TL;DR: If you are already in the ‘dog house’ go scroll down to find some actions you can try to speed up the process of reinstating your account.
Welcome to the new Instagram! This born-again Instagram is a total paranoid, over protective and has a zero tolerance … to spammers … or anything that ‘looks and acts‘ like spammer.
Don’t get me wrong, the intention is good, in general. It is designed to get rid off fake accounts and spammers that had riddled the service for so long.
Unfortunately for the young and inexperienced users, just a slight ‘unintentional‘ mistake will get them banned! And the worst part is more often than not you’ve got NO clue whatsoever as to WHY you got banned! Sometimes they don’t often give you warning or message.
Instagram today has become a treacherous land to navigate through, it has more traps and mines than Afghanistan after the war. One wrong move and you will feel the wrath of Instagram gods.
But fret not! We’ve come up with these recipes to guide you through the trial of becoming a master of your own Instagram fate. Follow these guides and at least you have a bigger chance to live a normal life as an Instagram citizen:
1. If you’ve just created a new Instagram account, DO NOT start Liking or Commenting on other people’s photos straight away. This is what fake accounts usually do. Instead, DO start with posting your own photos, at least 10 of them, but not at the same hour, do it 2 a day. After one week past, you can start with your liking or commenting.
2. DO complete your Instagram profile, including uploading your profile photo and write a short bio. Do not expose yourself to Instagram hunt and destroy Sentinel bot.
3. DO NOT stop posting photos! Again this is a typical things that spammers do. DO post more and post regularly. Twice a week is enough if you can’t do daily post.
4. DO NOT Like excessively! This will surely get you banned. The limit is 350 per hour, but I suggest not to max your quota.
5. DO NOT Follow people en-mass! This is considered to be a spammy and bot-like activity. The limit is 20 per hour. And remember that you can only follow as many as 7500 people, no more. So choose who you follow wisely.
6. DO NOT post multiple duplicate comments – including emoji. As soon as Instagram detect you doing this it will put you straight away in ‘detention‘! You won’t be able to comment anymore for as long as you are in this proverbial dog house. For how long? Nobody knows.
If you manage to get the notorious ‘Action Blocked‘ message from Instagram, well … you better pray that Instagram will let you in. I’ve heard from various users that the ‘detention’ time can range from a few hours to a few weeks!!!
7. DO NOT mention users that don’t follow you on other people post, unless they mention you first! This usually happens when our photo has been selected to ‘win’ some competition/weekly challenge etc. and we have people congratulate us. Your first instinct would be to thank them, each of them. Well, try not to do this to much, and definitely not by mentioning more than one people in one comment. It sucks I know, but as I mention at the beginning of this post, this is the new paranoid Instagram.
By the way, the limit to mention other users is 5 per comment. This seems to be ok if they are your followers and when you do it on your own post.
8. DO be careful when you use Like or Follow Bot services. As a matter of fact, I would suggest that you refrain yourself from using these services. However I won’t deny that there are cases where the use of these bots have its merit. And I am not going to stop you from doing that as long as you understand the risk that you are taking. Instagram and its parent company Facebook has been getting better in detecting these type of activities lately, so don’t say I didn’t tell you so!
9. DO NOT ignore the Community Guidelines! There are probably tens other things that can get you locked out from Instagram that we don’t know the reason about. So I urge you to read (again) the Instagram community guidelines and try to follow the rules written in there.
You might like to read this: How to ‘Peek and Pop’ in Instagram without having an iPhone 6s
Now all of these feel like as if we are living in a dictatorship country, and a little bit of sledgehammer solution, but this seems to be what Instagram had decided to do to try to curb the spammers, fake accounts and bots.
It’s better to be over cautious nowadays, because once you get banned there is no way to tell when or if you will get your account back!
But but but I am already in the ‘dog house’ – what should I do!??
When you get banned it usually takes Instagram from 4 hours up to 4 weeks to reinstate your account. What can you do to speed things up? You can try some of the following actions which had been reported could make the process quicker, though they don’t always work:
- If you get one of those pop-up message like the screenshot in the point 6 (the Action Block), use the ‘Tell Us’ button to tell Instagram that they’ve made a mistake. I’ve had some people commenting in this article telling some success stories using this method. After they use the button, Instagram came back (presumably via your registered email address) and was asking some more security information. Instagram then ask the account holder to write the full-name, username and a code Instagram sent to them on a piece of paper and take a picture of themselves holding the paper. After sending the picture to Instagram their account got reinstated after a few days.
- Use this
official online report form to reach Instagram. Wow! I just been notified by one of the commenter (thanks Kerri!) that the form that this link used to go to has been blocked! That’s just typical Instagram.
Ok, I’ve been looking for other ways to contact Instagram, and here are some of my findings:
- From the Instagram app, go to your profile page on tap on the Options menu (the gear icon at the top right hand corner). Scroll down until you find ‘Report a Problem’ menu item, select this and choose ‘Something isn’t working’ from the popup menu. Fill in the form and tap on the Send button.
- Go to this Instagram Form for reporting Hacked Account. But say that you cannot access your email account when asked to, then fill in the rest of the form.
Apart from these you might also want to try the followings:
- Edit your Bio. I’ve read from some of the comments in this article that changing your bio had made the ban successfully lifted.
- Do a clean install of your mobile OS. This seems to me a little bit of a sledgehammer approach. But desperate time requires desperate measure. Besides, it’s been reported in the comment that this method worked.
- If your account is disabled – well … that must had been a really serious violation indeed! Reading on this official Instagram Help page, your account can be disabled without warning! If you feel that this was a mistake, you can appeal by logging in back to the account and follow the instruction there.
In the meantime, keep trying every day and see if your ban has been lifted, don’t be afraid to try, your account won’t get deleted or something like that for just trying.
If you come across other reasons that one can get banned or blocked from Instagram, please do share in the comment below, I will update the list with your report.