I am shadow banned on Instagram. How to find out if you are too and what to do

January 7, 2018
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Shadow ban on instagram What to do?

*New Update 7/23/2018: I published a blog post about how to fix the instagram shadow ban. My account is not banned any more.

 

Update 7/20/2018: There is a new shadowban tester website. However, it only checks your most recent post. Note: Add your username OR the link, not both or it will give you an error message. Not that I’ve tried ;-)

 

Update 3/30/2018: Aparently, there is a new shadow ban tester website by triberr. It checks the status of your past 10 posts on Instagram. My posts show everything from “Looks good” for the most recent 2 posts (where I dropped the problematic #lilvienna hashtag), to “Oh no! This post has been shadow banned” to “Skipped: This post has zero hashtags”. The skipped posts do have hashtags, so I am not sure what to make of it and how reliable this tester is. But you can get an idea. In June 2018, all my previous 10 posts were clear. 7/23/2018: Right now, the website seems to have some problems. 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 7/23/2018.

 

Update 3/16/2018: I’ve added some updates in this article. Find them added in italics in this blog post and at the very end.

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This is not the first time that I’ve been shadowbanned. But it is the first time that it happened to my food blog account (@lilvienna) and not as before, to my personal account. By the way, both are personal accounts and not business accounts.

 

But first of all: If you are not on Instagram and are not interested in it at all, simply stop reading here. I know that this is a food blog and usually I post exclusively recipes … but I have to post this here because it happens to many people and some of them might not even notice. Plus: It is soooooooo annoying, and writing about it helps me release all that anger. I wanted this to be a short post but I couldn’t hold myself back since I am so frustrated with this matter.

What is a shadowban?

People are talking about a #shadowban when nobody except themselves (and usually their followers) can see their pictures under a certain hashtags that they have tagged their picture with. For example, I always tag my food pictures with #lilvienna but right now, my pic will not appear under this hashtag. I can still see it but people who are not following my account cannot. I’m not sure if this is even an official term and I’ve read that Instagram has no such thing as shadow ban, but the fact is that it happens.

 

So whatever you call it – a ban, a bug, a failed hashtag-search or something else – your hashtags are not showing. Instagram banns certain pictures, if they contain a hashtag that is not allowed (‘banned hashtags’) or if they think you have used methods that are not allowed, like using bots or automated apps to gain followers. I have not used either of those nor have I used a broken or banned hashtag.

 

I’ve found a statement all over the internet that Instagram posted on their Instagram Business Account facebook page. I tried to find the original post, but either Instagram deleted it or it was not written in February 2017 but in one of the years prior. I simply didn’t care scroll down another thousand posts….. So here is an excerpt of their statement:

statement from Instagram to shadow ban

The sentence I love most is the one where Instagram suggests not to focus on hashtags too much. I really had to laugh out loud. What is Instagram all about? It’s about connecting people and sharing content. So how can that ever be possible without focusing on hashtags, targeting a very limited audience.

How does a shadow ban affect you?

  1. Fewer likes and comments. You are tagging your picture with certain hashtags so that other people can find them in the IG universe. Let’s say, I post a banana bread picture, I would tag it #bananabread #bread #baking etc. so that people who are interested in baking and banana bread, are able to find my picture. If your hashtags are not working, nobody will find your picture, hence nobody will like or comment it.
  2. No new followers. In addition to not getting likes and comments, you will not gain any new followers. If only your existing followers are able to see your pictures, nobody will discover your pics and your account. So as a result, nobody will follow you. In fact, you will slightly lose followers since you won’t gain new followers but as you might have noticed, there are accounts that follow and you and if you don’t follow them back, they will unfollow you. Or people are losing interest in your content and unfollow you.
  3. No features. Besides hashtags, features are another way of people getting to know your feed, especially when you don’t have a huge crowd following your account already. If you are like me a blogger working in a certain field – in my case food – you often rely on accounts with a huge number of followers that feature other people’s pictures and accounts. In the food scene, such meta accounts are @bestofvegan or @thefeedfeed and the like. They want you to use a certain hashtag – in my example #bestofvegan – to be able to find pictures to feature them. If they can’t see your picture because of the shadowban, well they don’t feature you – unless you are a famous IGer already and they follow your account anyways.

