Shadow Banning Blog

What the Heck is A Shadow Ban?

Jun 15, 2021 11:48:06 AM / by Haley Burns

The phrase shadow-ban has been used A LOT in the past couple of years. What exactly is shadow banning? It is when a social platform blocks or partially blocks a user and their content from their community. On average, a shadow-ban will last two weeks, but the effects will last much longer.

Why do social platforms shadow-ban their users? Abusing the platform’s terms of service is a sure way to be shadow-banned. You will also get shadow-banned if you are using banned hashtags or the same set of hashtags each time. This will take some research on your end because it’s not just “inappropriate hashtags” it’s hashtags that have been misused in some way. A few examples are: #beautyblogger, #pornfood, #kissing, #nudity, #elevator, #kansas, #tagsforlikes and #saltwater. Banned hashtags are usually what the platform considers inappropriate or have continuously been misused. If your account has been reported to Instagram, you also will have the potential to become shadow-banned.


Being shadow-banned doesn’t look the same each time. There are three main types which include:

  • Features like comments/replies are blocked by the platform
  • The platform decreases engagement on your post(s)
  • The platform blocking hashtags/username in search suggestions

We have put together a quick guide below to help make sure you don’t get shadow-banned.

  • Use a variety of hashtags
  • Avoid using banned hashtags
  • Follow the terms of use
  • Don’t create/post spammy content
  • Refrain from using clickbait


Social media can be a tricky world to navigate. Trends, hashtags and algorithms are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up. If you find yourself needing a partner, contact Team Zipie to set up an appointment. We would be honored to partner with your business and help it thrive in the social world!

-Haley, Digital Experience Specialist

Topics: Social Media, Content Creation, Facebook, Instagram, Blogging, Copywriting, Management, Paid Social Ads, Social Listening, Social Marketing, Twitter, LinkedIn, Strategy, TikTok

Haley Burns

Written by Haley Burns