How to remove a “shadowban” from your Instagram account?

Growing your Instagram account takes much time, creative ideas that will grab the attention of thousands of users, and financial resources for the 21st century. It is a common situation when the activity and statistics of the account suddenly drop. Mainly, it affects engagement and reaches. Usually, this means that you are Shadowbanned.

What is Shadowbanning – The Meaning

Instagram Shadowban is an undetected user ban that blocks dynamic user content on social media. This means that only subscribers will view posts and see hashtags appearing on the feed. If you suddenly notice a drop in engagement of direct reach, consider this idea.

Even though the term appeared about fifteen years ago, it has recently gained popularity. Instagram is not the only platform that implements such rules to optimize social networks. Its primary use is to eliminate social networks accounts that do not comply with the terms of use of the service. Therefore, the main reason for Shadowban is to ensure that users receive acceptable, honest, and genuine content.

Developing an Instagram account requires a lot of effort and resources, time, and money. Even if money is not an issue, it takes months or years to become famous and have thousands of followers. Some bloggers use inauthentic methods such as irrelevant hashtags or Automated Bots. The site administration highlights “non-compliant users” and puts them under Shadowban for security reasons. There is no notification when this happens. Users can realize that something is not suitable only when the number of views decreases.

Typically, a Shadowban affects the reach from users to those outside of your circle of followers. It can manifest itself in several ways:

  • Prevent other users (who don’t follow you) from seeing posts in the recommendations section
  • Exclude articles from a search with hashtags

In such circumstances, one can maintain the existing audience. The problem arises in terms of growth. However, some bloggers are sure that the content disappears from the subscriber feed.

However, a sudden and significant drop in stats, like range, may be related to other reasons. Instagram is constantly changing the algorithms of the crawl page. The updates have been out since June 2016. Since then, many influencers have suffered a significant drop in engagement. This is mainly related to a hashtag search. The social media administration admitted such a problem in February 2017.

They even provided suggestions on creating genuine content to avoid breaking their rules.

In the event of blatant abuse of the regulations, the platform can remove the content. In such cases, its owner would be informed as follows:

Am I Shadowbanned on Instagram? How to verify it?

When developing a business account, it is essential to implement a complementary approach. Statistics (or metrics) is an excellent tool to assess the account’s real potential and current state. This is also the critical element in determining whether your account has been banned or not. The reasons are as follows:

  • The decrease in likes and comments. A sudden drop in engagement can be frustrating, and it kills genuine subscribers who are genuinely interested in your content. If the account is under Shadowban, this will happen for multiple Posts.
  • Do not reach a new audience via hashtags. If this is a viral hashtag and you are an average blogger, nothing special about this specific case. However, this will be a red flag for less popular hashtags, and unfortunately, non-subscribers will not be able to see your account when searching through hashtags.
  • Fall of the litter. It is a complex parameter to assess but very important. If the audience numbers drop significantly for two to three days, and you are still following a successful marketing strategy, your posts are probably not visible to the general public.

It is essential to keep in mind that only one factor will not conclude that your account is under “ban.” This can be explained by a change in algorithms (briefly covered in the previous section).

Whether you are one hundred percent sure or not, there are several ways to check if a Shadowban has been implemented on your account or not.

Using someone else’s Instagram account

This option is directly linked to a hashtag search. It’s pretty straightforward. All you have to do is:

  1. Create a Post with unpopular hashtags. This way, it will be easier to locate your account due to the reduced number of posts.
  2. Have four or five non-subscribers research the hashtag. Someone in your audience may also momentarily no longer “follow” you for the experiment.

If the specific hashtag is found while other stats are still down, the reason is probably hidden in the updated algorithms. On the other hand, if no one has seen the message, there is good reason to believe that the account is in “the shadow realm.”

Use the shadowban tester or verifier.

Various tools determine whether or not an account is under Shadowban. They can be paid or free, with additional features or simple evaluation criteria. All you have to do is fill in the identifying information to start the search.

