Is The Shadow Ban Real?

Hello Loves!

If you follow me on Instagram, @filipajackson then you know for the last little while my page has been to hell and back. I know, I know, life isn’t all all about likes, comments, reach and impressions but when it’s your career, your wellbeing… it’s hard to just let it go.

This all started on April 18th 2019, haha yes I do remember the date, I even remember the time, 7:20pm! I was scrolling through my IG feed looking at everyones gorgeous pics, when a pop up filled my screen from Instagram asking me to verify my account by inputting the 8 digit code that was sent to my phone. There was no where to click this pop up off so I checked my texts and there was the code. Thinking this was safe, due to the fact that I was on the IG app, and the text looks exactly like my two-factor authentication texts do. I put the code in. DUH DUH DUH! I went back to my feed and saw that my last pic was gone! Without wasting a beat I reported the issue and changed my password. ASAP! After reporting this issue to Instagram, I don’t know, like 1000 times and hearing no reply, I took to googling. It was safe to say that I wouldn’t be getting my pic back for another 48hrs, if at all.

Although, I wasn’t given an explanation by Instagram as to why my image was removed during this glitch, I was so thrilled on Sunday 48 hours to the minute, I got my pic back. I couldn’t stop smiling. I don’t know if you know but there is a lot of work that goes into my Instagram images such as, location scouting, wardrobe shopping, shooting, caption creating, editing and interacting. I am basically a creative director, wardrobe stylist, photographer, editor, and journalist all rolled into one.

So when Monday rolled around and I posted again I was FURIOUS! Not only did my image not show up under the location I used, it also didn’t show up under any of the hashtags, not even the one I created for myself #TravelWithPWA. I WAS BANNED!

After reporting this new issue another 2000 times, I got to googling again. What I found out was that as soon as your image is removed you are automatically shadowbanned. Kind of bullshit when not only was my image removed due to a glitch with IG, but the fact that Instagram claims that the shadowban is a myth… HA!

Through ranting my little heart out on Instagram stories I was flooded with DM’s from people going through the same exact situation. This was and still is quite obviously an issue. So my controlling side got to work, I had to find an answer.

Am I Shadowbanned?

Like I said IG says the shadow ban is a myth… that is total horse shit (sorry Mum there is no nice way to say it). I am currently speaking to 32 people who are all in the same boat.

  1. Our images don’t show up under hashtags
  2. Our images don’t show up under locations
  3. Our engagement has dropped to its lowest
  4. Our reach has taken a massive drop

That fourth point is an interesting one, it is kind of easy to guess you are ‘shadowbanned’ when your pic doesn’t show up under hashtags but to really confirm this is by going to your insights (unfortunately this is only available to business pages). I could see that under discovery my “accounts reached” dropped to basically none existent on April 19th 2019, the DAY after my image was removed!

So, What’s Next?

That is a difficult question, with a difficult answer. Firstly though you need to highlight where the ban has come from.

  1. Are you buying fake likes/followers?
  2. Are you using a follow/unfollow app?
  3. Are you posting from a scheduling app like Planoly or Unum?
  4. Are you copying and pasting the same hashtags to each pic?
  5. Are you a part of an engagement group?
  6. Are you exceeding your daily likes and comments?
  7. Has your picture been reported?

The second part of this, how to get rid of the shadow ban is the difficult thing to answer. Why? Well there isn’t really an answer. Most accounts that have been shadowbanned will be banned for 14 days to the hour! Yikes! But it could get worse, if you abuse your page and do any of the above during that probation time it could last even longer. Apparently two weeks is added each time you screw up.

There really isn’t anyway to get rid of this ban before the 14 days are up, but there are some ways to make sure this ban only lasts 14 days.

  1. Get rid of all hashtags on your recent posts
  2. Don’t over comment or like
  3. Try just log out if you can
  4. Reduce the amount of times you post
  5. Report like a crazy person
  6. Ask people to save your images

I wish I had more answers on to how to get rid of this ban, because boy do I know how much it stinks. I literally turned into a hermit, huddled over my phone all day everyday praying for the ban to get lost. Guess what? It didn’t! So take it from me, stressing about it doesn’t help. Hide your phone away and go live your life, the real one with actual people. I promise that will help.

 xoxo Fil

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  1. May 9, 2019 / 5:23 am

    So good to read this because I think I’m suffering on the same problem. In the last few weks my engagement has dropped so much – its crazy!!! I’ll definitely try not to use the same hashtags anymore but its so weird that this influences it that much.. Instagram definitely is no fun anymore, I got to a point where I was really frustrated and now I’m just like “whatever”.
    Lets hope it gets better soon babe 😉 ♥


  2. May 9, 2019 / 7:51 am

    Instagram has been terrible lately. My reach absolutely sucks and my hashtags aren’t working either. I got a similar pop up but it just wanted me to verify my phone number. I kept exiting out of it but then Instagram wouldn’t work until I did that. Because of what I heard from other girls after they got that pop up, I quickly changed my password. And that’s when my hashtags stopped working as well.

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

  3. May 15, 2019 / 12:45 am

    I’m so sorry that you experienced getting shadowbanned from Instagram. I know in the past, a certain number of specific posts of mine were shadowbanned, but most of them showed up. I’m really not sure what causes you to get shadowbanned and it’s always a struggle navigating through using the Instagram app with the ever-changing algorithm.


  4. Geniussr
    May 17, 2019 / 1:09 pm

    Oh girl all those IG games… this is such a great post tho…so helpful.. thanks for sharing…❤️

  5. May 21, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    OH wow, that sucks. Hope they sort this out quick, I can see why people get furious about this. This is unacceptable. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience and tips dear.

    Jessica |

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