Are You Shadowbanned?

Let’s bust a myth real quick: the shadowban is 100% real. 

According to Adam Mosseri, the platform’s chief executive officer, “Shadow banning is not a thing.”

But ask any social media manager and they will tell you with all certainty that it is so very real. 

Shadowban is essentially Instagram’s way of censoring your posts. So naturally, a social media platform would never admit to doing such things. 

Being shadowbanned means that your posts are only shown to those who follow you, meaning that your hashtags don’t help to expand your reach and you won’t show up on anyone’s explorer page.

The only way for people to see your content when you’re shadowbanned is to actively search or visit one’s page. And this is very problematic for small businesses looking to grow and promote. 

But it is important to know that the shadowban is not just used to censor people or topics that are inappropriate. It is a way to censor, decrease, or stop bots or spammy behavior. 

Recently, instagram and other social sites have been inundated with bots. These bots take away from the authenticity of social media. 

Instagram has developed certain triggers that throw a red flag on your page. 

These triggers range from using banned hashtags (or using the same set over and over), spammy behavior (following/unfollowing), or not knowing your limits (over liking, commenting, or friending users). 

Want to know if you’re shadowbanned? Follow these simple steps:
  1. Create a new post and make sure you use hashtags. 
  2. Search one of the hashtags used and try to find your post on the recent tab. 

If you or other users are able to find your post on this tab, you have not been affected.

But if your post does not show up on this tab, you have been shadowbanned.

Now that you know you are shadowbanned, the next step is to fix it! But how?
  1. Immediately disconnect all third-party apps. Instagram does not like connected apps, like those used to publish posts. 
  2. Stop any bot-like behavior. Whether you’re spamming other accounts or enrolled in engagement pods, instagram can tell you’re not being authentic and flags your account. 
  3. Avoid using banned or repetitive hashtags. Hashtags require constant upkeep; always be researching and checking their status. 
  4. Reach out to IG. Instagram offers support for those having trouble with their account especially if they think your account has a bug. 
  5. Take a break. Many accounts have come back from a tiny hiatus (3-7 days) to their shadowban being lifted. 

There are no shortcuts when it comes to growth on Instagram. But if you have noticed a rapid decrease in engagement or received a scary box telling you your behavior needs reprimanding, shadowbanning may be to blame. 

If you’re unsure of your shadowban status or reasoning, hit my DMs, and let’s schedule an IG Audit to analyze certain aspects of your account. 

2 thoughts on “Are You Shadowbanned?”

  1. Shadow banning is such a mindfield! I hate how hard Instagram is making it to grow right now!

    Katie |

  2. This is a very useful post. I’ve only heard about shadowbanning but never really understood it let alone how to get yourself out of the situation if you find yourself shadow banned!

    This is very helpful as a small business. Social media marketing is tough.. thank you for sharing

    -Gigi Lee

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