Hashtags Shadowban

Did you suffer from a Shadowban (or whatever you want to term it) last week? Your hashtags are not visible under the categories you have used.

Well fear not friends, you are not alone!
I have spent the past week searching high and low for answers on this issue. Although I don’t have a specific resolution, I do have some ideas on where it stemmed from and perhaps some tricks you can try on your account. It’s worth a shot even if this did not work on mine. “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” Hehe.

So last week, just after the infamous hack, my Arum Digital account was prompted for re-authentication of my telephone number, and ever since then, my engagement tanked, big time. I checked on an account that did not follow me, true as nuts, no hashtag visibility.

I went straight to Alex Tooby’s comprehensive Shadowban article and followed all the steps she mentions, including checking for banned hashtags.

  • I had no banned hashtags.
  • The article suggests taking a break for 48 hours – no luck, still no visibility.
  • Abide to Instagrams limits- ie: Follows, unfollows, likes etc. no change noted, and I have never to my knowledge violated these limits.
  • Reporting the problem as “ Posts not categorised under chosen hashtags” – Did this, and still doing this 5 x per day . Nada, the silence is deafening.
  • Stop the use of automation or unapproved third party apps etc- erm I had no remote automation tools to start with! My third party apps/ or logins were restricted to the use of my WordPress plugin, Planoly and Iconosquare.

Desperate times call for desperate measures ya’ll, I stopped posting to give my account a break. I started to search dodgy dark web forums for answers ( think of these places like back street alleys that sell dope.) Someone suggested disabling my account for two days. Ok let’s do this.

WTH. I have never disabled this account before!

Instagram account shadowban since hack


You know the series, Outlander? Where the Scottish would literally die fighting for their country rather than succumb to the British? Yeah, I was feeling very Scott.



Last crazy resort as suggested by dodgy back alley dude with a hoodie, not sure if he actually had a hoodie but it fits the profile.
Create a location verification. (try with caution!)
You know those logins that say, Is this you? Especially when you’re logging in from somewhere other than your usual location or device. Right do that. I did this using a VPN service (TunnelBear) and Chrome on Incognito mode.
Argh *face palm* it didn’t work.

In the meantime, my accounts’ engagement was reaching the fiery pits of hell and I was losing followers wholesale. Oh yay, three months of blood, sweat and tears for nothing. ( metaphorically speaking)

And so I was left with having to start a new account 3 days ago.

Arum Digital was an account that I spent money on campaigns with, it was a business profile and it was my virtual baby. Now I have @notanaveragesarah and no it is not a business profile and I won’t be pushing business on it or campaigning etc. for now until I’m convinced that Instagram’s platform is stable and functioning correctly. I wasted time, effort and I am actually quite angry as I am sure many of you are.


A) This is a bug which was hastened by the hack last week.
B) Instagram is testing a new algorithm and has erroneously flagged certain accounts for hashtag abuse. ( my hashtags were all relevant to my content and I endeavored to mix them up a bit )

I have come across social media chatter and I am amongst at least several dozen people that I know of to have experienced this in the last week.

So as much as I would love to have my old account up and running, I have had to just suck it up and start from scratch. 

What I’ve done on my new account:

  • Followed my most engaged followers from my old account
  • Reposted content from the new account to the old account to let people know where I’m at!
  • Posted on Insta Stories in the old account letting people know what happened
  • Varying my hashtags in case this is an algorithm update
  • Just being honest and as engaged as possible to build up my account again… Liking, commenting genuinely on others posts etc. 

If I do find out any new information, I will update this post!

P.S Other weird things that have occurred on the Arum Digital account since last week. I need to use two devices (Android and iPhone ) for Instagram as I live in a border town and travel between two countries daily. Boom- I can no longer log in on the Android device- Error code “Invalid Parameters”. My password is correct. 

Are you experiencing any of these problems? Have you managed to resolve them? Let me know in the comments!



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