Spammers and bots and trolls, oh my! Whether it’s a comment from a foreign account saying “very nice photo” for the 67th time or the ever-so-popular, non-convincing sales pitch of “Great content! DM me, let’s talk!”, bots seem to be taking over the ‘Gram.
Due to an increase in fake accounts and false activity, Instagram is fighting back. They are continually implementing more and more methods to catch bots in their tracks. Most recently, some of these changes have included monitoring unauthorized app usage, targeting those who publish duplicate content and hashtags, and the most terrifying, shadow banning accounts.
Although this is a great way to eliminate spam, Instagram’s bot detection methods are beginning to cause issues for the everyday Instagrammer.
Yes, we’re talking about banned hashtags.
What exactly is a banned hashtag?
Of course, we all know that using hashtags can increase the reach of your posts on social media. But, what many people don’t know is that using the wrong hashtags can actually hurt the engagement on your Instagram account. Why? Because Instagram is flagging your account for spam.
Put simply, banned hashtags have been put in place to stop the reach of spammy Instagram accounts.
And what happens if I use it?
Although some hashtags only have a temporary ban, many are permanent. And, what happens if you used these banned hashtags? You risk your account seeing a dramatic decrease in engagement, having your account temporarily shadowbanned… or worse.
For example, the hashtag #happythanksgiving was completely overrun with spam, so they banned it. From here on out, if you use the hashtag #happythanksgiving, not only will your content most likely not show up for that hashtag, you might also be flagged for spam. The repetitive use of banned hashtags, leading to multiple flags to your account, could even result in shadow banning or account removal.
How do I know if a hashtag is banned?
Of course, in order to avoid these forbidden hashtags, you have to know which tags are banned. How is anyone supposed to know that #happythanksgiving is considering “spam”?
Essentially, there is no one source that can solve this problem for you. Since the banned hashtags change on a daily basis, it is your responsibility to check all hashtags and do your research before including them in a post.
To see which tags are banned on Instagram, search for a specific hashtag in the search bar. After clicking on the hashtag, scroll through the pictures. If you reach an end-point with a message saying the posts are “currently hidden”… yup! It’s banned.
Banned Instagram Hashtags 2019
So, onto the important information. Although there are far too many hashtags to list, we will skip the X-rated hashtags (yikes) and move on to the surprising, “why is that banned?” hashtags. Let’s dive in!