To sum up: If you are shadow banned, you will get less likes, fewer comments, fewer or no features and stop gaining new followers.

 

How to find out if I am shadow banned?

I noticed a huge drop in likes first. Usually, if you post a picture and use some hashtags, there are always (!) people who will like your posts. Especially during the first couple of minutes. So, if your likes are going up slower as usual, or you hardly gain any likes, you should check if your post has been shadow banned. If you are shadow banned your engagement drops, you will get fewer likes and comments and stop gaining new followers.

 

–> Do not confuse this with Instagram’s change of algorithm, which is also killing the engagement. I now get half or not even half of the likes compared to before the algorithm change.

 

There are certain shadow ban tester websites that claim to find out if you are shadowbanned or not but I personally wouldn’t rely on those.

 

Update 3/16/2018:  The shadow ban tester website got neglected and doesn’t seem to work at all any more . It doesn’t let me add my username any more so I’ve deleted the entire chapter about it here.

 

Update 3/30/2018: Aparently, there is a new shadow ban tester website by triberr. It checks your past 10 posts on Instagram and their status. My posts show everything from “Looks good” for the most recent 2 posts (where I dropped the problematic #lilvienna hashtag), to “Oh no! This post has been shadow banned” to “Skipped: This post has zero hashtags”. The skipped posts do have hashtags, so I am not sure what to make of it and how reliable this tester is. But you can get an idea.

The triberr shadow ban tester website looks like this (click to enlarge):

Instagram Shadow Ban Tester by triberr. Note: This picture only shows 6 out of my 10 posts. The picture would have been too lenghy, so I cut some posts out. Click  to enlarge and then zoom in.

 

The most reliable way to find out if you are shadow banned:

So how did I in fact find out that I am shadow banned? If I click on one of my added hashtags in the picture that is supposed to be banned, I still see my picture under “newest posts”. Also, if I look up the hashtag in the search (without clicking on the hashtag directly), it will show me my picture. But, if you sign out from your account or sign in with another account, which is not following you or ask a friend to unfollow you and check, you/they won’t see the picture under the hashtag. By the way, if you want to test, use a hashtag that is not used a lot or make one up to find your picture easier.

Instagram how to find out if you are shadow banned

As you can see in the picture above, on the left you can still see my two most recent pictures, the veggie bowl and the banana bread if searching under the hashtag #lilvienna when logged into my account @lilvienna. On the right, you’ll notice that the these two pictures are missing if signed in with a friend’s account who is not following me (or simply sign out from your account). Not one of my hashtags is being displayed to the public.

My experience with the shadow ban

Info: Both of my accounts mentioned below are personal and not business accounts, which seem to be shadow banned more often. I used different e-mail addresses when I registered and my personal account did not follow my existing food blog account.

 

I have experienced the shadow ban for the first time about a year ago, when I started a new personal Instagram account. I created a new account that I wanted to run next to my food blog account, which only contains food pics. After posting my third picture on my new Instagram account, I noticed that only 4 people liked it. The first two pictures had at least 15 likes. So I was wondering and searched the internet. I came across the term shadowban and checked if this ban is applying to my account (see above on how to do this).

 

I continued posting pictures and reported them to Instagram every time, since they didn’t show under the hashtags. If you want to report a problem, you can do this by going to your feeds page, then press the 3 dots at the upper right corner and scroll down to ‘report a problem’. I did this at least for the next 15 pictures that I posted but Instagram never got back to me. And, I only got a handful of likes from the 10 friends I had gained before the ban started. The day came where I didn’t want to waste any more time with this new account. So, I stopped and openend a new account, using a new device, with a new email address. After posting two pictures, the same thing happend. I was shadow banned.

