Technically you can get banned a lot of different ways, including:
- Sharing content you didn’t create or have no right to share.
- Posting content that contains nudity (specifically genitals, sex stuff, and close-ups of butts)
- Avoiding comments, likes, follows, or share by bots, and making repetitive contact with people for commercial purposes.
- Participating in hate groups, organized crime, and/or terrorism on Instagram.
- Advertising sexual services, buying and/or selling firearms, or illicit drugs.
- Blatant disrespect of other Instagram users. This includes shameful or degrading threats, or posting hate speech.
- Posting anything to do with self-inflicted injury.
- Posting graphic content of newsworthy events with no caption or warning about the content.
I assume your brand isn’t posting any hate speech, so you’re good there. But using banned hashtags are an insidious way to get your content flagged by Instagram. And you’d never expect that some of these hashtags are banned! There are more than 114,000 banned hashtags as of 2018. Have you been using any of them?
Instagram started banning hashtags because, well, people were getting spammy with them. Surprised? Neither are we.
When a certain hashtag starts to get used too broadly with content that violates their Community Guidelines, that hashtag can either temporarily or permanently be blocked.
In their guidelines, it reads: “Help us stay spam-free by not artificially collecting likes, followers, or shares, posting repetitive comments or content, or repeatedly contacting people for commercial purposes without their consent.”
If you use banned hashtags, you may get yourself shadowbanned. This means that Instagram will restrict the visibility of your content so that your posts don’t show up in searches or even in your followers’ feeds. So if you’ve noticed an unexplained dip in engagement recently, you may have been shadowbanned.
In some serious cases, using banned hashtags can get your entire account blocked. Banned hashtags can also essentially render your other hashtags on a post useless, making you invisible for the rest of the hashtags on your post.
You can see if you’ve been shadowbanned by clicking on any of the hashtags in your post. Then, check to make sure that your image appears in that hashtag’s feed. If it doesn’t, your post probably got shadowbanned.
Here’s a list of some of the banned hashtags on Instagram right now: