Instagram hashtags and shadow banning.

About a month ago I watch my traffic and engagement drop hard and fast on Instagram. The sudden drop was much more than the usual ebb and flow of traffic and I began to investigate why. 

Instagram uses different ways to police its community and the content that they post. Mostly posts are reported by trolls or concerned citizens. The method is arbitrary and clearly enforces a standard of homophobia and male body shaming that is very obvious. What I didn’t know at the time though is that the hashtags you use can just as easily get you banned.

It’s widely known amongst the Instagram community that hashtags are broken but now I have discovered a new term… shadow banning.

What is shadow banning?

Shadow banning is basically when Instagram prevents your account from receiving organic traffic by blocking your hashtags from appearing in the search feeds and blocks your account from appearing in the explore feeds. It essentially makes you invisible to anyone who is not already following you.

It does this if you use hashtags that are banned, but the ban is arbitrary and blocks your entire account not just suspect content. Okay fair is fair you might say if you are posting porny pics with tags like #gayass or #bigcock but instagram has a whole list of banned hashtags that are completely innocent except that people may have spammed those feeds with content that breaches it’s guidelines. For example if you are a chef and use the tag #eggplant you risk getting banned. There is a list at the bottom of this post of hashtags you should avoid using.

How do you know if you have been shadow banned?

First you will see a very obvious drop in new followers and engagement. Secondly find a friend or sign in to an account that does not follow the account you think may have been shadow banned. If you are not able to find your content in the hashtag recent post feeds then it’s likely you have been banned.

How do you break a shadow ban?

There are no hard rules for this. It seems it can vary from account to account but this is what I did to get mine removed after about 5 days.

  • Delete all your hashtags – they are broken anyway. It’s a pain if you have a lot of posts but removing suspect hashtags seems to be a common solution.
  • Remove any posts you think may be suspect including posts in your archive.
  • Limit your use. Don’t behave like a spammer leaving likes and comments all over the place in a short period of time.
  • Continue posting without hashtags
  • Use the report a problem feature every day. Tell them your account doesn’t not appear in any searches and that your hashtags don’t work. DO NOT say you have been shadow banned.
  • if you have a business profile switch back to personal one.

As a precaution I have decided to limit my hashtag use. I have also noticed that a number of accounts I am following with very large followings have severely limited their hashtag use and some have stopped entirely.

So I hope this post is helpful to those of you out there who might have seen your traffic drop and a scathing your heads trying to figure out why. If you have been shadow banned and managed to get the ban lifted then please leave a comment below and tell us how you managed to do it.

Below is a list of restricted and completely banned hashtags that you should avoid using.