 

I was so frustrated that I simply left things where they were. I was afraid that at some point this could affect my food blog account, where I have already a following. After about two or three weeks, I obviously couldn’t let go, and tried again logging into my new account and posting a picture: It worked! I was surprised since I didn’t do anything, really.

 

Jumping to the presence: I’ve never had any issues again with being shadow banned until a few days ago. I noticed that a lot less people liked one of my pictures on my food blog account @lilvienna, where I’ve never had any issues with the shadow ban so far. The next day, I posted another picture, and it was even worse. The only few likes I got came from existing followers. I checked if I was being shadow banned – and I was (find out how to do that above). I tried posting a pic from my personal account as well: Same thing here. Shadow banned! What’s strange is, that sometimes pictures show up under the hashtags hours later, as in my case 12 hours late. This is just a curious detail on the side since hardly anybody likes or comments pictures that are this old. So what to do now?

 

What to do when being shadow banned?

  • Report the problem to Instagram (most likely: nobody will respond)
  • Don’t use broken or forbidden hashtags
  • Check for banned hashtags – they can sound innocent but if they are overrun with inappropriate content they might get banned
  • Don’t use apps and websites that automate your account even though they might sound harmless  (apps to detect unfollowers, or preview apps … all of those will have access to your account)
  • If using a scheduling app, take a break and post yourself for some time
  • Do not like, follow, or unfollow a ton of people within short time (Instagram might think you are a robot)

As I’ve mentioned above, I do report every picture to Instagram that doesn’t show under the hashtags that I’ve used. I am pretty sure it’s useless. Nobody ever got back to me. I will keep posting a couple of pictures with different hashtags but if this problem continues to exist, I will take a break from Instagram. A couple of weeks or so. The last time, the problem solved itself so maybe it will be this way this time too. If not: Obviously Instagram can do whatever they want, as we have all seen in the recent change of their algorithm and to how many people you are displayed. I feel that the day is coming closer were I am so fed up with all of this that I quit Instagram for good. The only thing that I will miss for sure then is all the great people that I’ve met through this channel.

 

I will update this post if there is any change concerning me being shadow banned. I promise.


Updates:

Instagram shows disclaimer for hidden posts

The disclaimer says: “Recent posts from #lilvienna are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines.”

Update 3/16/2018: Today, Instagram has hidden almost all of my 500 pictures that I’ve tagged with my signature hashtag #lilvienna under this hashtag. Only 35 old pictures are left. No reason, just a disclaimer:

 

“Recent posts from #lilvienna are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines.”

 

I checked the #lilvienna hashtag every time when I added a new post on Instagram since …. you know … checking if I am still shadowbanned. No inappropriate content at all. Only my food pics and some other user pics, which used my hashtag to show their food pics. So, I really don’t know why the #lilvienna hashtag is suspicious now, all of a sudden.

 

All the other hashtags strangely seem to work in my most recent post though. I mixed up my hashtags and put them in the caption (not comments) to in my last few posts. Let’s see if this works. I’ll also omit the #lilvienna hashtag. I keep you updated.

Update 20/7/2018: I dropped the #lilvienna hashtag for good, which seems to have caused the problems. Ever since, all of my hastags work. It’s a pity though, that I can’t use it any more since this was my blog’s official hashtag.

 

Update 23/7/2018: Find a new blogpost about how I removed the instagram shadow ban here. It’s basically a summery of this article you are reading right now plus the method that finally worked to lift the shadow ban.

 

I am shadow banned on Instagram. How to find out if you are too and what to do was last modified: July 23rd, 2018 by Ursula

57 thoughts on “I am shadow banned on Instagram. How to find out if you are too and what to do

    1. Ursula Post author

      It is sooooooo frustrating. The only good thing I can take away from these incidents is, not to take Instagram too serious any more, because you can get blocked / shadowbanned any day. Somehow my account is working now again – I didn’t change anything. It’s so random. Hope yours is working soon :-( Good luck!