Most of the time, the tester will check the last ten Posts for the existence of banned viral hashtags. For example, Triberr marks the bad ones with red and the good ones with green. It also specifies any “bad” hashtags, so it will be easier to remove them. Apart from that, it also evaluates other stats and provides recommendations on how to improve range.

Other software like Instagram Shadowban test deepens and determines the use of the banned hashtags and the general compliance with the site’s health and safety rules at a glance. This is a so-called personalized guide to sustainable content.

Why have you been shadowbanned? What are the causes of Shadowban on Instagram?

Those who have already suffered from the “benefits” of Shadowban are struggling to learn how to avoid it in the future. This information will also be helpful to business Instagram users. For this, you need to familiarize yourself with the most common causes.

Use of Bots or other automated “Instagram growth” tools

Instagram’s terms of service cover the implementation of automated software. This mainly concerns bots that increase your audience and engagement (for example, by increasing the number of likes). Among the applications that fulfill such a purpose on the web are Instagress, Followliker, or Boost. Usually, this is a way to give authentic influencers more credit and decrease those who try to cheat.

Auto-post bots are also seen as a threat to the authenticity of account development. So if you are lazy and don’t want to wake up at 8 a.m. to post, it is best to set the alarm. This item does not include reminder apps: those that send out a push notification that it’s time to post something.

A quick note to remember: using bots for one account can negatively affect other charges—the reason being: the same IP address.

Use of “broken” hashtags

Hashtags are a common way to gain a mass audience. They will improve your chances of reaching an authentic audience. This is probably the reason why Instagram strictly follows all hashtag conformities. While there are no officially published lists of those with a disability, it is relatively straightforward to check it yourself. To do this, you have to search for a hashtag. If the only section appears in the Top Posts section, this hashtag is probably under a ban. In some cases, you may find a note from the site administration indicating that this hashtag does not follow compliance rules.

Another trap here is the continued use of specific hashtags. Even though some bloggers come to such a technique to develop a convenient, complete page navigation system, one must remain cautious. Social networks will consider this spam and place you under Shadowban.

Your account is frequently flagged.

Reporting an account is the fastest way to put it in the technical support spotlight. This means that the published content infringes the copyright or is considered inappropriate. In a nutshell, the shared data somehow violates community guidelines or terms of use.

If the number of reports is high, Instagram can put your account in a “shadow realm” or even deactivate it altogether. If no rule has been broken, you have nothing to worry about. You have to contact technical support and wait for them to check everything manually.

You posted, commented on, involved, or followed people too quickly.

Instagram has set specific limits for the number of likes, comments, and following activity. This is a security measure to detect users who work closely with machines. The authorized numbers per hour are:

  • 150 likes
  • 60 reviews
  • 60 subscriptions / one-subscriptions

These are the average numbers for the majority of users. However, the limits can be relaxed depending on the age of the account. This means that the older the report, the more flexible the regulations.

In addition to the limits mentioned above, some are applied to the number of hashtags or Posts deleted. However, this is unlikely to lead to a Shadowban. Usually, the social network site will send the notification immediately.

How to fix or avoid Instagram Shadowban?

There is no panacea to the Shadowban problem at the moment. The situation will improve when Instagram talks about the “virus” and provides the exact steps to avoid it. Those who understand their reason for being banned can use it as a starting point to correct or prevent Instagram Shadowban. The most apparent reasons are presented below:

  1. Stop using banned or “broken” hashtags

“Broken” hashtags are like a red flag for the bull. This is one of the fastest ways to get sent to the “shadow realm.” Their use is likely to cause more damage than benefit.

Given this, one should go through all the articles to tackle the issue of Shadowbanned hashtags. We have already discussed how to check their status via an Instagram search. Another solution – the list of banned hashtags presented by Instagram. Don’t forget to read the comments as well. Overall, it’s best to stop including hashtags in comments. This increases your chances of falling under a Shadowban in the short term.

Don’t be too enthusiastic if it helped your account get back to normal. If you want to use an “unknown” hashtag, it’s best to check it first. This will help you stay out of the “gray area” and constantly grow your business.

