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Instagram Shadowban – Are You Shadowbanned?

What is up guys? Happy Tuesday and welcome back to my blog. Today is going to be a very juicy blog article because we’re going to talk about getting shadowbanned. I love the shadowban and I will explain why.

Okay, so why do I love the shadowban so much? I love it, I love it. The reason I love it is because nobody knows anything about this thing. It’s really, literally it’s all speculation and trial and error.

Luckily I’ve had a lot of trial and error with this because so many of my friends reached out to me and asked me what the hell’s going on with their accounts, so I got to get a sneak peak into their insights and figure what was going on. Essentially another reason I love the shadowban is because Instagram publicly said that it does not exist. I’d say about six months ago, seven months ago, Instagram came out with an announcement. They had a huge conference and they actually talked about the new algorithm and different features and they also said that the shadowban does not exist, they’ve never deactivated anybody’s account and we’re all just imagining this stuff.

Literally I would say 24 hours later one of my friends got her account shadowbanned. Literally it got deactivated and she got it back two weeks later but I’ll talk about that in a second, kind of explaining what the shadowban is. I just love it, Instagram says it’s all in our head and then my friend gets shadowbanned not 24 hours later. Let’s dive in.

What the heck is the shadowban?

The shadowban is a range of punishments that Instagram uses to punish you for not following the guidelines. You can be on the not so bad range and on the oh my God I’m so F’d range. Now essentially what it is, it is Instagram’s way of penalizing you and your account for doing something that goes against Instagram’s guidelines or the rules that they’re okay with or whatever.

If you go into Instagram’s website or in the app you can see in the terms of service, they have a whole bunch of stuff that you should not be doing, like buying fake followers, buying fake engagements, etc, etc. The main way that the shadowban came about is two ways.

The first thing is by using hashtags. The hashtags are hashtags that were spam hashtags. Essentially if you looked at these hashtags they would have a lot of banned content, so Instagram bans content like pornography, anything that’s bullying, offensive, etc. For example, if you went to hashtag #fitspo you would see a ton of porn, literally ton of it.

There was just post after post after post. That was one hashtag that was shadowbanned. A way to figure out if a hashtag was shadowbanned, I don’t think they’re around any more because Instagram did a great job of cleaning it up, but the way to figure out if a hashtag was shadowbanned is you would go to that hashtag and you could only see the first ten to twelve posts. Anything beyond that you get this little notification that said the rest of the posts on this page or hashtag don’t comply with Instagram’s guidelines. That was essentially a good way to figure out if you’re using a hashtag that’s shadowbanned.

Also if you just look at the hashtag and you scroll through it and you see a bunch of porn, that’s a good way to figure out that you should not be using that hashtag. It still happens but I haven’t come across any hashtags that are explicitly shadowbanned by Instagram but I know that hashtag #fitspo was one of them. Obviously as you can imagine a lot of people in the fitness industry were using this hashtag and then their account got shadowbanned. They were like what the heck is going on, I didn’t do anything wrong. That’s one way to get shadowbanned.

The other way, and this is really, really weird, is to use music that is copyrighted. If you upload videos and you have music in your videos that is copyrighted music you will get flagged, you will get shadowbanned. Now Instagram has incorporated a new thing where if you upload the video and the algorithm can detect that you’re using music that is copyright, it won’t let you upload the video. It will tell you this is copyrighted music or it won’t let you upload the video period. It will just block it halfway through from being uploaded and you have to figure out for yourself why the heck your video hasn’t uploaded in two hours.

Another thing is if you posted videos in the past that have copyright music in them, then Instagram will delete them. It will just delete them or it will send you a message if they’re nice, you have copyright music in this video, it has been removed, etc. What you have to do is essentially upload the video again without any music or music that’s not copyright. The problem with this is that even if you use music that is not necessarily copyright music, so like there’s a ton of websites that offer copyright free music that you can use, like the one I’m using in my video right now, etc, Instagram might still flag that.

That’s another thing, keep that in mind. Technically I don’t think you’re going to get shadowbanned for that, actually scratch that, I think you might because I do remember a couple people messaging me and letting me know that they saw a huge decrease in their engagement. We’ll talk about that in a second. Those are the two ways that you could get shadowbanned in the past and currently today. Like I said, today it’s more likely they’re going to happen due to the music option, not so much the hashtag option because the hashtags have been cleaned up.

Essentially like I said, it is a range. On the lower, you’re not so terrible part, it’s essentially you’re going to see a decrease in engagement. Your account is going to get penalized for doing something. By the way, you’re not going to get notified of any of this. Instagram is not going to go out of their way and be like hey, you messed up, you did something wrong, we’re going to penalize you. No, no, this is all you’re going to figure this out by yourself and you’re going to see it. What will end up happening is like you got shadowbanned, one day you upload a picture and it’s just nothing.

