The term shadowban has reappeared in conversations by Instagram content creators. Some of them suspect that shadowban has decreased their engagement. However, what exactly is Instagram’s shadowban ?
In general, shadowban is an effort to restrict distribution by platform owners to prevent users from committing abuse or violating community guidelines. In other words, the owner of the platform made the content impossible for everyone to find without the uploader’s knowledge.
The abusive behavior in question, for example, spam , inappropriate uploads, or account abuse. In fact, this term is not the first to appear. Shadowban first appeared around 2006. Not only Instagram, this term was also busy on the Twitter platform.
In 2018, a number of users reported having difficulty finding other users’ accounts because they did not appear in the search field automatically. Even when they entered a specific name, the target name was hard to find. However, Twitter denied that the problem was a shadowban impact.
They denied shadowban and said the only error was in search engines’ automated suggestions. While tweets and account uploads can still be found if followers (follower) or non-followers open profiles of accounts suspected of being affected by shadowban. On Instagram, the cases are a bit similar.
Content creators complain that their uploads cannot be found on their feed or Instagram Story. For example, an uploader uses a specific hashtag in his upload and is then searched for by accounts that don’t follow him.
So, accounts that are not yet followers of the account will not find uploads from the uploader even though the account is public. That means that only followers today who can see your upload of content creators, so that the exposure (exposure) upload will not be so extensive.
As a result, follower growth and engagement will stagnate or even decrease. For content creators, this is a serious problem and can have an impact on revenue.
The cause of the Instagram shadowban As said before, shadowban usually targets users who are deemed to be spamming or violating community guidelines. For example, uploads that contain elements of violence, lead to sexuality, contain misinformation, and spam messages.
Other misuse such as using bots, automatic uploading software, and other illegal strategies can also cause shadowban. However, summarized from Later.com , excessive use of hashtags can also lead to shadowban actions . Especially the use of the same hashtags over and over again.
This was mentioned by Instagram in 2017. However, Instagram does not explicitly admit that they shadowban and suggests that content creators focus on their business and make content as interesting as possible instead of relying on hashtags.
“When creating content, we recommend that you focus on business objectivity and the purpose of the upload rather than hashtags,” wrote the Instagram team at the time.
How to check shadowban
There are ways you can do to determine whether an account is affected by shadowban or not. To be sure, use another account that hasn’t followed the indicated shadowban account to check the hashtags used.
Shadowban- indicated accounts can try uploading posts with certain unpopular hashtags so they can be easily tracked. Put 2-3 hashtags in the caption and 2-3 other hashtags in the first comment.
If the upload with this hashtag cannot be found by the account of a user who has not followed it , there is a possibility that the account is affected by shadowban. If the upload appears via hashtag search, it means the account is likely safe.
How to deal with shadowban
It is not known how long it will take for an account to be shadowbaned. There are some users who claim their accounts are affected for up to two weeks or it could be even longer. However, there are several ways you can try to overcome it.
1. Stop using blocked hashtags
To determine whether a hashtag is blocked or not, first search for the hashtag in the search field. If the top uploaded section appears without any posts, it is possible that the hashtag was blocked. Likely, Instagram will display a short message saying that the upload with the hashtag is hidden because it violates community guidelines.
2. Don’t use bots and auto-upload software
Using automatic uploading software may save you time. However this is not recommended. Likewise with bots to boost engagement. Make sure the account is free from bots and software. To do this, open Instagram on the desktop.
Then click the “profile” icon> “edit profile”> “Authorized Applications”. From there, it can be seen which third applications may be illegal and cause shadowban .
3. Take a break from Instagram
Some users admit that taking a 2-3 day break from Instagram helps them escape from the shadowban .
4. Report to Instagram
If you are sure your account is affected by shadowban , you can report it to e-mail support @ instagram .com by uploading photo proof. It can also be done via the “report a problem” feature. To do this, go to “profile”> “settings”> “help”> “report a problem”, then write down the problem in Indonesian or English.
5. Change the Instagram Business account to a personal account
Some Instagram users admit that changing their account from business to personal helps them get out of shadowban .
6. Avoid behaving like bots
Reduce activities such as too many likes or comments because it might be considered a bot.
7, Avoid accounts from getting reports
Make sure every upload is in line with Instagram’s community guidelines so that it doesn’t get reports from other users or is even blocked directly by Instagram.