     2. Take a Short Instagram Break

Removing Instagram from your daily routine for several days can make it much easier to remove Shadowban. This applies to likes, comments, and even logging into the app itself. The average time required for cleaning social networks is 48 hours. You can extend the duration up to 72 hours to improve your chances.

After returning to the site, follow the terms of service and other rules 100%. Some also note that minimizing activity (i.e., Liking Posts or leaving comments) for a while can also help with the shadowbanning issue.

     3. Report your Shadowban to Instagram

Even though Instagram is quite difficult to contact, reporting an issue can lead to some outcomes. The best way to do this is through the app itself. Any device is suitable. You have to go to the profile section, click on the cog icon in the upper right corner and find the “Report a Problem” button in the list. (Scroll down because it’s at the end of the list.)

The best description of the Shadowban problem is “something is wrong.” After choosing it, it will be allowed to describe the problem so that technical support can better understand it. It’s critical to remember that Instagram doesn’t officially recognize the issue. Therefore, there would be no point in complaining about a drop in engagement or any other statistic. One of the best descriptions is a non-categorization of posts based on the hashtags used.

Anyway, this procedure can be done several times to have free rein for experimentation. Remember that there will be no quick response if any.

     4. Switch from a Professional Account to a Personal Account

Going back to a personal account can be a somewhat controversial solution. There is no proof of its effectiveness; however, some web users claim it works. The potential reason is that a business account automatically involves the role of a marketing tool and, therefore, means making a profit.

Some people say that social media has started to focus on more monetization since Facebook acquired Instagram. Businesses are an essential resource. Paid ads are a popular way to earn a spot on Facebook. The ability to consistently grow the audience and increase engagement with the existing non-paid mode limits potential advertising customers. Therefore, it can be assumed that here are the roots of the emergence of the Shadowban.

     5. Avoid being reported by other users.

While it’s not easy to connect with an Instagram rep, their tech support is pretty responsive. Not to answers but to complaints. This is all that users report. It’s a sure sign that something is wrong with your content, especially if you are flagged because your Posts are inappropriate or spam.

To avoid this, one must strictly follow all social media regulations. They can be divided into two categories: conditions of service and community directives. In summary, the content should be authentic, non-offensive, and appropriate (i.e., free of any form of harassment, exposed sexuality, etc.). This regulation also extends to how the account is developed. This means that only manual and compatible options will avoid issues for this account. Being reported does not always mean that the account history is destroyed. Nonetheless, the drop in reach, engagement, and other metrics is guaranteed. In the most severe cases, you can lose everything forever.

List of prohibited Instagram hashtags

The first list of banned Instagram hashtags was published in 2018. Before, all banned hashtags had to be manually verified through a search, as mentioned above. These lists cannot be 100% guaranteed. This does not mean that those who comply with it make a mistake. The reason is that the hashtag ban may be temporary.

The lists may seem too diverse. They can include the most common ones like #alone, #always, #italiano, #popular, etc. Many of these hashtags are related to a sexual topic or traditional Instagram themes like #likeforlike.

Here, you can see the updated list of banned hashtags on Instagram.

Other Shadowbans on social networks

The term “Shadowban” has gained popularity on all social networks. Giants such as Twitter and Facebook have suffered considerably from several charges related to the matter. Although none of them have confirmed that they apply Shadowbans, we could see several posts regarding the change of algorithms.

Twitter announced that a particular ranking had been applied to eliminate all the “bad actors.” This mainly covers the authenticity of the content and how the accounts are used. Facebook, for its part, suffers from a large number of news that is published. In an attempt to detect fakes, some random accounts have also been banned.

They claim to trust reports made by users and information verifiers, the “fact-checkers.” However, both can still limit engagement and reach if the account has been too active or violated regulations.

Youtube is also known to implement Shadowban. Apart from the traditional ban, due to non-compliance with regulations, this social network Shadowbanne’s specific comments. In this way, they are marked as spam and only appear to the author and owner of the video.

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