Does shadowban on Instagram exist? 

21 February 2023

I’m sure you’ve heard of this topic, the shadowban on Instagram, right? But does this technique really exist? 

Let’s find out! 

What is a “shadowban”? 

Before opening the debate on whether it exists, what does “shadowban” even mean? 

This is an action carried out by social networks to block the content of a content creator or user, without notifying the user that they have been banned. 

In the case of Instagram, shadowbanning means that the users’ content will still be visible to the users that follow them, but this content will be delayed or suppressed in the feed, thus slowing the growth of their Instagram account. 

It is also possible that if Instagram shadowbans users, their stories will see less reach than expected. 

Does Instagram apply shadowbans? 

And ultimately, is there an action on accounts that share inappropriate content? 

Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s CEO, has officially confirmed that there is no shadowban. 

In a story from his personal account, Adam Mosseri assured that Instagram does not apply any shadowban technique to any profile, whether personal or company

As explained in the story, in the case that you share inappropriate content that violates the rules of the network, and if you do so multiple times, your account may be suspended. In addition, your content will not be recommended in sections such as the explore page. 

If you notice a decrease in your content’s reach, Mosseri also states that the main problem is due to Instagram no longer having as much interest in what you share or that other content has “stolen” interest on the network. 

To combat this, Mosseri recommends using the account status feature within the app

Check your account status 

Go to your Profile > Menu > Settings > Account > Account Status. Instagram will show you information about your account including if your content is being recommended for accounts that don’t follow you. 

If your content doesn’t meet the Community Guidelines, Instagram will not recommend that content to other profiles in the Explore section. 

In this case, Instagram gives you the option to edit or delete the content or appeal the decision, if you disagree with it. 

Actions for which Instagram can penalize 

These are some of the actions that violate Instagram rules or generate spam on the social network. 

Using software that violates the network’s terms of use 

In this section, we can distinguish three different actions that would be considered violations of Instagram’s policies and rules of use. 

❌ Software that publish for you 

Accounts that use software that publishes content for you and is not authorized such as Onlypuly, Storrito, or Postcron. As an alternative, there are other tools, such as Metricool, that do not violate Instagram’s Terms of Use and is approved by the social network. 

How do you know if a tool is not authorized by Instagram?

Any software or tools that asks you to enter your Instagram name and password to access their application. If so, it is not an authorized tool. 

Authorized Instagram tools will instead take you directly to your Instagram account so that from Instagram itself, they can give permission to the tool. 


The use of bots, which helps a user’s audience grow artificially, violates Instagram’s terms of service. 


If you have multiple Instagram accounts and use an automation system on any of them, this can affect other accounts that you own, since they share the same IP address. 

Using banned hashtags by Instagram

By this, we mean hashtags that Instagram blocks to prevent misuse. Most of them contain mentions of pornography, but you’d be surprised by some of those blacklisted: (#17bitch #adiosbitchachos #dildos #fetish #balls #bang #bangbang, etc). 

Exceeding daily usage limits 

There are usage limits that if exceeded, will be detected by Instagram. These limits are: 

Follow or unfollow people massively (60 per hour approximately). 

Comment in bulk (60 comments per hour approximately). 

Mass liking content at once (150 per hour approximately). 

Having your account recently reported 

When an account is reported, this is important and eye-catching for Instagram. Reported accounts are analyzed in detail, to identify if there are really violating the terms of use of if they are uploading inappropriate content. 

How to avoid being penalized on Instagram 

If you think your account is being penalized, here are some techniques you can apply to get it back to normal. 

📌Stop using third-party tools 

If you use any tools or bots to manipulate Instagram and get more likes, and followers, or be able to schedule content on the network, stop using them. Of course, only those that are not authorized by the network. 

📌Delete banned hashtags 

Although this may be a tedious task, you will find that it’s worth it in the end. If you find any hashtags that have been banned or you think could raise a red flag on the network, delete them and search for other clean, suitable hashtags. 

📌Report the problem on Instagram 

If you think you have not performed any actions that violate Instagram’s terms or have deleted any content that could be considered inappropriate, report this situation so that it reaches the Instagram department and they can help you. 

If you are being penalized by Instagram, I advise you to create an Instagram Marketing strategy for your profiles, in this way you can know how to act and have prepared the actions you will carry out in case you run into these types of issues. 

Sara Martín Sara Martín , 21 February 2023

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