WERE YOU AWARE that Instagram will shadowban your account if you post certain hashtags? I sure wasn’t. Ever since I was shadowbanned, I decided to look into it. To see if this has happened to anyone else. And to see what people are saying about it.
THERE’S A LIST OF KEYWORDS that can get you shadowbanned. That makes sense. I thought that things that are racist, homophobic, antisemitic, violent, sexual, abusive, or anything like that, were grounds for some type or ban or action, sure. I can understand why they would do that for those hashtags. But there’s a list of keywords that an everyday user, with no knowledge of banned hashtags, could use unknowingly.
HERE’S JUST A FEW of these terrible, ban worthy hashtags: #desk, #tgif, #woman, #boho, #costumes, and #hardworkpaysoff to name a few. Desk and TGIF! Seriously? Now, I understand that there are some users that probably used these hashtags to post nefarious images and screwed everyone elses chances of ever using these hashtags. But still! How are you supposed to know unless you’re banned or you search every hashtag one at a time? Or just not use them at all? Or do an internet search about banned hashtags, that you, BY THE WAY, had no idea existed?
YOU CAN ALSO get shadowbanned by liking and commenting too much and using too many hashtags, cause the system thinks you’re spamming, or using the same hashtags over and over again. I mean there are also other legitimate reasons to have a ban placed on your account, like using bots, software to increase your views and what not, or having your profile reported. Those I understand. But there are so many freaking unsaid/unwritten other rules? Like when did they ever mention: do not use DESK?
NO WARNING IT HAPPENED
AND THAT’S THE WORST PART! You can get shadowbanned, and never even know it. There is no warning. No notification. No strikes, or an email, or any kind of heads up. Nothing.
NO WAY TO CONTACT
AND IF THAT wasn’t already icing on the BS Instagram cake, there is no way to properly contact them. At all. You can call, with varying success. And they also have an email, but it yields the same results. It isn’t like Facebook, or Youtube, where you can find a Contact section. Yes, you can send a complaint, or report a bug, or state something isn’t working, or about any other problem, but that just shoots into the ether with no guarantee anyone will ever read or respond to it. It’s actually pretty lame.
SO IF SOMETHING WERE to happen to your account? Maybe it gets deleted. Maybe you get shadowbanned. Or you get outright banned? There’s little you can do. As far as getting them to help you. So, if you use one of the dreaded keywords like #desk or #tgif, you may find your follower count coming to a halt and your hashtags no longer showing up, as your engagement slows to nothing. Without your knowledge. And with no way to remedy or stop it, you will have been shadowbanned. Without warning. Sh** out of luck.
THAT ISN’T TO SAY that you cannot do anything about it. People have written that you can leave Instagram for a while, stop using the offending hashtags, stop being spammy, and all that. So there are ways to get over it, but I feel like it’s all a roundabout, nonsensical, way of dealing with the issues. Issues that could easily be fixed by having a simple support button. Or contact form. Anything? Or a warning from the team telling you what you did, so you can fix and avoid it in the future.
SO YEAH, I’VE BEEN SOURED by Instagram. And like I said before, it saddens me because they’re my favorite social media site. Or, at least it use to be. But at this point, I’m not sure if I’ll do something they deem shadowban worthy, you know? Cause they don’t tell you. I know for some that just post for family and friends, this isn’t a real issue. I get that. But if you’re trying to reach a wider audience, create a brand, and increase your reach, this is horrible. And like I’ve already stated, what makes it even worse is that there’s nothing you can do about it? I mean, if freaking #desk and #tgif can get you shadowbanned, what else will pop up in the future, that they don’t tell you about? It’s just a hassle.
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Websites where I got my information: