”Instagram (2023)

In this article, we’re going to go over:

  1. What exactly is the Instagram shadowban? Is the IG shadowban a real thing?

  2. How to identify if your Instagram account is “shadowbanned”… AKA, your individual posts aren’t showing up for hashtags that you added to your captions or comments.

  3. What it means to be shadowbanned and what it means for your Instagram account.

  4. How to fix being shadowbanned and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

  5. What you need to know about the Instagram shadowban going forward (and how it’s changing)

What is the Instagram Shadowban?

Here is what’s currently happening to Instagram users all over the platform:

Instagram, for a number of different reasons… is actively restricting some people’s posts so they don’t show up for hashtags or their followers feeds.

The only way for people to see your posts when a post is shadowbanned is to type their name in search and visit their actual profile.

As you can imagine… if people on Instagram are unable to see your posts anywhere on the platform (besides having to type in your name and visit your profile), it’s absolutely devastating for your account.

But here’s where it get’s controversial:

Does the Instagram Shadowban actually exist?

According to Instagram, the IG Shadowban does not exist and it’s a common misconception to think otherwise.

However, if you spend just a few minutes digging, you’ll find account after account complaining that their account is in fact shadowbanned and that their followers are complaining that they no longer see them anywhere in their main feeds or when searching for different hashtags.

Recently, Internet personality Mia Khalifa revealed an internal presentation that went out to only Instagram employees at Instagram HQ.

Instagram not only confirmed that the IG Shadowban is real, the algorithm is actively looking for certain activities and criteria before placing accounts under the ban.

Here’s what’s important to know:

Instagram has a number of banned hashtags that it doesn’t want you to use.

If you use these banned hashtags in a caption for a post, Instagram will not only restrict that post so that it will not be able to be found when you search for it, your post will also not show up in people’s feeds (even if they follow you).

For example, #Snapchat is not allowed on Instagram’s platform and you will be punished by the algorithm if you attempt to use this ‘banned hashtag’ in any post.

Important note:

Not all banned hashtags are as obvious as you’d think.

For example, common terms such as #pushups, #alone, #brain are all banned hashtags on Instagram.

In fact, there are numerous banned hashtags on Instagram that you should avoid using in posts or comments.

Failure to avoid using any of these banned hashtags can result in your account getting shadowbanned or worse, can even result in Instagram permanently banning you from the platform according to Instagram’s Community Guidelines.

Here is the complete list of banned Instagram hashtags In 2023:

(This list was updated on May 16, 2023)


  • #alone

  • #assday

  • #ass

  • #antivax


  • #beautyblogger

  • #bikinibody

  • #boho

  • #brain


  • #costumes

  • #curvygirls


  • #date

  • #dating

  • #desk

  • #dm


  • #elevator


  • #graffitiigers


  • #hardworkpaysoff

  • #happythanksgiving

  • #humpday


  • #iphonegraphy

  • #italiano


  • #kansas

  • #killingit

  • #kissing


  • #master

  • #models

  • #mustfollow


  • #nasty

  • #newyearsday

    (Video) Wie funktioniert Instagram? Tutorial Anfänger 2023 Alle Grundfunktionen


  • #petite

  • #pornfood

  • #pushups


  • #saltwater

  • #shit

  • #shower

  • #single

  • #singlelife

  • #skype

  • #snap

  • #snapchat

  • #snowstorm

  • #sopretty

  • #stranger

  • #streetphoto

  • #sunbathing

  • #swole


  • #tag4like

  • #tanlines

  • #teens

  • #thought


  • #undies


  • #valentinesday


  • #workflow

(Video) Instagram’s Algorithm CHANGED! 😠 The FASTEST Way To Grow Your Instagram in 2023

Quick note:

I run a free app called PostBuilder that lets you:

  • Schedule stories and posts

  • Use 40+ custom fonts for your bio and captions

  • Preview what your posts will look like before you post

  • Make perfect line breaks for your Instagram captions, bios, and comments

  • Store unlimited future posts and captions and organize them in your drafts

  • Does not require you to login with Instagram and is fully compliant with Instagram’s Terms of Service

PostBuilder is an all-in-one Instagram management app that saves you a massive amount of time when you’re trying to grow your brand on Instagram.

(Video) Instagram Anfänger Tutorial (DEIN Start!)

Important note:

I also run an app called PicMerger that lets you stitch photos together side by side, make photo collages sized for Instagram, size your photos in a perfect square, and other picture editing tools that save you time and effort when creating content.

How To Check If You’re Shadowbanned On Instagram In 2023

If you’re wanting to know if your latest post has been hit by the Instagram shadowban, follow these simple steps:

  1. Make your new post on IG using your intended hashtags

  2. Have a few people that you know go search for those hashtags and try to find your post in recent posts

If people are able to find your recent post for that hashtag when searching, you weren’t shadowbanned.

If people are unable to find your new post when searching for that hashtag, you are almost certainly affected by Instagram’s shadowban..

Important to note:

When checking if your post is showing up for hashtags, you have to use another device and IG account.

