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5 Ways You Can Get Banned on Instagram

If you’re nervous and wondering if you could be toeing the line of being deleted or banned, we’ve rounded up the different ways you can violate Instagram’s Terms of Use.

Posted 28 days ago

Written by

Mackenzie Taylor
Posted 28 days ago
Last week in our Facebook Group (if you haven’t joined our Facebook Group, The Social Hub, what are you even doing with your life?), we talked about ways you can violate Instagram’s Terms of Use and get banned from the app. The conversation started because someone had their client’s account deleted because they did something that everyone does—re-grammed someone else’s photo without their permission. Yes, using someone’s photo without their permission is against Instagram’s Terms of Use and can get your account deleted. The quickest and most sure-fire way to get banned from Instagram is by violating its Terms of Use and/or community guidelines. If you’re nervous and wondering if you could be toeing the line of being deleted or banned, we’ve rounded up the different ways you can violate Instagram’s Terms of Use.
Before we get started, let’s first give you a refresher into Instagram’s Terms of Use. You can read all of their conditions here.
Now that we’ve had the refresher, what does it all mean? Let’s break it down.

Jump to a section ✨

  1. Breaking the Law

Breaking the Law

Seems like a fairly easy and no-brainer one, but don’t break the law on their platform. For Instagram, these means don’t post content that is “support(ing) or prais(ing) terrorism, organized crime, or hate groups. Offering sexual services, buying or selling firearms and illegal or prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region).”
What does that mean necessarily? Well, if the above isn’t enough for you, basically don’t post about supporting terrorism. If you’re planning a heist anytime soon, maybe keep that off the ‘gram as well. Anything that would get you arrested IRL will get you automatically banned from Instagram. Just because it’s the internet doesn’t mean that anything can go … well not on Instagram at least.
banned on instagram

Violating Intellectual Property Rights

That photo you love someone else posted? Well, you can’t post it on your own account and claim it as your own. Nope, it’s their property, not yours, which means posting it on your page without their expressed consent is a major no-no and can get you immediately banned.
That also includes “anything you’ve copied or collected from the Internet that you don’t have the right to post.”
“But what about those accounts that regram other people’s content all the time?”
A very good question! Typically, this is fine if you ask for consent and credit the original account. However, if you’re posting the content as your own and not giving credit where credit is due, you’re violating Instagram’s rules.

Posting Harmful or Inappropriate Content

What is considered harmful and inappropriate on Instagram? Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that is explicitly illegal, but the main components are:
  • Nudity or graphic content
  • Revenge porn
  • Self-harm content
  • Violence
  • Terrorist activity
  • Hate speech
And, yes, even if the post isn’t meant to be pornographic (no female nipples allowed unless you’re breastfeeding!), it can still be banned. Instagram defines its inappropriate content as “photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. Someone should probably mention that to Madonna

Automating Accounts

If you’ve ever thought about getting a third-party app or bot to like and comment for you, don’t. This can get you a one-way ticket to being banned from Instagram. While the best way to grow your account organically is by engaging with followers, DMing, liking photos, and more, YOU should be the one doing it. Not a bot.

Using Banned Hashtags

One of the most important things when searching for hashtags is to make sure you’re not using hashtags that are banned (you can always check if your hashtags are banned by signing up for Flick! We will audit all of your hashtags for you!). While there are hashtags that are banned for obvious reasons (using profanity, terms that relate to violence, etc) but there are also hashtags that seem okay to use but are used by spam bots often enough to be flagged by Instagram.
Instagram has stated in the past that “hashtags on Instagram may not be searchable if they’re consistently associated with content that doesn’t follow our Terms of Use or Community Guidelines.” So how do you check if a hashtag is banned? Go to Instagram’s search page and look for the hashtag. If it shows up, you’re good! If it doesn’t show up, it’s probably banned and shouldn’t be used.
Now that you know what not to do, it’s time to start working on things that will help you up your Instagram game by learning new tricks, new hashtag strategies and diving deep into your analytics.

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