Instagram Will Now Tell You if You've Been Shadow-Banned and Why

Instagram will show professional users examples of their content that's run afoul of the app's guidelines.

Dan Avery Former Writer
Dan was a writer on CNET's How-To and Thought Leadership teams. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, Architectural Digest and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.
Expertise Personal finance | Government and Policy | Consumer affairs
Dan Avery
2 min read

A new Instagram account access tool will let professional users know if their content is "shadow-banned."


Instagram introduced new transparency tools on Wednesday that will show you if your content is being recommended to other users or not.

The app's Account Status section now lets users with professional accounts know if their photos and video clips are eligible to be shared in Reels, Explore and Feed Recommendations.
If they're not, they can see examples of content that has run afoul of Instagram's Recommendations Guidelines and decide whether to make edits.

It also provides an option to appeal a decision "so our review team can take another look as quickly as possible," according to a newly updated post on the Instagram blog.

"We know that, for many creators, having Instagram recommend your content is a great way to reach new fans and grow your audience," the company said in the post. "That's why it's important to us that creators understand our guidelines and are able to know if something they've posted or have in their profile may be impacting their reach to non-followers."

Instagram is working on expanding the tool to let creators know if they're being banned on a more granular level, Engadget reported, such as in the search bar or "suggested accounts."

Both the blog post and a video tweet from Instagram head Adam Mosseri avoid using the term "shadow-ban," but it appears that's what the update is meant to address. Unlike a traditional ban, when a user cannot post on a site, a shadow-ban means their content isn't being seen by non-followers.
"Sometimes your account can end up in a state where it's not eligible for your photos and videos to show up in what we call recommendations," Mosseri tweeted.

 Instagram launched Account Status in October 2021. Users can reach it by going to their profile settings, clicking on "Account," and then hitting "Account Status."