Did you know that by using ONE banned hashtag in your Instagram post, currently makes ALL of your hashtags undiscoverable for that post?
The best thing to understand is why Instagram are on a banning rampage (they’ve recently banned over 60,000 hashtags!), how to know what they are, examples of banned hashtags and how to work out quickly if you need to swap out any of yours with new ones!

Let’s dive into WHY they’ve been banned, and how to quickly spot a bad egg – and what to do if you’ve accidentally used one recently.

Dropped Engagement lately?

A large number of our Plann community were letting us know they were having trouble with a dropping engagement rate, something they hadn’t seen since the beginning of the new algorithm where chronological feeds were removed.

We started noticing a problem with Instagram’s hashtags, mostly used on accounts that had almost been somehow tagged with ‘behaving in a spammy kinda way’ –  and cue the hysteria of the Instagram Shadowban. 
How to spot a Banned Hashtag?

When you’re searching through hashtags inside Instagram – there are two sections, the ‘top posts’ which is what we are all striving for, and the ‘most recent’ section.

Here’s what it should look like:

If a hashtag is being used in an ‘un-savoury’ type of way –  Instagram will removes the ‘most recent’ section and only displays a few top posts for you to look at.

If you scroll down a little, you’ll see banned hashtags will look like this:

Why is Instagram banning them?

Believe it or not, Instagram have been doing a top job recently of cleaning up their platform!

Not only have they been systemically banning and closing Instagram Automation tools (see ya later MassPlanner and Instagress!), they’ve been removing more and more pornographic images that sneak into innocent Hashtag streams.

Their customer service is already notoriously non-existent so our guess is they needed a better way to automate dealing with complaints and making the platform safer, less pornographic – and quickly.

Image recognition software?

Image recognition software is something that both the Instagram/Facebook platforms use and makes it much easier to pick up ‘naughty’ pictures.

In the same way that Facebook can freak you out with their ‘Is this you ‘Christy LadyLaurence?!’, Image Recognition software can pick up 1) Underwear 2) Naked Bodies, and 3) Unsavoury shapes – and other things we’d need to say through a mouth of candy floss to feel ok.

If you want to peep through your fingers, there’s big list of banned hashtags available if you search for it.

Do you have any examples of Banned Hashtags?

Heck yes! There are h-e-a-p-s.

Although we’re pretty sure #booty #twerk #eggplant and #boobies are pretty obvious…there have been many surprises.
#dogsofinstagram #petite and #boho were listed among the ones that are banned!(Dogs of Instagram, really?!)
Which ones were we most surprised about?

Definitely #dogsofinstagram(!) but there were a few more that definitely caused us to think more people should know.

Here’s a list for you to share with your community, pinterest or tweet with your own community so they know too!



Ok, so you’ve used one of the banned hashtags – what now?

If you’ve found you’re using one of the banned hashtags, the next part is easy, consider it a lesson learned and just remove it from your future posts.

If you save and manage all of your hashtags inside our app Plann, it’s incredibly easy to remove the single offending tag without too much trouble.

If you want to take it to the next step, we’ve heard it helps to remove any hashtag sets you’ve still got attached to older images too.

Where’s the complete list?

By searching Instagram for the ‘banned hashtags’ notice, you’ll be able to trawl through them all here:

site:instagram.com Recent posts from are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines