When using social media, Instagram is more conservative regarding certain types of content than other networks like Twitter or OnlyFans. They’re also especially cryptic about what can trigger an account to be penalized by their AI.
Worse, when you want to unlock your account, it can be nearly impossible to contact them. These unclear rules and lack of notification often cause a “shadowban.”
Let’s talk about how to overcome an Instagram ban and what types of effects you’ll see if you are under one.
What Types of Penalties Does Instagram Apply to an Offending Account?
There are a variety of penalties that can happen when you’ve unknowingly broken one of Instagram’s content rules. Below we’ll talk about the most common issues that users experience.
Instagram Won’t Let Me Like Posts
This “lite” penalty is time-based and will go away. Often, you’ll see that you like or “heart” a post, and then it suddenly goes back to “unliked” by itself. This means that Instagram has blocked you from interacting with posts.
They’ll take you off the offender list in a few hours, and you’ll be back to liking photos as usual. However, it can take up to 24 hours to get your account back to normal.
Sometimes, it was blocked because Instagram thought you were going too fast and liking too many things in a short amount of time. You can reach out to Instagram if you think they made a mistake.
Keep in mind you might not get a response before the 24 hours when your account would be working again anyway. If you’re wondering how to avoid an Instagram ban on likes, try slowing down first.
Instagram Won’t Let Me Follow People
When you mass-follow people, Instagram will get mad. There’s an actual limit to how many and how quickly you can follow people on the platform. You might be temporarily banned if you’ve ruled out technical issues and a poor internet connection.
Instagram does this because it thinks you’re a bot. You can’t follow more than 7,500 people. That is a lot, so it’s possible there was an internal error as well.
It’s also important to know if you’ve been hacked. If you use several IPs to access your account, Instagram might suspect a hacked account. However, if you think they’re right and see suspicious activity, change your password right away.
Instagram Account Works Fine, But My Engagement Is Dropping
You’ve likely been shadowbanned when you see a dramatic change in engagement. It means that Instagram hasn’t disabled your account. Still, it’s limiting how often photos are showing up in other people’s feeds.
A big way to tell it’s a shadowban is if your following isn’t changing, but your likes and new followers are. If you can’t find your post in a moderately popular hashtag, that’s also a good sign of a shadowban.
Posting quality content and keeping things fresh and new, including your hashtags, can help you return from a shadowban. Check out this blog that details more steps to restore your activity for more information.
Instagram Disabled Or Banned My Account
Instagram can disable an account without warning and no explanation. What causes an Instagram ban? Violating community standards, nudity, or spamming hashtags can all lead to a banned account.
If Instagram bans your account for suspicion suspicion of fraud, you’ll have to go through authentication steps to get it back. You can appeal the ban to unlock your account, but it does take some doing. You’ll have to go through several steps to prove that you are human.
Instagram Deleted My Account Completely
Deleting an account is the harshest penalty Instagram imposes. If you’re wondering “Why did Instagram delete my account?” Understand that it’s often difficult to know why your account was deleted because Instagram doesn’t explicitly tell you. It could even be a mistake.
If you violate the Community Guidelines, Instagram can delete your account. You could try to get it back if it was a mistake. However, if you did break a rule, such as posting explicit content, they won’t bring back your account.
What Activities Cause Instagram to Disable, Ban, or Delete an Account?
When asking, “how did my Instagram account get disabled?” it’s best to look at the Instagram Community Guidelines. The platform enforces these rules whenever it suits the platform.
Posting someone else’s photos, nudity, harmful or hateful content, or disrespecting people can get your account disabled, deleted, or banned. Here’s more information about each of the issues that could result in penalties against an Instagram account.
Stealing Photos on Instagram
Copyright issues are a big concern on Instagram. Posting images that you did not take or do not own can be reported as stolen. Once Instagram’s AI gets this report, it can disable or ban accounts until the subject of ownership is settled or the post is removed.
Posting Sexual Photos or Even Photos of Women’s Nipples
On Instagram, “sexual photos” is a vague term that means different things at different times. The platform applies this standard subjectively.
After all, @Playboy exists on Instagram. However, cosplay artists have been banned for wearing a semi-transparent top with just the outline of a nipple noticeable.
What’s more, men’s or male-presenting nipples seem to be okay, whereas women’s or female-presenting nipples aren’t allowed. However, if you’re sharing a photo you took at the museum displaying artwork with nipples, that’s okay.
Many people want this to change. There’s even a movement called “Free The Nipple,” which is actively trying to get social media to desexualize female nipples and allow them in photos the same way they do men’s.
Buying Followers or Allowing Third-Parties Access to Your Account
Instagram frowns on manipulating the liking and following features. Mass following and unfollowing will quickly get your account disabled or banned. You might be cruising toward an all-out ban if a company logs in with your username and password and acts as you.
If you’re going to use an app to help you on Instagram, especially if you have a business account, make sure they’re trusted. You’ll also want to avoid all apps that offer likes and followers. That’s the fastest way to get banned by Instagram.
Instagram Hashtag Abuse
Using too many or banned hashtags will also get you thrown in Instagram jail. Unfortunately, these aren’t listed out somewhere very noticeable.
If you can’t find anything under a hashtag when you search for it, it’s probably banned. Take “sex,” for example. Things under this tag would likely violate the Community Guidelines, so Instagram just banned it.
Changing up your hashtags every so often is also important because if Instagram thinks you’re spamming a hashtag, they won’t show your posts in it.
Being Abusive in Comments
Being a jerk is a quick way to get your account banned. Instagram has upped their response to hate speech, abusive comments, and abusive direct messages.
While previously, the offending account may have been banned for a few hours or days, if the activity continues, Instagram will straight up disable an account and potentially delete it.
How Can I Get Support from Instagram?
We’ve discussed several reasons why your account may be having issues and how you can appeal those bans on Instagram. While these methods aren’t foolproof, appealing a ban is the best step you can take when you want to reinstate your account. You’ll have to jump through a few hoops, but it can be done.
I hope you enjoyed the information and can now answer, “Why did Instagram ban my account?” Have you had your account banned by Instagram? Share your tips for understanding and dealing with Instagram penalties in the comments.