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Have you been shadow-banned on Instagram?

The Mystery of Instagram Shadow Banning Unveiled and Practical Tips to Fix It

A photo of a phone with a photo of a woman's hands on the screen, a bottle of wine, a glass, and shades.

On Instagram, "shadow banning" has caused frustration and confusion among users.

Many have experienced a sudden decline in post visibility and engagement, leaving them wondering if their content has been concealed from their followers.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the concept of shadow banning, provide signs to identify if you're affected by it, and offer practical steps to escape its grip.

Understanding Shadow Banning

Shadow banning is the phenomenon where your posts become invisible to others without your knowledge.

While Instagram has never officially acknowledged its existence, numerous users have witnessed a significant decrease in engagement, making them feel as if their content has vanished into obscurity.

Signs You've Been Shadow Banned

1. Drastic Drop in Engagement: If you notice a sudden decline in likes, comments, and overall engagement, it might indicate shadow banning.

2. Missing Posts: When your posts fail to appear in recent posts under those tags, your content is likely shadow-banned.

3. Limited Reach: If your posts only reach existing followers and fail to attract new audiences, it's a red flag that shadow banning might be in effect.

How to Confirm Shadow Banning

To confirm whether you've fallen victim to shadow banning, consider the following steps:

1. Check Hashtags: Create a post with a unique hashtag and ask a non-follower friend to search for it. If they can't find your post, it's a strong indicator of shadow banning.

2. Engagement Drop: Compare the engagement rates of your recent posts. If there's a significant decrease, it might confirm the presence of shadow banning.

3. Test Account: Use a separate account to interact with your posts. If your posts don't appear on this alternate account's feed, shadow banning could be the cause.

Steps to Escape the Shadows

1. Review Content: Ensure your content adheres to Instagram's guidelines by avoiding prohibited hashtags and spammy behavior.

2. Pause Activity: Take a break from certain activities like liking, commenting, and following for a few days to allow your account to regain visibility.

3. Report and Appeal: If you believe shadow banning is unjust, report the issue to Instagram and seek clarification through their appeal process.

4. Clean Up Hashtags: Remove any potentially banned or excessively used hashtags from your posts. Review Kicksta's list of banned hashtags for 2023, and remove all broken hashtags from your content.

5. Engage Authentically: Focus on genuine engagement with your followers, as quality interactions can improve your account's reputation.

6. Diversify Content: Experiment with various content types and captions to demonstrate to Instagram that your account is not automated.

A phone with an Instagram post of a woman on screen
Photo by Lance Reis from Pexels

According to a HubSpot article, it's important to note that Instagram's algorithms are constantly evolving, and sometimes genuine accounts may inadvertently be affected by shadow banning.

By keeping an eye out for signs, taking corrective actions, and prioritizing authentic engagement, you can break free from the shadows and regain the attention your content deserves in the vibrant world of social media.

So, continue creating and connecting – the spotlight is waiting for you!


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