Banned Instagram Hashtags of 2020


by UP Market Media



Banned hashtags, both temporary and permanent, are changing the way businesses expand their reach on the platform. Are you up to date on the latest banned Instagram hashtags?

Businesses Need Instagram

Instagram has clearly established its dominance in the market. If you own a business and you don’t have an Instagram account, you are probably missing out on a huge chunk of the market. Early adopters of the application for business learned quickly that the hashtag was the key to getting new followers and likes.

However, as the platform has developed, Instagram users are finding it a bit more restrictive. Instagram’s community guidelines seem generally well intended and helpful. There is, though, a risk of using the wrong hashtags, even innocently.

Since Facebook and Instagram are pretty tight lipped about the subject on all of their support pages, we decided to share the love and let you in on the list, which is almost dauntingly long. Some of the banned posts are surprisingly benign in nature, but have earned the block from the powers that be.

But before we get to the list, here are a few other trends to keep in mind as you use this platform to grow your business.

Less is More

For the first few months of 2020, when quarantining and working from home became the norm, it looked as if social media and digital marketing were going to be exploding. TikTok became the place to spend time while locked inside with only our closest family members. Instagram and Facebook were also seeing a spike in traffic. That trend has not held up, though. With real and perceived tensions online at an all-time high, many are aiming to spend less time on these apps.

Because of this, social media marketers need to shift focus to quality over quantity. By narrowing our focus and creating relevant content that is beneficial to users, your account  will earn a better reputation on Instagram and other platforms.

This applies to hashtags as well. No longer is it beneficial to use every hashtag you can think of on your posts. In fact, studies now show that two to five is the optimal number of hashtags for post engagement. This is in part due to the risk of using a banned hashtag and getting shadowbanned.

Beware the Shadowban

For those who are less familiar with the platform, shadowbanning may need some explanation. Most social media platforms have ways of penalizing pages for content that doesn’t meet community guidelines and standards.

We usually associate this with fake accounts that post spammy posts or those who share questionable or mature content. It can, however, also affect users who are simply unaware of some of the finer aspects of using hashtags. When a user becomes shadowbanned, their content is no longer visible to anyone except their followers.

Yes, using the wrong hashtags CAN get you in trouble with the Instagods. Even tags that are innocent and used to be incredibly popular now are prohibited by the platform. This means all of those hashtags you are using hoping to extend your reach may actually be hurting you.So, it’s important to be aware of all of the banned hashtags or use a hashtag checker to ensure that you aren’t using forbidden tags.

Hashtag Checkers

The bad news is, the list of banned instagram hashtags is extensive and changes every week. For folks running small businesses or building up their influencing power, that can be time and money wasted. The good news is, you don’t have to memorize the list.

There are websites out there that offer a hashtag search so you can avoid angering those Instagods we mentioned. A quick search yields several that work in various ways depending on your needs. Just be careful to use sites that have good reputations. Avoid pages that look shady; drawing attention to your social media accounts from sketchy sites can lead to other headaches.

The Upside to Hashtags

There are, of course, still pluses to using the time-honored hashtag. The right hashtags can build your audience on Instagram like few other things can. (For our list of 2020’s most popular hashtags, visit our blog on Popular Hashtags of 2020.) But this blog is about the ones to avoid. So, without further ado,

Banned Instagram Hashtags of 2020:

(Disclaimer: This list is not exhaustive as it does not include mature or profane hashtags.)


  • #abdl
  • #addmysc
  • #adulting
  • #alone
  • #always
  • #armparty
  • #asiangirl



  • #beautyblogger (**Note: #beautybloggers plural works.)
  • #besties
  • #bikinibody
  • #boho
  • #brain


  • #costumes
  • #curvygirls
  • #date
  • #dating
  • #desk
  • #direct
  • #dm
  • #edm
  • #eggplant
  • #elevator
  • #girlsonly
  • #gloves
  • #hardworkpaysoff (**Note: #hardworkpaysoff?works.)
  • #hawks
  • #hotweather
  • #humpday
  • #hustler
  • #ice
  • #instasport
  • #iphonegraphy
  • #italiano
  • #kansas (**Note: #kansascity works.)
  • #kickoff
  • #killingit
  • #kissing
  • #loseweight
  • #lulu
  • #master
  • #mileycyrus
  • #milf
  • #mirrorphoto
  • #models
  • #mustfollow
  • #nasty
  • #newyearsday
  • #nudity
  • #overnight
  • #parties
  • #petite
  • #pornfood
  • #prettygirl
  • #pushups
  • #rate
  • #ravens
  • #saltwater
  • #samelove
  • #selfharm
  • #single
  • #singlelife
  • #skateboarding
  • #skype
  • #snap
  • #snapchat (**Note: #snapchat?works.)
  • #snowstorm
  • #sopretty
  • #stranger
  • #streetphoto
  • #sunbathing
  • #swole
  • #shower
  • #tag4like
  • #tagsforlikes
  • #tanlines
  • #todayimwearing
  • #teens
  • #teen
  • #thought
  • #undies
  • #valentinesday
  • #workflow
  • #Youngmodel

A Few Final Notes

For some businesses, managing social media for your business is a lot of fun. For others, though, it can be a burden and difficult to truly track and monitor results. If you are struggling with setting up or managing your social media pages, give us a call. At UP Market Media, we take social media marketing seriously. We plan out a detailed strategy every month custom tailored for our clients and provide honest, transparent reporting on campaign performance. Let’s talk — we’d love to move your business’s social media presence UP.

Visit our Social Media page for more information about all we can do to help your business reach more customers on Facebook, Instagram, and more.

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