Years ago I wrote that Shadow Banning Was Not Real. I could not prove it to be a fact but since then Instagram has made several new announcements.
So if you’re wondering if shadow-banning is real, the answer is yes when you have engaged in inauthentic behavior that goes against Instagram’s community guidelines.
Introducing New Authentic Measures on Instagram
On August 13, 2020 Instagram announced on their blog that:
– They want content you see on Instagram to be authentic and to come from real people, not bots or others trying to mislead you.
Read the full blog entry HERE.
At the end of the month, Instagram added a page to the terms and conditions to explain how the recommendations work.
What are recommendations on Instagram?
Instagram makes recommendations as follows for the Explore, Accounts You May Like, and IGTV Discover sections.
The goal is to deliver content that Instagram thinks you may like.
At Instagram, we have guidelines that govern what content we recommend to people. Through those guidelines, we work to avoid making recommendations that could be low-quality, objectionable, or sensitive, and we also avoid making recommendations that may be inappropriate for younger viewers. Our Recommendations Guidelines are designed to maintain a higher standard than our Community Guidelines, because recommended content and connections are from accounts you haven’t chosen to follow.
Translation: This is when your content gets served to those that are following you. And if your content isn’t up to par with what they think is reasonable then they won’t be recommending you to non followers on the Explore, Accounts You May Like, and IGTV Discover sections.
Content that is allowed but will NOT be recommended:
1. Content that discusses self-harm, suicide, or eating disorders. (We remove content that [encourages suicide or self-injury, or any graphic imagery.
2. Content that may depict violence, such as people fighting.
3. Content that may be sexually explicit or suggestive, such as pictures of people in see-through clothing. We remove content that contains adult nudity or sexual activity.
4. Content that promotes the use of certain regulated products, such as tobacco or vaping products, adult products and services, or pharmaceutical drugs. We remove content that attempts to [sell or trade most regulated goods.
5. Content shared by any non-recommendable account.
Sensitive or low-quality content about Health or Finance, such as:
1. Content that promotes or depicts cosmetic procedures.
2. Content containing exaggerated health claims, such as “miracle cures.”
3. Content attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims, such as promoting a supplement to help a person lose weight.
4. Content that promotes misleading or deceptive business models, such as payday loans or “risk-free” investments.
Content that users broadly tell us they dislike, such as:
1. Content that includes clickbait.
2. Content that includes engagement bait.
3. Content that promotes a contest or giveaway.
Content that is associated with low-quality publishing, such as:
1. Unoriginal content that is largely repurposed from another source [without adding material value]
2. Content from web sites that get a disproportionate number of clicks from Instagram versus other places on the web.
3. News content that does not include transparent information about authorship or the publisher’s editorial staff.
False or misleading content, such as:
1. Content including claims that have been found false by independent fact-checkers or certain expert organizations.
2. Vaccine-related misinformation that has been widely debunked by leading global health organizations.
3. Content that promotes the use of fraudulent documents, such as someone sharing a post about using a fake ID.
We also try to not recommend accounts that:
1. Recently violated Instagram’s Community Guidelines.
2. Repeatedly and/or recently shared content we try not to recommend.
3. Repeatedly posted vaccine-related misinformation
4. Repeatedly engaged in misleading practices to build followings, such as purchasing ‘likes’.
5. Have been banned from running ads on our platforms.
6. Recently and repeatedly posted false information as determined by independent third party fact-checkers or certain expert organizations.
7. Are associated with offline movements or organizations that are tied to violence.