An Instagram shadow ban is a method which is used by Instagram to control anti-social user behaviour — this ranges from spam Instagram accounts, bots, trolls, people who use follow/unfollow technique and other automation that doesn’t add any value to the app in any helpful way.

When a shadow ban is inflicted on your account, your posts will only reach a few people- approximately one-fifth of your followers. The most painful part (if you’re not a spammy user) of a shadow ban is that you receive no notification that your account has been shadow banned. Sometimes, even with careful and extensive hashtags, there is a possibility that somehow, other Instagram users aren’t seeing your posts in the hashtag indexes.

In most instances, users who have been shadow banned may continue commenting and posting pictures even for months or even years after the ban. You may start raising eyebrows when despite the fact that you are so active when you go online, your comments earn no replies, no likes, and you receive no other interactions.

What are the Pros and Cons?

From a neutral point of view, shadow bans are a double-edged sword. If used properly, it can keep social media free of toxic content that often causes turmoil. On the other hand, those who suffer from it with no intent of wreaking online havoc can suffer from unintended consequences as a result.

So, how does it work?

We cannot clearly point out what exactly triggers an Instagram shadow ban. It could be a manual restriction outlined by an Instagram administrator, or perhaps it could be something triggered automatically by an algorithm that detects unusual user behaviour.

The results are that your posts appear normally to you and your current followers. Anyone who is not among your followers’ list however, will never be able to see your posts in a hashtag index. This can limit your account growth and exposure, and subsequently your business.

What can be done about Instagram shadow ban?

If you happen to suffer from a shadow ban, one way to go about ‘fixing’ it is to create a new Instagram account right from scratch. This will definitely be a turn off for most users. When creating a new account, it’s best to register with a new email address and possibly a completely different phone. This is because Instagram could have the shadow ban linked to specific user information like this and thus the new account could be under the same restrictions as well.