men who approached me by not responding to them since I’m straight. That’s the only thing I can think of.
        Nevertheless I’m persistent. Will keep trying and let you know if I happen to fix it.
        Have a good day.
        Regards,
        Ashish.

        Reply
        1. Ursula Post author

          Hi Ashish,
          Yes, I’m with you. It’s too easy to ruin somebody’s account simly by reporting pictures/accounts. And it’s so difficult to get it back to normal. At more than one point, I was so pi….. that I wanted to just quit. I’m still considering this as an option :-(

          Reply
          1. Ashish

            Yes I feel you. Im at a point where I wouldn’t mind paying IG to take a look into it.

  35. Valerie Ann

    What do you do after a shadowban to avoid further penalties or restriction? I’ve heard to use different sets of hashtags but how many? And how often should you post? I’m off the shadowban but I feel like my account is still restricted due to the low engagement.

    Reply
  36. Danyal Sarfraz

    Hey! My account is @iamthespectacularspiderfan.
    I think I have been shadowbanned.
    None of my posts appear in any of my hash tags, I’ve checked with a personal account of mine which does not follow the one aforementioned.
    Triberr says my account is perfectly fine.
    I have 84K followers and my engagement is at a low 1.5%.
    I used to get 10k likes per post now I get 1k and if I’m lucky 3k.

    What can I do to fix this? Should I take a hiatus and then come back? Or should I continue posting and wait it out.

    Reply
    1. Danyal Sarfraz

      My insights show only 20 to 10 percent of my followers see my post and nobody else can see my posts except my followers. No new engagements.

      Reply
      1. Ursula Post author

        Hi Danyal,
        I’ve checked several of your hashtags: You are right, I couldn’t find them. Strange though, that the shadow ban tester tool says that you are fine – same when I checked your account. I am not sure what causes this issue, It’s so random! I’d try waiting a few days and then post again. Let’s hope for the best that your account is back to normal soon. You could try to reach out to IG. They never got back to me when I reported my posts to them for not showing up under the hashtags. But maybe things are different with a large followship like yours. Sorry that I can’t really help you further. :-((((
        Good luck, Ursula

        Reply
  37. Daniel

    Hello! I hope this message finds you well. I was messaging in regards to your post about the shadowban; I’m not sure how to check if mine is banned or not; I have noticed a drop in engagement of my followers, plus I haven’t had any new followers like the way I would normally see. If you could help me resolve this issue or at least see if I am shadowbanned, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance! 🙂

    Reply

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