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5 Common Causes of Being Shadowbanned on Instagram

Nave Ben Dror
Nave Ben Dror
CEO & Co-founder at Spikerz
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Published -  
April 19, 2024
5 Common Causes of Being Shadowbanned on Instagram

Maintaining visibility and engagement on Instagram is crucial for influencers, brands, and everyday users. Yet, an invisible barrier often happens - the shadowban. This setback can severely impact your digital presence.
We explore the five most frequent reasons for getting shadowbanned on Instagram. Plus, we introduce Spikerz, the social media security tool that helps you get unshadowbanned and secures your account.

5 Common Causes of Being Shadowbanned on Instagram

1. Inconsistent Engagement Patterns

A sudden spike in activity or inconsistent engagement (like following too many accounts in a short span) can trigger Instagram's spam detection algorithms. This can lead to a shadowban. The platform's efforts to combat bots and spammy behavior mean that erratic activity can often be misconstrued as inauthentic.

Engaging with your audience regularly and consistently is the key. However, overdoing it or using automated tools for likes, comments, and follows can backfire. A study by Social Media Examiner highlights the importance of authentic engagement and the negative impact of perceived spammy behavior on account visibility.

2. Using Banned or Restricted Hashtags

Instagram periodically updates its list of banned and restricted hashtags associated with inappropriate content. Using one of these hashtags can make your entire post invisible to everyone except your followers, a classic shadowban scenario.

In 2019, a significant update to Instagram's community guidelines introduced a more comprehensive and regularly updated list of banned hashtags. This move aimed to clean up the platform from potentially harmful content.

Diversifying your hashtag strategy not only helps avoid the shadowban but also helps reach a broader audience. Tailoring hashtags to each post's content ensures your engagement efforts remain fresh and relevant.

Hashtag search on Instagram

3. Surpassing Posting Limits

Instagram imposes unofficial limits on the number of posts, stories, comments, and direct messages an account can share within a certain timeframe. Exceeding these limits might flag your account as spam, resulting in a shadowban.

While Instagram has not publicly disclosed exact numbers, many believe that keeping your activities within reasonable limits — such as not exceeding a few hundred actions per day — can help avoid triggering Instagram's limits.

4. Bots, Inactive and Ghost Followers

Engaging with bots, accumulating inactive accounts, and having many ghost followers can lead to a shadowban. These followers contribute to an inauthentic engagement profile, which Instagram's algorithms are finely tuned to detect and penalize. Accounts with a high percentage of such followers may find their content visibility reduced, as the platform aims to encourage genuine interaction among its users.

Using third-party apps and services to artificially inflate follower count or engagement metrics can trigger IG's spam detection mechanisms. The platform's algorithms continuously evolve to identify and penalize behavior that undermines the authenticity of user interactions. Instead of relying on shortcuts to build your audience, focus on creating compelling content that naturally attracts real, active followers.

Instagram's commitment to fostering a genuine and safe community means that it actively discourages the use of automation tools for interaction. Engaging in practices such as auto-liking, auto-commenting, and following/unfollowing can be perceived as manipulative and inauthentic, leading to negative consequences for your account's visibility. 

5. Violating Community Guidelines

Perhaps the most straightforward reason for being shadowbanned is the violation of Instagram's community guidelines. This includes posting inappropriate content, engaging in hate speech, or other activities deemed harmful by the platform.

Several high-profile cases of accounts being shadow banned or permanently banned underscore the importance of adhering to community standards. For instance, several celebrities faced shadowbans after sharing content that violated Instagram's misinformation and hate speech guidelines

How to Avoid Getting Shadowbanned on Instagram?

Avoiding a shadowban on Instagram is crucial for maintaining your account's visibility and engagement. One key strategy is to engage authentically and avoid erratic behavior that could be flagged as spammy. This means spacing out your activities, such as follows, likes, and comments, and steering clear of automated tools that promise rapid engagement boosts. Authentic interaction with your followers and within your community enriches your social media experience and keeps your account in good standing.

Be mindful of the hashtags you use. IG regularly updates its list of banned and restricted hashtags associated with inappropriate content. Using one of these can render your post invisible to non-followers. Make it a practice to research and refresh your hashtags regularly to ensure they are not on the banned list. Additionally, diversifying your hashtags can prevent your posts from being marked as repetitive or spammy.

Lastly, familiarize yourself with Instagram's community guidelines and ensure your content complies. This includes respecting intellectual property rights, avoiding hate speech, and not posting explicit content. 

Understanding and adhering to these guidelines is not just about avoiding penalties; it's about contributing to a safe and respectful online community. By focusing on creating valuable content and genuine connections, you can enjoy a thriving Instagram presence without the shadow of a ban.

How Can Spikerz Help?

Spikerz is a comprehensive social media security tool that protects users from threats, including shadowbans, hacking, spam, and impersonation. Our tool offers a multi-faceted approach to preventing shadowbans on IG. 

Continuously monitoring account activity and content can identify behaviors or content that may risk a shadowban. It guards against policy violations by advising on content compliance with Instagram's community standards and suggesting modifications to avoid banned hashtags or spammy behaviors​.

The platform also protects accounts from bots and spam, which can negatively affect engagement and trigger shadowbans. Spikerz's algorithms detect and block bot activity and spam in real time, ensuring genuine engagement and compliance with Instagram's guidelines. 

Moreover, Spikerz's 24/7 monitoring capability is crucial in maintaining account security, providing real-time alerts for suspicious activities that could lead to a shadowban. This round-the-clock vigilance helps users adjust their content and engagement strategies promptly, significantly reducing the risk of being shadow banned.​ 

Why Am I Shadowbanned on Instagram?

Understanding the reasons behind a shadowban is the first step towards resolving it. Spikerz's diagnostic tools can pinpoint specific behaviors or content that may have led to the shadowban.

The intricate dynamics of Instagram's algorithm require understanding the platform's guidelines and the common pitfalls that lead to being shadow banned. By leveraging the insights and tools provided by Spikerz, users can address the reasons behind their shadowban and adopt a proactive stance in securing their digital presence. 

Ready to lift the shadow from your Instagram account? Join Spikerz today and turn your social media journey from invisible to invincible!

Spikerz FREE Shadowban Calculator


  1. How can I tell if my Instagram account has been shadowbanned? 

You can look for several signs: a significant drop in engagement from users who aren't your followers, your posts not appearing for certain hashtags or a decrease in follower growth rate. Using Spikerz, you can more easily identify these signs, clearly indicating if a shadowban has limited your account's reach.

  1. What are the best practices for using automation tools on Instagram without risking a shadowban?

Best practices for using automation tools on IG include setting them to mimic human behavior as closely as possible—this means scheduling actions like follows, likes, and comments to occur at a natural, irregular pace rather than in large, rapid bursts. Spikerz can help by monitoring your account's activity levels and suggesting adjustments to ensure that your use of automation tools remains within acceptable limits.

  1. Can reposting content on Instagram lead to a shadowban?

Reposting content on Instagram doesn't inherently lead to a shadowban, but it's crucial to ensure that reposted content adheres to Instagram's guidelines and that you have permission to share others' content. Using the same hashtags repeatedly with reposted content could raise flags. 

  1. How can Spikerz help avoid getting shadowbanned? 

Spikerz helps avoid shadowban by continuously monitoring your account's activity and alerting you of doubtful posts, comments, likes, and follows. This approach prevents shadowbans and fosters a more authentic and engaging social media experience.

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