      Update 03/2018: I’m shadow banned again ;-(

      Reply
      1. Ursula Post author

        Hi Adam,
        Thanks so much for posting the link. I was curious and checked the hashtag that caused my shadowban (#lilvinna) and it’s not banned. So apparently, even if a hashtag is not banned, it can cause problems. But the site is a good source of information anyways since a loooot of # are banned, which seem harmless. For example: Once I posted a picture of burger buns on IG and used the hasthag #buns – which is banned…..

        Reply
  1. Reka

    The same for me
    I used only 15 hashtags. But it seems we cannot report a problem to Instagram anymore. It is very frustrating indeed…

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Yes! It is so random…. Instagram can basically do whatever they want. Honestly, I’m a little fed up. I still get shadowbanned every now and then, sometimes it works for the first couple of minutes and then I get banned ;-(

      Reply
        1. Ursula Post author

          Hey,
          Yes, in a lot of cases, people use a broken hashtag without even knowing that it’s “banned”, and then somtimes all # in the post are not working. But nonw of my # are on that list however …. so in my case this didn’t solve the problem. But thanks so much for pointing this out. I’m still struggeling. I thought everything is working now again, but it seems that it’s not ;-(

          Reply
  2. Nej

    Have the same. No # working at all. Sometimes my pics appear now and then under the location. It is like there is a glitch in the app.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Yes. I it so annoying and takes all the fun out of it, right? I try to mix up my hashtags and post them in the caption (not comments) now. Let’s see how this works. Also, almost all of my 500 posts that I’ve tagged with the #lilvienna hashtag, have dissappeared under this #. I really don’t know what to do. I try out some differnt things and will post an update again, if anything changes.

      Reply
        1. Ursula Post author

          Thanks you Nej! This was my plan for my next post. Since I haven’t posted anything since Instagram put the warnung below my #lilvienna hashtag, I was going to try it – and hope that it will solve all my problems ;-) I thought only my phone crashed when clicking on the #lilvienna hashtag. Good to know that your phone reacts in the same way.
          I hope you will get rid of your IG problems soon. I’ll keep you updated. Ursula

          Reply
          1. Nej

            I have made myself a new account, checking carefully every #. I really think IG has a glinch because I tried posting a sequence of 10 pics from the MOMA. Never worked. I could not find my post anywhere. I tried again with less photos, same # and it worked. Also, sometimes it take times for pics to appear under the #. It is exhausting me. It is not my job, only a hobby but it is becoming a pain in the **** !!
            My advice: before suppressing your new accounts, check one simple # first. Because if only out of the 10 you use does not work, everything is blocked. Also, I might start to be paranoid but if I use a # not linked to my photos, such as #food when there is no food in them, I am under the impression that IG blocks it…
            I suppressed FB and can leave without it. Guess it is going to be the same with IG at some point.

          2. Ursula Post author

            Hi Nej,
            I really don’t know what’s going on :-(((( I didn’t use my hashtag (#lilvienna) for the past few posts and it kind of seemed to work. But I also had your probelm before that it took some time (a day or so) for the pictures to appear under a certain hashtag. Useless.
            Btw, it may interest you that there is an new shadow ban tester out there:
            https://triberr.com/instagram-shadowban-tester
            I’ll add an update to this post too. All the best for you and your problem! Ursula

  3. Roaleey

    I have a personal acc since a few years now – not a huge following, but it works.
    Last week i started my fashon blog acc – i am not even 7 posts down and it seems i am shadowbanned !! I checked the hashtags which i used -they are working fine for everyone else. As i keep seeing new pictures being updates except mine. I also used a new hashtag which only has 2 pictures, & mine dint even come on there !!!!
    Its extremly frustating. How is a new acc supposed to grow?? Is instagram now just for the biggies ???
    – thestylechatter

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Roaleey, I totally get your frustration. Same here!!!! I don’t even want to put more time and effort into my account, which has 500 pics already. When I noticed that I was shadow banned again, I tried to open 2 new accounts on 2 different devices (my husbands phone and ipad) with 2 email addresses I’ve never used on IG before, since my first two accounts where already shadowbanned. So I thought that maybe they are blocking everyting that comes from my phone. Didn’t help either. The hashtags also didn’t show. The first 2 posts worked and then none.

