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4 Banned Hashtag Myths Debunked

Hashtags have evolved from a fun feature to a staple for brands and companies looking to connect their business and products with potential customers on social media platforms. 

While plenty of articles promote the different ways to use hashtags (developing one for your brand, using trending or industry-specific hashtags, and so on), social media platforms constantly change their rules and policies about them. These frequently changing guidelines pose a hidden hazard that can undermine even the most well-crafted social media posts — banned hashtags

What Are Banned Hashtags?

Banned hashtags are reported hashtags that are used frequently in a short time period, or used with spam or inappropriate content that violates social media platform guidelines. The use of banned hashtags can decrease the visibility of your social media posts and limit your page’s ability to attract new followers or engage with existing ones. Continued use of these hashtags could prompt social media platforms to label your account suspicious or place certain restrictions on the page. 

And since there’s no universal list for companies and content creators that covers exactly which hashtags are banned and which are “safe” to use, banned hashtags can seem shrouded in mystery and misinformation. However, 1905 New Media’s social media experts delved into the world of banned hashtags to clear up some common misconceptions about them.   

Debunking 4 Banned Hashtag Myths

Myth 1: Using a Banned Hashtag Shadowbans Your Account

Truth: Shadowbanning, or hiding or restricting content without notifying the user, is not a directly admitted practice by most platforms. Using a banned hashtag once does not automatically ding your account, rather it will more likely cause that specific post to be hidden or have reduced visibility. However, continuous use of banned hashtags can negatively impact your account, so it’s important to avoid them. 

Myth 2: No One Knows Why Hashtags Become Banned

Truth: Hashtags are usually banned to prevent the spread of misinformation, curb spam or stop the propagation of inappropriate content. Social media platforms continuously scan for hashtags that might promote harmful or misleading content and restrict them to maintain a safe and reliable environment.

Myth 3: Banned Hashtags Are Exclusive to Instagram

Truth: Instagram is notorious for its banned hashtags, but other platforms like Facebook also monitor and restrict hashtag use, although their systems and enforcement may be less well-known. LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter) are less stringent about banning hashtags unless they relate to spam or inappropriate content.

Myth 4: Common Hashtags Are Safe from Bans

Truth: Surprisingly, even popular and seemingly innocent hashtags like #ValentinesDay can become temporarily restricted due to overuse, particularly when they are inappropriately used or in spammy contexts during peak times, such as the holiday itself. This is often a temporary measure to prevent spam from overwhelming the platform during high-traffic periods.

Tips to Identify and Avoid Banned Hashtags

Mitigate your risk of accidentally using a banned hashtag with these tried-and-true tactics from 1905 New Media: 

  • Regular research. Do a quick check on the hashtags you are including in your post before hitting publish. If anything looks out-of-the-ordinary or seems to be used more in spam-related content, it’s best to nix that one. 
  • Use niche hashtags. Focus on niche or branded hashtags that are less likely to be misused — it probably means they’re less likely to be banned. Bonus: this tactic will help you narrow your organic targeting to a more specific, engaged audience.
  • Monitor engagement. Keep an eye on your page’s engagement trends. A sudden drop may indicate issues with hashtags, so use the data to test and adjust accordingly.
  • Stay informed. Follow official social media platform blogs and trusted digital marketing news sources to be alerted of new guidelines.

Navigate the Hashtag Maze with 1905 New Media

At 1905 New Media, we can relieve your team’s stress by creating customized social media strategies that comply with platform policies and leverage the latest social media trends and insights. The result? Increased engagement and growth that amplifies your message across platforms.

Our social media marketing team is ready to help you navigate the complexities of digital marketing with confidence and expertise. Let’s make an impact togetherreach out to our social media marketing experts today!