Apr 30
Instagram mistakes - banned hashtags

3 Instagram Mistakes: Banned Hashtags, Harmful Tags, and More

Let’s discuss Instagram mistakes! In our IQ Hashtags Instagram School, you’ll find the best practices for using Instagram to convert, connect with your ideal audience, quicken, and scale the growth of your business. That way, it will continue to be an effective medium for your company’s content marketing activities. With the right hashtags, your posts and your whole profile are much more likely to get satisfying engagement and reach your target followers. In today’s lesson, you will learn about the proper hashtag usage – in particular, about the most tricky part of the topic: how to avoid banned hashtags. 

Why do you need to avoid certain hashtags on Instagram? There are various reasons we’ve discovered along the way, but the bottom line is this: these sorts of hashtags can affect how your posts display and rank in search. They can be excluded from showing up in the feed. It can also affect how many likes or comments you get on your posts.

We can help you figure out what they are and how to recognize them. If you don’t want your business to suffer because of using banned hashtags, keep on reading – this lesson is for you. 

Instagram Mistakes: Why is it in your best interest to avoid banned hashtags?

First of all, as you probably already know, because we keep on repeating this all the time (because we know it from real-life expertise), Instagram is an excellent platform for establishing your online presence. And we’re sure you are also using it to promote your business. But did you know that some hashtags will make your efforts almost useless?

Often, we hear our clients complaining about the shadowban and the feeling that the posts they upload aren’t reaching anyone new. If it’s your problem as well, we can figure out why your posts are not as visible to new users and why they aren’t delivering good results. 

Using banned hashtags make your post unsearchable

Banned hashtags are the hashtags that Instagram doesn’t want you to use on their app. They may be banned because they have been used too often for spammish photos and graphics, content violating Instagram’s policy and rules of decency. 

The Instagram team is trying to make the Instagram community a safe place where people can feel comfortable expressing themselves. They impose a set of rules in order to make the platform safe and enjoyable for everyone. Breaking these rules can result in a lower reach of your posts, a warning, a temporary ban, or – in the most extreme cases – even permanent removal from Instagram. 

Some hashtags are blocked because Instagram doesn’t want you to search for illegal, pirated, and inappropriate content – so they put those hashtags out of action. 

So using banned hashtags on Instagram might become the reason you lose followers and decrease your organic reach. Many businesses don’t realize that by using these forbidden hashtags on Instagram, they risk losing a lot of traffic.


How often is the list of banned hashtags updated?

The list of banned hashtags is updated daily, with some hashtags blocked permanently and others temporarily.

They’re generally banned due to breaking Instagram community rules – and every time the algorithm or users report new cases violating Instagram’s policy, a new hashtag becomes banned. It can happen because of:

  • Spammish posts or copy-cats of other user’s content
  • Messages involving hate speech or threats 
  • Content created by terrorist groups
  • Nudity
  • Copyright infringement 
  • Content that glorifies self-harm and eating disorders 
  • Mentions about sex announcements or illegal drugs sale


Hashtags are the king of Instagram – but only when used consciously. 

You’re probably wondering how you can find the right hashtags and avoid those harmful ones. You want to grow your Instagram account but don’t want to run afoul of Instagram’s terms of service. It’s a balance, an art even! 

Hashtags are great for keeping up with trends and finding content – by tagging your posts with well-chosen hashtags, you can significantly increase the chances that other users whose interests are aligned with the hashtag will find your content. But the thing is: if some of the banned hashtags look entirely innocent, how to recognize which ones are put out of action? 

How do you know if a hashtag is banned?

Look for recent posts with this particular hashtag. Temporarily banned hashtags will lead to the following message: “Recent posts with #yourhashtag are currently hidden because the Instagram community has flagged content that may violate the rules.

Let’s look at one of the examples: #dating.

The hashtag was banned because its content contained too many inappropriate messages, violating the community’s safety.

What hashtags are banned in 2024?

The list is long, and the problem with it is that it’s ever-evolving, and it changes daily. 

We can share the list of most common hashtags that have been banned, but it’s updated regularly, sometimes even a few times a day. You can’t rely on ANY list from the past – the best way to avoid using currently banned hashtags is to trust an online tool with the most innovative technology and constant access to Instagram’s updates – we’ll talk about our recommendation in a minute. Take a look at the part of the list of banned hashtags from April of 2023 – no wonder you won’t ever say that there is something wrong with some of them: for example, #always looks absolutely innocent, but yes, it’s on the blacklist as well.



How to avoid the risk and be 100% sure that your posts are banned-hashtags free? 

It’s really time-consuming to check each hashtag manually – and there are many chances that you’ll miss one or two by accident. Fortunately, there are online tools that can do the check for you: what is more, they have constant access to official Instagram’s list of banned hashtags updates, so you don’t have to worry whether your source of banned hashtags lists is valid.

instagram analysis IQ Hashtags


Moreover, you can scan all your posts and detect all banned hashtags used in the past: so your posts will be completely free of those forbidden ones. From our own experience and our clients’ ones, the tool most worth recommendation is the one we’re providing – IQ Hashtags. It’s the most innovative and intuitive at the same time tool out there – it’s definitely worth a try, as it will do all the hashtag scanning for you. More good news? IQ Hashtags gives you more useful features to help you skyrocket your profile: you can find new hashtags trending in your niche, analyze your account’s data and see how your posts are performing in time.


Banned Hashtags

Use your hashtags wisely. We hope this IQ Hashtags lesson has been helpful for you: we admit, a hashtag strategy may seem a little demanding at times, but it’s definitely worth taking care of!

Kasia Pilch
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