      I’ll definitely keep updating this post, but it seems that it gets worse and worse. Hope everything turns to the best in your case. Please let me know if you found a ‘cure’ for this problem ;-(((

      Reply
  4. Linda

    Thank you for the post and updates. I wish there is a working website I can test my ig account. I learned from a podcast that I should use less than 20 hashtags and put them in the caption not in the comments. I will try that and all the things that are supposed to work with the algorithm.. Good luck, Ursula!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Linda,
      Aparently, there is a new shadow ban tester website. Horray! And kind of sad at the same time that something like this is even necessary…. I noticed it a few days ago and will add it to this blogpost asap. It’s:
      https://triberr.com/instagram-shadowban-tester
      It doesn’t look too good for my accout ;-(
      Yes, mixing up the hashtags, not using too many of them (more than 30 isn’t possible anyways) and putting them in the caption is a good idea in any case. Best of luck for you too!

      Reply
  5. GDG PHOTOGRAPHER

    Hi, Ursula, I’m Gianluca, from Italy. I have the same problem too since about 1 month. I had a old account and i had this problem, i dit anything, but nothing, it wasn’t work. Then, i delete permanently that account and now i have a new account but the problem sussists. I don’t know what the problem is. I know only really frustrating. But i’m so happy that i’m not only one with this problem. Hoper everything will be solved.

    GDG.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Gianluca,
      Oh no. Sorry that you have to deal with this problem too. And deleting an entire accout is a pain (!), even more when your new account has the same problem. I was thinking maybe they save the User’s IP address or something and when somebody opens another account – even with a new device or e-mail address – you get blocked. But that’s just a thought. Everything else doesn’t make any sense any more for me, since I’ve tried almost everything. I update the post if I find out something new. Best of luck for you!

      Reply
      1. GDG PHOTOGRAPHER

        Hello Ursula,
        Yeah, it’s very frustrating. Maybe we can use VPN but sincerely i’m interested only to post my pictures about my work, nothing else and i don’t wanna use VPN to hide my IP. However probably INSTAGRAM is became like FACEBOOK with advertising that you must pay out. Since the dawn INSTAGRAM is a free platform to share your pics and i will never pay it. Best of lucky you too, Ursula!

        Reply
  6. lua

    I have only opened my account a few days ago…the few posts I have are clean, innocent art, I didn’t use a lot of hashtags, non of the hashtags are banned hashtags…and here I am, shadowbanned! I only followed 10 people so far too. My other account, though, works blatantly perfectly, even though in my opinion I am way more spammy there (by liking and following people a lot). And I don’t use any third-party apps either.

    Your post is amazing, though!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi lua,
      I honestly don’t know what is behind it. It is so random in my opinion. One thing I know for sure is that the Instagram shadow ban doesn’t have to do with the content of pictures posted. I only post food pictures, so they are all ok. And when I tried opening a new account (on a new device with a new email), I got shadowbanned after a couple of food posts as well, with only 5 to 10 hashtags used. Arrrrggggh. I’ll updated this article regularly, since obviously, a lot of people have this problem.
      Btw, it may interest you that there is an new shadow ban tester out there:
      https://triberr.com/instagram-shadowban-tester

      I’ll add it to my article as soon as possible. Hope everything works out for the best in your case!

      Reply
  7. Michelle

    I’m a nature photographer with a small following. I don’t use 3rd party apps or go crazy with likes and follows. I was never banned until a few months ago when I started making robust comments on political pages I follow. Full disclosure: for a while I was posting hashtags both in a comment and in the caption but I didn’t realize at the time that was frowned upon. Regardless, I never suffered a ban for the practice. My most recent ban happened this week, 2 days after leaving a comment on Zuckerberg’s page expressing my opinion about his involvement in the FB scandal. It’s all just a little too coincidental and hard not to believe this policy isn’t somehow pointed or retaliatory.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Michelle,
      So sorry to hear that. Honestly, this doesn’t suprise me. If it is a coincidence (or not….). I hope you’ll continue to express your opinions! This would at least make sense from a point of view that doesn’t want certain opinions out there. But it wouldn’t explain why I, and a lot of people who posted here, are banned. I’m really fed up with it! I’m really hoping for a new platform. All the best for you. Ursula