Instagram’s algorithm is extremely sophisticated and will still show you your post regardless if you’re shadowbanned or not.

Here’s how to remove The instagram shadowban In 2023

1. Remove any questionable 3rd party apps or software that has access to your Instagram account.

To check what apps and websites have access to your IG account:

  • Sign into IG on desktop

  • Go to “Settings”

  • Go to “Apps and Websites”

  • Remove potentially questionable apps and websites that you have allowed access to your account in the past

2. Stop using bots, automation, or engagement pods to try to get around the IG algorithm

It’s 2023… the Instagram algorithm is highly sophisticated and the days of thinking you have a chance at outsmarting it are long gone.

Yes, there are bots and 3rd party software that are still existing on Instagram… but the platform is cracking down on these faster and faster.

The only long-term option going forward on Instagram is to abide by their Terms of Service and grow you account the ride way… without trying to take shortcuts.

3. Avoid using banned and recently blacklisted hashtags

We went over the usage of banned hashtags and the risks involved… but you also need to be wary of using popular hashtags that have been blacklisted on the platform.

For example, on #Christmas, #Thanksgiving, #4thOfJuly, etc., these hashtags will be used by millions of people and will eventually hit a threshold where Instagram suddenly (and without warning) will ‘blacklist’ that hashtag.

What this means:

Everyone who uses that hashtag going forward will be at risk of being shadowbanned.

Again, the people who used the hashtag before the blacklisting will not be affected… but users who make posts even seconds after IG does this will risk being shadowbanned.

4. Avoid using repetitive or irrelevant hashtags over and over

Instagram’s algorithm wants new and fresh content on the platform.

If you’re using irrelevant hashtags, or if you’re using the same hashtags over and over in posts… you’re going to get hit by the Instagram Shadowban (eventually).

Here’s what to do instead:

You should only be using highly relevant hashtags in your posts.

Don’t use generic hashtags like #love, #happy #sad, #glad, et cetera.

(Video) Instagram's Latest Algorithm Change: What Works Right Now?

Important not:

When you’re adding your hashtags to your post, always add it to your caption… not to your first comment.


You can’t edit individual hashtags in comments.

Instagram sometimes will only ban a handful of your hashtags.

What this means:

If you go back into your post and remove the hashtags that have banned or blacklisted and kept the ones that haven’t been flagged, the restrictions on your post will be removed.

If you add your hashtags to your comments and you get hit by a shadowban, you won’t be able to go in and edit out the banned tags indivudally… you’ll be forced to remove all of your hashtags (even the ones that weren’t affected).

5. Reach out to Instagram through their IG support page

Once you remove the potentially questionable 3rd apps or software that had authorization access on your account, you need to reach out to Instagram through the app.

Yes, Instagram support actually does read support requests like these (even though you most likely won’t get an email reply from them when you send them a request).

Here’s what you need to say:

You need to inform IG in your message that your followers are not able to see your posts in their feeds and they aren’t able to find you in search.

Important note:

Do NOT mention you suspect you are under a shadowbox. Just describe what is happening and explain that this is hurting your brand/business because of this bug.

6. Commenting, Liking, or DMing too much

The shadowban is also watching for any spam or non-human activity.

If you’re making 40 comments in 1 hour, Instagram doesn’t like that and will punish you.

Also, if you’re sending a bunch of DMs all at once to a mass of people, Instagram could think you’re a bot or you’re using some sort of 3rd party software.

Bottom line:

Act like a human. Don’t be mistaken for a bot.

The algorithm makes mistakes… don’t take the risk of it making a mistake and flagging your account.

7. You’re getting reported

If your account or you comments/DMs are getting reported by users, you can be subjected to a shadowban.

You won’t get shadowbanned right away, but if enough people mass report you… you can absolutely be subjected to getting a shadowban or even a permanent account ban.

8. Take a break from Instagram for a few days or even a week

Many people have come out and shown that after taking 2-7 days off from Instagram, their shadowbans were lifted.

Should you put your hashtags in your Instagram caption or in the comment below your post?

At the end of August of 2021, Adam Mosseri (current head of Instagram) publicly announced on his official Instagram @Mosseri that the Instagram algorithm favors posts when hashtags are placed inside the caption.

Although many argue that it’s more aesthetically pleasing when you bury your hashtags in your IG post’s comments…

Instagram has publicly declared that you should always post your hashtags inside your captions for any type of content on Instagram (posts, Reels, IGTV, et cetera)… if you want to fully appease the Instagram algorithm.

In conclusion:

There are no shortcuts when it comes to growing an audience on Instagram.

If you’re trying to game the algorithm, you’ve already lost.

Long are the days of being able to use shady tactics to grow your account… if you want to win on Instagram (without getting restricted or shadowbanned) you’re going to have to abide by Instagram’s rules.

Did I miss anything?

Leave me a note at Andrew@AndrewLee.Ventures and tell me what I’m missing.

*This article was originally published on October 13, 2017 and was updated May 16, 2023.

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