Instagram Banned Hashtags in 2020: What You Should Know

Instagram Banned Hashtags in 2020: What You Should Know

It is true that hashtags have a role in expanding your reach on Instagram, but it is a common misconception that they are everything. I often advise clients to take caution when it comes to using hashtags, in terms of how they are using them, how many they are using, and especially which hashtags they are using. It’s important not to get hashtag happy! Things are constantly changing with social media platforms and their algorithms, and many people don’t know about Instagram banned hashtags.

Using hashtags might lead people to your account, but they also attract bots, and Instagram has blocked many hashtags in accordance with its Community Guidelines. There are also other effective ways of growing your reach on Instagram, such as the use of locations, stories, IGTV, Instagram live videos, genuine engagement, the list goes on!

So with that said, let’s take a look at what you need to know about Instagram banned hashtags in 2020…

Why is Instagram banning hashtags?

Here are some of the reasons…

  1. Sharing content that doesn’t belong to you or you don’t have the right to share.
  2. Posting offensive content or nudity.
  3. Bots and unapproved automation software leaving repetitive comments, DMs, story replies, and more.
  4. Acting disrespectfully, threats or hate groups.
  5. Posting images or graphics of newsworthy events without any caption to explain the purpose of the post.
  6. Posting content that glorifies self harm.

How to check for Instagram banned hashtags…

It might take a little longer to put your hashtags together, but it is worth checking whether they are banned before you use them.

Here’s how to check:

  1. Go to your explorer page.
  2. Search for the hashtag you want to use or check.
  3. If the below message is displayed, that particular hashtag might be banned, and related posts may not be displayed.

Here’s a list of [some] of the Instagram banned hashtags. Some of them might surprise you!

The following hashtags are considered banned at the time of publishing this article…


What can you do to avoid your account being blocked, banned, closed, or generally frowned upon by Instagram?

Instagram gives us an incredible platform to use, for FREE. It’s only fair that we comply with their guidelines. This is by no means an extensive list, but here are a few things you can avoid to keep your account in check…

  1. Have a hashtag clear out. Start by going through your posts and removing any hashtags that are now banned. As tedious as it might be, it’s worth doing!
  2. Avoid using too many hashtags. 30 is Instagram’s limit per post, but it generally recommended to use below this rather than maxing out the available number of hashtags.
  3. Avoid using bots, i.e. unapproved automation software.
  4. Be wary of engagement groups. In case you hadn’t realised, the people at Instagram are smart! They are totally aware of this type of activity goes on, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Found some banned hashtags that aren’t mentioned here? Let me know in the comments and I’ll update the list!

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