      Reply
    2. Nej

      I got banned a day or 2 after having said to a nazi pro NRA to take his patriotism somewhere else than on my profile. So right know, after your comment Michelle, I wonder if he did not report me using this against me. It either this or because I posted 5 times the same comment about elephant abuse on the profile of someone riding a baby elephant! I keep seeing many profiles with more than 50 # and they are still working…

      Reply
  8. Michelle

    Thank you for your support, Ursula! I completely agree with you regarding the absurdity of it all and the complete lack of concern IG demonstrates for its content creators. I hope there’s an alternative soon too and wish you the best!

    Reply
  9. Nej

    Yeaaah my account is working again. so now I do not know if I stay on the new or if I go back to the old one. It took 10 days.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Nej, Great to hear!!! It’s kind of gambling…. totally up to you. But just a heads up: The first time I got shadow banned, it was about for 10 days, then it worked like for half a year and then I got shadow banned again…. I hope it is different in your case and you got rid of this problem once for all! Best of luck, Ursula

      Reply
  10. lua

    Hi, it’s lua again! I want to ask, what exactly happens when you shadowban is lifted? Does your old posts’ hashtags suddenly work again? Or are old posts forever that way, and that you can only check if you are unbanned by posting a new post with a hashtags? I really want to check again with a new post but I don’t want to risk it as I have been playing lo these past few days. None of my old posts’ hashtags and unique hashtags from before works!

    By the way, that lovely new tester you recommended to us is reallh helpful, but all my posts came out cleaner than morning dew. Instagram hurting innocent plebeians!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Lua,
      So both things happened to me. One time, the hashtags of a post of mine weren’t working, but they did after a day or so. I suddenly found the picture under the hashtags I’ve used. But other times, even when the recently posted post worked (with all hastags), the old non-working one was still unable to be found under the hashtags used. It is also somehow difficult to find this out if you have used hashtags that a lot of people use, since you would have to scroll down hundreds/thousands of posts. If you have used a unique hashatag, you can check if it suddenly appeard, but in my experience, this was almost never the case. I would just leave it as is and if you decide to post another picture, try to use one or two unique hashtags again and check from an account which is not following you if you are able to see them. I know it is really annoying to even have to deal with such stupid issues. Also, try to mix up the hashtags and put them in the caption. Sometimes that helsp, sometimes not ;-(
      I am posting once a week now (used to almost every day) but right now, it is too annoying for me to deal with all of this….

      Reply
  11. Emer

    This has also happened to me. I am a photographer and I always use the the same hashtags to archive my work by series – camera used – film type etc. I switched to a private account and that worked for a time but now I’m completely banned again. My tags aren’t over used or broken because I’m the only one using them! This is very very frustrating indeed! I strongly suspect 2 reasons behind this – 1. Facebook is forcing us to set up Facebook business pages by forcing us to switch to Instagram business pages. 2. They are soon going to force us to register (and pay for) hashtags.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Emer,
      It is sooooo frustrating. Whatever the reasons behind all this may be… You may be right ;-( It takes all the fun out of this platform for me. I’ll keep you updated and hope that your ban will “lift” soon! Best of luck, Emer!

      Reply
  12. Bronwyn

    I would suggest having somebody else check to see if your pics are showing up, I am new to Instagram and was worried because my pics were not showing under hashtags however after further investigation, others can see my pic under their hashtags despite me being unable to see them when logged in. (I also get the all clear from the shadowban testers)

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Bronwyn,
      Yes, I did ask people who are not following me on IG to check if my pics are showing up under the hashtags I’ve used. However, they were not showing :-( My previous posts are showing now, so I hope it stays this way. Great that everything seems to work with your account.

