If you don’t live under a rock somewhere you’re probably familiar with the term shadowban right now, its all over our Twitter timelines and its sparked a bit of mystery and confusion within the blogging community. What is the shadowban? How do I know if I’m shadowbanned? How can I stop being shadow banned? All reasonable questions, yet no one really knows the answers. Instagram haven’t really spoken about the shadowban except for acknowledging that there is a problem with their hashtags at the moment, they went on to say that they do not have the resources to fix this ongoing issue… really Instagram?! Its as though the shadowban seizes to exist yet we are all aware it does and we’re desperate to get to the bottom of it! It seems Instagram changing the algorithm just wasn’t enough and its becoming increasingly harder to grow a following at all – Fuck! If you have noticed a huge drop in engagement recently its probably all down to the shadowban so heres everything I know about it –
What is the Shadowban?
This is the big question everyone really wants answers to. The Instagram shadowban basically bans your photo so it becomes unfindable in amongst all the hashtag feeds meaning people who don’t already follow your account won’t be able to find you or see the photo you’ve uploaded. This is why you’ve notice a lower engagement than usual.
Why have I been shadowbanned?
Well after tons of research trying to get to the bottom of it I’ve only managed to find a few reasons why your account could potentially be shadowbanned.
If you use the same hashtags over and over again this could cause a trigger as its seen as being a bit spammy but this is unconfirmed, no one currently knows why using the same hashtag combinations could cause you to be shadowbanned but it does, so be sure to change it up. This one bugs me, say I’m uploading a makeup related post and I want to tag #makeup I’m now unable to use that hashtag since I use it quite frequently and theres really no telling when its okay to revisit said hashtag!
Using bots and buying followers is another reason you’ll be shadowbanned and quite rightly so!! If you’re buying a following thats not real and you’re not putting the work in like the rest of us you don’t deserve to be found via hashtags #sorrynotsorry! I’ve been using Instagram for my blog for just over a year and I’ve only just reached over 1K followers, its the same story for many of us so its nice to know that Instagram are taking users that use bots seriously! Apparently Instagram can’t really get it wrong with being able to tell who uses bots and who doesn’t since bots rely on changing IP addresses. Your account could be flagged if your destination and IP address is constantly changing in really short spaces of time.
Using broken and banned hashtags is also a reason you could be shadowbanned. I spoke briefly about this one in my post about growing your Instagram following. Basically by using hashtags that are broken or banned it will disable your upload from being found in any of the other hashtag feeds so checking each hashtag is pretty vital if you want to be discovered!
Masses of activity have also been said to flag your account. If you’re going on Instagram and you decide to follow or unfollow tons of accounts, then go on a liking and commenting spree your account will most likely be flagged for suspicious activity. You should try to space any activity out throughout the day so that this doesn’t happen to you. Although who really knows what the daily limit is?!
How can I stop my account being targeted by the shadowban?
Unfortunately there really isn’t a correct answer to this. Some people have noticed a difference when they’ve stopped using Instagram for a few days, they return and it seems to have sorted itself out! Although saying that, if you do continue using Instagram in the same way as you were before, the shadowban will be sure to target you again. Remember to change up hashtags and always check the ones you are using manually, this will take time but in order to grow your following and be discovered its something you’ll have to do.
Loads of my uploads have been banned recently so sadly I’m pretty sure my account has fallen into the shadowban pit. If you’re not sure if your account has been shadowbanned you can use this site to check if your latest upload has been banned from all searches.
Lastly, good luck! Instagram is a hard platform to grow, I just hope us young bucks who were late to the Instagram pool will be able to grow successfully and stop being discouraged!