What Is Shadow Banning and How to Avoid It?

09 DEC 2020

In the first part of the article we presented what Instagram shadow banning is. We also talked about borderline content and explained how the algorithm works. Now, let's discover what actions you are supposed to take to avoid being shadow banned.


How to Avoid Shadow Banning


Well, how are you supposed to act in case you suspect Instagram has banned your content. The problem is no one knows for sure how long you will suffer from the negative effects of shadow banning. Some say it will last for two weeks, others say it might go on for longer. 

Here are some tips that would help you resolve your issue with Instagram in case you have been banned and will keep you on the safe side. 


  • Stop any activity that goes against Instagram's Terms of Service 


One of the tactics that Instagram does not favor severely is using Instagram pods for getting likes, followers and comments. An Instagram pod is a group of users who agree to comment and like posts of other members in the group.  The sacred goal of the group is to provide mutual growth to each other's accounts. 

Another well-known “hack” among Instagram users is increasing account engagement by using automated bots. These tools try to boost your account engagement by liking posts, following accounts and making comments on your behalf. All you have to do is to input the characteristics of your predefined target audience, and your "trained pets” would crawl through accounts that match with the provided target audience characteristics, engage with them in that way trying to earn engagement for your account in return.

If you think you can fool the Instagram algorithm, you are wrong. Any applications that will somehow trick the Instagram "bodyguards" are eventually "sentenced to death". 


  • Do not use restricted or broken hashtags


Well, let's first understand what restricted or broken hashtags are. Hashtags that become overrun are known as broken hashtags. This means that when a very large number of users start putting a specific hashtag under a piece of content which does not relate to that hashtag, Instagram either removes the hashtag or limits its use. If you use that kind of hashtags with your content, it will prevent your other hashtags from ranking or result in a blocked account. 

So, is there any reason you might want to incorporate such hashtags into your content?  Definitely there is none. To avoid using broken hashtags you need to keep a list of broken hashtags and exclude them from communication. Even more, you can develop a complete list of hashtags specific to your brand by using one of the multiple online tools.


  • Contact Instagram support


If you receive complaints from your users that your account has been inactive lately, that means Instagram has banned your content. That is the case you need to contact Instagram Support and ask them to review your case. To do this you need to go to your Profile > Menu > Settings > Help > Report a Problem. The important condition here is not to mention you assume your content is shadow banned, just tell them your followers don't see your content and it negatively affects your business. 


  • Don't act like a bot and don’t use automated bots


If you are not a bot then simply do not act like one. In case you like, comment, post content or follow/unfollow accounts too frequently, the Instagram algorithm would think you are a bot and would put you in Instagram timeout.

In fact, Instagram considers such an unusual hyped engagement rate to be a bot activity. The ultimate result would be a hold on your account lasting from 24 hours to 7 days.


  • Don't get reported


Being reported is a flag for the Instagram algorithm that you are somehow violating their Community Guidelines. To avoid such a situation you just need to make sure you post content corresponding to "the predetermined rules". One other factor you need to consider is to make sure your content is actually of your followers’ interests.


  • Take a break from Instagram


The users who have been shadow banned on Instagram have reported that taking a break from Instagram was the ultimate solution. A 48 hour break from using Instagram can reset the system and bring you back on track. Besides, avoiding the application for several days would help you come up with new creative ideas. It is worth a temporary social media cleanse, isn't it?


Remember: proceed with caution, when you come back. 


Well, I guess enough is said about Instagram's shadow banning and about the ways how to avoid becoming its victim. In fact, staying away from the "Instagram trouble maker" is not that difficult. Just be a "lawful" Instagram user and you will definitely be on the safe side.

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