      Reply
  13. Jess

    thank you so much for making this I just found out I was shadow-banned after 6 months of no new followers and less likes and engagement activity. I did hear that the business account had a major factor to the shadowbanned, I was forced to make a new account and I am horribly depressed because it’d means I’d have gain my followings again, I had no idea I was SB in the first place. However, I did found it odd why was my other friends were gaining more followers then me? and I realized I was SB, I now am on a personal account and trying to avoid getting SB again. Mostly likely choose hashtags that aren’t banned, as an artist this is really scary ><!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Jess,
      Yes, I didn’t notice that I was shadowbanned in the beginning either. But then I didn’t gain any new followers and the likes for every picture decreased, so I thought that something was going on….. And I’ve heard, that using a business account can effect this too, as you said. Just make sure to mix up your hashtags every once in a while. I’ve always used the same ones and I think this could have caused the ban of my account. Not sure though. I hope everythings stays well at your accout!

      Reply
  14. Bee

    Hey Ursula,
    THANK YOU so much for this post and the contast updates: I know I am not alone.
    I joined IG only two weeks ago, and I was still new to the game when I downloaded an app to check who was unfollowing me. The app unfollowed in mass 200 accounts that did not follow me back. The days after I started to notice less and less engagment, the number of likes reduced drastically. I started losing followers too, and no new followes coming! So I added new hashtags to my pictures. But none of them appear in my feed.

    I tried putting my username in the website you suggested and I am ‘clean’. No problem with my hashtag. Anyway, I deleted all the hashtags from my captions. I was just starting a travel blog and I was putting a lot of effort in it, I am so anxious that the situation won’t be solved!
    Should I just stop opening the account or shall I keep using it without posting to prove I am not a bot?

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Bee,
      Oh no…. I guess it was the unfollow app. I would uninstall it right away and would give it a few days without doing anything and then try to post pics again. Put the hashtags in the caption (not comments), and don’t use a whole lot for the first few pics, maybe 5 or 10. Log out of your account and check if you can see your pic under the hashtags that you’ve used. If this works, you can add some more hashtags. I honestly don’t know if this works, but this is how I would do. Good luck!

      Reply
  15. Pam

    My situation really has me stumped! I have posted an image and used 2 hashtags that I know are not banned. The image does not show up. I posted a different image using the same 2 hashtags and it did show up in recent posts. I sent the image that didn’t show up to a friend and they posted it and the same thing happened. I have noticed this is happening to several of my images and it’s not the hashtags. The images aren’t breaking any rules either. I can’t figure this out and it’s so frustrating.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Pam,
      Ok this is really odd. I’d have never thought about the fact that maybe the content of the picture triggers the not-showing. But your case makes me think… It’s strange that it didn’t show at your friends account either. It’s simply not fun any more to check every picture posted if it’s banned or not. I really hope this doesn’t happen too often in your case and that the issue kind of solves itself. IG support isn’t responding at all :-(

      Reply
  16. Sarah

    I feel like I’m dealing with this right now and it’s so frustrating! Like you I started to notice I wasn’t getting as many likes and then I stopped getting followers completely (I’m actually losing followers each time I post something new). I’m a new lifestyle blogger. I’ve been blogging for 3 months and trying to gain an Instagram following among people who share the same interests that I write about so this is killing me! I loved using it until now. I’m at a loss.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Sarah,
      I totally understand you. It just sucks :-(
      I just checked your hashtags and I found 2 of your last post (the pic with the life jacket). I saw your pics below #waystohappiness and #findhappiness. At this point, it’s already 16 hours after you’ve posted the picture, so maybe they appeard a couple of hours late – as they did at one point in my case. I couldn’t check the other hasthags since they are used so frequently, which makes it impossible to scroll down to your picture.
      It seems that your latest picture on IG was ok, but the 3 before didn’t show hashtags. At least that’s what the shadow ban tester website shows:
      https://triberr.com/instagram-shadowban-tester
      Try to post your hashtags in the caption, not comments. And if you notice them not appearing (using the shadow ban tester website), delete the first hashtag that shows an error and try again. If this doesn’t help, try to find other hashtags…. I hope this helps in any way, Ursula

      Reply
  17. Hendrix

    Hey, it may be that the account is being falsely reported by people. So insta automatically shadow bans it. Just a thought.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hey Hendrix,
      Yeah, I thought about that too. But honestly, I don’t have any ‘enemies’. On the other hand, people are weird, so who knows. My previous few posts were fine so I hope my account is working now. I’ll write an update here if it keeps that way. Thanks for your comment, Hendrix!

