What is an Instagram Shadowban? How to Test & Avoid It (2022 Upadted)

What do you know about the well-acclaimed Instagram shadowban? If you know little to nothing about it, then the article below has been written for you to know all you need to know about Instagram shadowban including how to get out of it.

Instagram Shadowban

Instagram comes with a guideline that safeguards the quality of its platform and ensures natural engagement while giving popularity to deserving content. However, this does not go down well with many Instagram users who feel the need to flaunt some of the rules in the terms of usage.

On the part of Instagram, it does have a good number of ways it punishes violators. While some of the ways it punishes violators are obvious, others are not. Instagram shadowban is one of the subtle ways Instagram would punish you with engagement level dropping drastically and you even losing followers.

One thing with Instagram shadowban is that except you are experienced in detecting them, you would only be clueless and not even know what is wrong which means all efforts you would put in to remedy the situation would be in vain. It is for this reason that this article has been written — to provide Instagram users with a guide on what Instagram Shadowban is, why it occurs, and how to avoid them, and how to get them removed, among others.

What is Instagram Shadowban?

Instagram Shadowban overivew

Instagram shadowban is one of the measures in which Instagram punishes those violating the platform’s terms of usage. Instagram shadowban simply means Instagram blocking your content from the views of others without you even realizing it.

Usually, when you are blocked or your account gets suspended, you are notified by Instagram about it and given possible steps you need to take to fix it — if it is fixable. In the case of a shadowban, you are not notified — and you wouldn’t notice it if you have untrained eyes. Talk of getting punished without even being told you are being punished.

What happens in a shadowban is that the visibility of your posting is limited and drops drastically which would, in turn, reduce engagement level and put the growth of your account to hold. Users are no longer shown your content without you getting a clue that such is happening. If you are shadow-banned, you will need to find out yourself and fix it. Fortunately, it is easy to detect if you are suffering from a shadowban.

Why Does Instagram Shadowban Accounts?

Instagram even denies the shadow banning concept but in reality, it does exist. When you get shadowbanned, you are most likely the cause. This is as a result of you violating the community guidelines or posting inappropriate content. Below are some of the reasons you will most likely get shadowbanned.

  • Unnatural Level of Engagement

Unnatural Level of Engagement

In a bid to grow your account quickly, you can go overboard with following users, liking the posts of others, and even dropping comments. While all of these is good, you need to know that too much of anything is bad and Instagram does have action limits that after which it would suspect a bot is behind those actions and then shadowban the account.

  • Using an Instagram Bot

Using an Instagram Bot

In the first reason, we made mention of bots and why is that? Because Instagram does not allow its users to use bots as they reduce the quality of engagement in its community and their usage is against the Instagram term of usage.

While using a instagram bot or any kind of Instagram promotion service could earn you a suspension or even outright ban, it could also not be a ban but a shadowban where you do not even know whether you are being penalized or not.

  • Accounts Getting Reported

report insta account and posts

Another sure way to get your account shadowbanned is for many people to report your account and posts. With too many people reporting your posts for inappropriate content, the Instagram algorithm would figure out the public is not interested in what you post in a good way and as such, they would start showing them to fewer people. Depending on the magnitude of your violation, they could even block you outright from their platform.

Shadowban Test: How to Know If you Have Been Shadowbanned

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If you suspect you have been shadowbanned then you will have to find out yourself. This is because Instagram hasn’t even admitted it does it even though there are numbers proof that show it does keep the posts of some users out of the public eyes as a way of punishing them.

The process of finding out whether you have been shadowbanned or not is manual. There are some tools that have been developed to help you find out whether your account has been shadowbanned or not. However, these tools are not reliable and as such, doing it manually is the best way to go.

The best method of knowing whether you have been shadowbanned on Instagram or not is by posting with an unpopular hashtag. The reason you will need to make use of an unpopular hashtag is that for popular hashtags, your posts might be hidden by competition as better content is ranked higher, and such, your post may not show up even if it was posted recently. With the post, get about 5 Instagram users who do not follow you to check whether your post shows up when they search for the hashtag.

If your post does not show up in any of the searches, then you are being shadowbanned. However, if it shows up in the searches of some users and doesn’t in that of others, then it is not a case of shadowbanning but a drop in engagements which then means that what you should be looking out for is how to improve your engagement.

How to Fix Instagram Shadowban

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One good thing with getting your account shadowbanned is that shadowban is temporal — which means that you can get it fixed. In this section, we would be discussing some of the steps required to fix Shadowban.

  • Take a Break off Instagram

Since you were not notified of the ban, you will also not be notified when the ban would be lifted. However, the best advice for you is to stay away from the platform and allow your ban to be lifted.

Interestingly, you will not have to wait for a long period of time to get the shadowban lifter. According to many Instagram users that have been shadowbanned in the past, staying off the platform for 2 days does the magic for them.

  • Stop Using Bots

From the above, we made mention of the fact that using a bot is one of the reasons why some accounts get banned as Instagram does not support the use of bots on its platform. If you know you are using a bot and then your account get shadowbanned, then that is where your problem is — you were banned because you are making use of a bot.

You will need to stop making use of the bot you were using and start managing your account manually. After doing so for a while, Instagram would notice and lift the shadowban.

  • Mind What you Post

If you are posting inappropriate content and other Instagram users reported it and that is the reason you were shadowbanned, then it is time you stop posting the inappropriate content. Read the Instagram community guidelines to know what is allowed and what is not.

By doing this, the ban on your account should be lifted after a while. It is also important you reduce the number of posts or engagement, in general, to cool off. That is why the first measure owes suggests is to take a 2 day break away.

How to Avoid Getting Shadowbanned

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From the above, you already know what leads to shadowban and how to fix it should Instagram shadowban you. But how do you prevent it from occurring in the future? It might interest you to know that it is very easy to avoid getting your account shadowbanned if you are ready to follow the Instagram community guidelines. Learn more about the Instagram community guidelines here.

By following the guidelines which encourage posting only meaningful and appropriate content that is yours or you have the permission to post. You should avoid hashtag stuffing in your posts, buy instagram followers and avoid aggressively following other accounts as it seems to be a bot-like behavior. Another thing you should avoid is using bots and if you cannot, then make sure you do not leave a trace.


We all will agree that shadowban can be frustrating, considering the fact that officially, Instagram hasn’t accepted the fact that it exists and you are not even notified when it is in effect.

You will have to use your discretion to know whether you have been shadowbanned and how to fix it by following the guideline highlighted above.

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