  • #adulting
  • #alone
  • #americangirl
  • #ariefmirna2015
  • #armparty
  • #asia
  • #asiandick
  • #attractive
  • #babyrp
  • #bacak
  • #badbitcztwerk
  • #baddie
  • #balenciaga
  • #balls
  • #bang
  • #bangbang
  • #batikate
  • #beaty
  • #belfie
  • #bi
  • #bigdickboy
  • #bikinibody
  • #bombshell
  • #bootay
  • #bootybounce
  • #bra
  • #brain
  • #breast
  • #buns
  • #butt
  • #butts
  • #cam
  • #carving
  • #catsau
  • #cesitone
  • #cheeky
  • #citycentre
  • #commentschivettes
  • #costumes
  • #cph
  • #cpr
  • #csun
  • #cumfession
  • #curvesfordays
  • #curvy
  • #damngirl
  • #datass
  • #date
  • #dating
  • #desk
  • #direct
  • #dm
  • #dominant
  • #dripping
  • #dutchgirl
  • #dxb
  • #easter
  • #ebonyandivory
  • #edm
  • #edmbabes
  • #eggplant
  • #eggplants
  • #eggporn
  • #elevator
  • #escilepernatale
  • #estellaseraphim
  • #everybodyisbeautiful
  • #excitada
  • #expose
  • #fapstagram
  • #feetofatlanta
  • #fishnets
  • #foreplay
  • #freakshow
  • #freethenipple
  • #gays
  • #gilofashion
  • #girlsonly
  • #gloves
  • #goddess
  • #hamishnadine
  • #happythanksgiving
  • #hardsummer
  • #hijabiba
  • #hooters
  • #hornyyyyyyasf
  • #hotgirls
  • #hotguy
  • #hots
  • #hottie
  • #humpday
  • #iamgay
  • #instagirl
  • #instamood
  • #istanbulgay
  • #italiano
  • #jugs
  • #kansas
  • #kickoff
  • #kik
  • #kikgirl
  • #kikmessenger
  • #killingit
  • #kissing
  • #lesbian
  • #lesbiansofinstagram
  • #lilmandingo
  • #lingerie
  • #lust
  • #marcoreus
  • #master
  • #mebelim
  • #medicina
  • #mexicangirl
  • #mirrorphoto
  • #mixedgirls
  • #models
  • #mr40club
  • #mrsandmrsbordeaux
  • #mrtox
  • #nacket
  • #nasty
  • #newyears
  • #newyearsday
  • #ngento
  • #oovoo
  • #petite
  • #piroka
  • #pixie
  • #poop
  • #pornfood
  • #printic
  • #publicrelations
  • #pushups
  • #rack
  • #ravebabes
  • #roleplay
  • #russiangirl
  • #russianmilf
  • #saltwater
  • #sexlife
  • #shebad
  • #shesquats
  • #shit
  • #shower
  • #single
  • #singlelife
  • #skype
  • #slimthick
  • #snap
  • #snapback
  • #snapchat
  • #snapchatgay
  • #snapme
  • #sokus
  • #sopretty
  • #spanishgirl
  • #sparklingnudes
  • #stopdropandyoga
  • #stranger
  • #streetphoto
  • #stud
  • #submission
  • #sultry
  • #sunbathing
  • #swole
  • #tag4like
  • #takeitoff
  • #teens
  • #tgif
  • #thatasstho
  • #thick
  • #thought
  • #todayimwearing
  • #treviso
  • #twerk
  • #twerker
  • #undies
  • #valentinesday
  • #vatine
  • #weed
  • #weedstagram
  • #weezmoney
  • #wet
  • #whitegirl
  • #woman
  • #womancrushwednesday
  • #women
  • #workflow

And here’s a list of completely banned hashtags:

  • #anal
  • #anon
  • #arse
  • #ballsack
  • #bigboobs
  • #bigbootyhoe
  • #bigtits
  • #bigtitties
  • #bitches
  • #blowjob
  • #bondagesex
  • #boobies
  • #boobstagram
  • #boobz
  • #booty
  • #bunda
  • #clevage
  • #clit
  • #cock
  • #cocks
  • #cum
  • #cumshot
  • #cunt
  • #daddydirection
  • #daddydom
  • #daddylove
  • #dick
  • #dicks
  • #faggot
  • #fatass
  • #femdom
  • #fetish
  • #footfetish
  • #freethenips
  • #frisky
  • #fucking
  • #funbags
  • #girlsgonewild
  • #girlsofinstagram
  • #grindin
  • #gstring
  • #hardcore
  • #hmu
  • #hoes
  • #horny
  • #IG
  • #ilovemyinstagram
  • #incest
  • #instababe
  • #instabody
  • #instafuck
  • #instahot
  • #instasex
  • #jizz
  • #kike
  • #kikmeboys
  • #kikmenow
  • #killyourself
  • #kinky
  • #kontol
  • #kyke
  • #lean
  • #like
  • #loseweight
  • #naughtygirls
  • #nekkid
  • #nigger
  • #nipple
  • #nipples
  • #nips
  • #nobra
  • #nudepics
  • #orgasm
  • #penis
  • #popular
  • #popularpage
  • #porn
  • #porno
  • #pornography
  • #pornstar
  • #proanorexia
  • #probulimia
  • #seksi
  • #selfharm
  • #sexiest
  • #sexual
  • #sexyaf
  • #sexybody
  • #sexygirl
  • #sexys
  • #sexyteen
  • #shirtless
  • #slut
  • #sluts
  • #snowbunnies
  • #spankme
  • #spic
  • #tetas
  • #thickgirls
  • #thighs
  • #thinspiration
  • #thinspo
  • #tit
  • #tits
  • #titties
  • #titty
  • #toket
  • #twerking
  • #twerkteam
  • #twink
  • #vag
  • #wank
  • #whitepower
  • #whore
  • #whores
  • #wtf
  • #xxx
  • #おっぱい

 

 

One thought on “Instagram hashtags and shadow banning.

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:46 am
    Permalink

    There can’t be many more hashtags to use lol I will stop using hashtags it seems to be the only way XXX

    Reply

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