Digital Marketing

All You Need To Know About Banned Hashtags

Lola Connelly
13th February 2022
3 minute read

When your business has an Instagram account, hashtags become an important part of your strategy. But did you know that some hashtags such as #beautyblogger are actually banned and could result in your account getting flagged, shadowbanned or even removed completely! Of course, this is something we would like to avoid.

Read on to discover more about banned hashtags, and how to spot them.

You may think that many of the banned hashtags on Instagram are due to inappropriate use, hatred or somehow violate the Instagram Community Guidelines. However, this is not always the case. The #happythanksgiving hashtag was used so much that it became presumed as spam content. And other banned hashtags such as #Snapchat, #pushups, #alone and #always are not obvious at all. Even these hashtags mistakenly added to your post will cause your content to automatically be hidden from the explore page, and can even result in your account being removed. So, it is always best to research before you post.


What are the reasons for banning hashtags?

So, why are certain hashtags banned? Well, there can be a number of reasons, for instance:

  • Posts that involve hate groups, terrorist groups or organised crime
  • Posts involving hate speech and/or threats
  • Spam posts
  • Copyright infringement
  • Posts that contain graphic images or the advertisement of illegal services

Take note that if you have searched for a hashtag and have found there are no recent posts, chances are the hashtag has been banned. Temporarily banned hashtags will come up with this message:

“Recent posts from # are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines”

These may at some point work again. Whereas permanently banned hashtags will not show up at all when you search for them.

What happens if I use a banned hashtag?

If you use banned hashtags repeatedly, bots on Instagram will flag your account which will lead to account removal or shadowbanning. Instagram will not alert you to a shadowban so it can be hard to figure out if you are or not. There are however a few things to keep an eye out for, for instance:

  • Your posts are not appearing on a page for a certain hashtag. Hashtags are important if you’re trying to increase engagement, so not appearing on hashtag pages will ultimately hurt your account.
  • You can’t follow users
  • You can’t like posts

How to avoid banned hashtags

Unfortunately, banned hashtags are constantly changing and can be tricky to navigate. Instagram does not have an updated list for you to keep an eye on so it is always best to research occasionally before you post. One way of finding out if a hashtag is banned is to go to the Explore tab, and type in that hashtag. If any messages pop up mentioning Instagram’s community guidelines, it is best to leave and apply a different one. The best step to avoiding any issues is to research beforehand. Scan through and delete any irrelevant hashtags. Furthermore, to not be seen as spam we recommend you use a maximum of 10 hashtags, which are accurate and varied for every post.


The Wrap Up

Overall, remember to research your hashtags before you post. Even those mistakenly applied can hurt your account, so it’s always best to search before you post. Speaking of social media, do you know why Tik Tok is so addictive? Check out our blog to find out why…

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