You’re usually getting like 400 likes a photo with like 60 comments, you get maybe 20, 30, 100 likes with like five comments. That’s essentially a good idea to figure out that you’ve been shadowbanned. If this is just one post, it’s not a good indication because you could be posting at the wrong times, you could have used the wrong hashtags, etc, but if your account has been consistently getting 400 likes and 60 comments and all the sudden you’re posting and you’re getting 100 likes and like five comments or ten comments, this could be a good indication that you’re doing wrong and that you have been shadowbanned due to the two things that I mentioned before.

That is on the low end of the spectrum. How severe it is obviously varies. The way Instagram does it is essentially it doesn’t show, your post doesn’t show up on people’s feed. If you got shadowbanned, your post is not going to pop up on people’s feed, it’s not going to pop up at the very top. If people search for you and they go and they look at your posts, it’s going to show up, it’s not like you’re invisible, but your post is not going to show up on people’s feed that follow you and it’s also not going to show up on hashtags.

If it does show up on hashtags it’s going to quickly be like at the very, very bottom or it’s definitely not going to be trending, it’s not going to show up in the top hashtag section. Another indication is if you upload an Insta-story and your story goes all the way to the very end of the person’s feed. Let’s say if you’re following me, any time I upload an Insta-story and again, it’s kind of chronological, you’re going to see my story go up first. If I was shadowbanned, you’re going to see my story, like you’re going to have to scroll all the way to the very end of all of your stories to see me there.

That’s Instagram’s way of being like bad on you, you did something we don’t like, you’re getting punished. Now that’s on the not so bad end. The very bad end is your account could get deactivated or deleted. About I’d say a year ago, a bunch of fitness accounts got, like overnight they would log into their account, it was fine, they went to sleep, they woke up in the morning no account. They tried to login, no account, contact Instagram for support. You contact Instagram there’s nobody to contact. You can send in a bunch of emails, nobody’s going to ever respond, literally.

A bunch of people were freaking out, they’re like oh my gosh, my page is gone and these are really large accounts, 200K, 500K, 100K, this is where their business is, this really messed it up for them and they didn’t even know they were doing anything wrong but they still got penalized for it. Their account got deactivated. Essentially what that means is that your account disappears, poof, overnight it vanishes. You have no access to it, nothing, nobody can find you, it disappeared and you don’t get access to it for I think like a week or two weeks and then miraculously just as it disappeared, poof it is back.

You get access to it after two weeks or something, something random like that. You can try emailing Instagram, they’re never going to respond to you. Promise, just give it a shot, you’re never going to hear back. That’s a deactivated. Now on the worse end and again, some accounts got deactivated, others got deleted. Your account overnight disappears, you are never, ever getting it back, ever, it’s gone. Your user name is now up for grabs, everything is gone, your pictures, your stories, whatever, all gone. Now I know this really sucks and again, Instagram claims that this thing doesn’t really exist, my friend proved them wrong.

Luckily she only got deactivated and it was because of copyright music. She got her account back after a week and everything was there. The followers were there, everything was fine, it’s literally like her account just froze, disappeared in time and then came back. Like I said, if you’re trying to figure out if you got shadowbanned, look at your engagement. Obviously if you got deactivated or deleted you’re going to know, your account is gone but if you’re noticing a decrease in engagement consistently and you’ve looked at the hashtags and it’s not the hashtags.

If you’re using hashtags go to the hashtags, look through them, see if there’s a lot of spam on them. If they are, stop using them. If you upload videos that have music in them, try to upload some videos without any music. Usually that kind of helps kind of reverse it or it will definitely make it so it’s not worse. In terms of how you can reverse the shadowban if you have been shadowbanned, there is a ton of speculation out there. I personally haven’t found anything that actually works definitively, some people will tell you to sign off the app, some people will tell you to not use hashtags, not post.

I honestly haven’t tried any of those out, I don’t know if they actually work but if you have been shadowbanned it can’t hurt but honestly my best recommendation is try to avoid getting shadowbanned in the first place. Much, much easier.

I hope you found this post helpful and if you did, please make sure to give it a thumbs up and drop a comment below letting me know that you enjoyed it. As always, if there is any questions that you have or you would like me to make videos or blog posts about a specific topic, let me know. Comment below or shoot me a DM at workout_unicorn on Instagram. I always, always, always answer my DMs. Thank you so much for tuning in guys and I will see you all next week.