      Reply
  18. Anna

    Hi! This is very interesting. What do you think about joining pods? I think that be in pods can cause a shadowban, that´s my experience that my likes are higher when I don´t share the post with my group for likes.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Anna, I am not a member of any pod, so I am not qualified to give advice in this field. But since there are real people behind the accounts in a pod and not robots, I would say it doesn’t really matter…. It’s kind of weird though, that you achieve higher engagement if you don’t share your post with your pod group…

      Reply
  19. Jeff

    That new shadowban doesnt work. All my photos are banned. I dontVsee the. The tester says some look good and thru their tester the photos show, nut it looks outside of instagram. When logged in i dont see my photos Anywhere

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Jeff, this is weird. Usually, Instagram shows you the pictures when logged into your account, regardless if you are shadow banned or not. And usually, the only way to tell if your account is shadowbanned is when logged out. So I can’t really expain, why in your case it’s the other way round. In my case, the triberr shadow ban tester website comes to the same conclusion than I do when logged out of my account.

      Reply
      1. jeff

        yes Ursula, once one pic stepped out of bounds with their guidelines…because of a report. I suddenly stopped seeing any past posts show up in hashtags…and all new one’s show up in none…I’ve messaged Instagram to no avail….constantly as this really hurts any account trying to grow…I’d be ok with it if there were two way communication saying what is really going on…believe it or not..and I’m sure he doesn’t read any message’s I’m going on Facebook to msg Mark Zuckerberg himself and ask him if he can step in to help us out..im sure that won’t work either…so I don’t know why they are doing it…I remained silent for a day..but ultimately that probably won’t help either…its like a total ban on the account…for no good reason….thats how I know that shadow ban tool is useless

        Reply
  20. busma

    so you have completely stopped using #lilvienna now?

    I have noticed I have been shadownbanned too. Very frustrating.

    I am now off Instagram for a few days as you suggested. But just wondering if I can still use my own hashtags afterwards.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi busma,

      Yes, I’ve stopped using it, which really is a pity since that’s my blog’s name and my account name on IG. But every time I use it, it seems to crash all my other hasthags too. Try to put your hashtags into the caption for now (not comments) and only use a couple of them to figure out, which one makes troubles. You can use the triberr shadow ban tester website to check. I’ll try using my hashtag #lilvinna again soon to check once more but I’m afraid it won’t work…. I hope your account get back to normal soon. All the best for this!

      Reply
      1. busma

        same here, my hashtag is the same as my IG name and my FB group, so it is unique to represent my work. I hope my IG will get back to normal soon. I don’t know if I dare to use my hashtag again but really want to try.

        Reply
        1. Ursula Post author

          Hi Busma,

          I used my #lilvienna hashtag for an IG post yesterday and the triberr shadow ban tester website says it is fine. But if I want to find the recently posted picture, it’s not displayed. So for me there is no sense in using my hashtag. At least not for now. Hopefully, this changes…. Best of luck for you!

          Reply
  21. Stella

    I don’t understand something: if the unfollowers trackers are legally sold in the App Store how can they get you banned? Why would they legally sell something that can give you a ban? Both Instagram and those apps are in the App Store so instagram surely knows about those. Otherwise they would’ve reported them to Apple. I know that because I used to play Pokemon Go and knew list of people who “spoofed” (used software to change your location) and those software were NOT allowed to be sold in App Store. Sorry I’m not fully convinced about what you said above

    Reply

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