Last month, we reported on how Instagram has apparently been “shadow banning” certain posts, preventing a photographer’s content from being discovered by others without the photographer knowing. If you’re curious about whether any of your photos have been shadowbanned, there’s a new web app that can check for you.
The app is called Instagram Shadowban Tester, and it’s super simple: simply provide an Instagram username or a direct URL to a photo on Instagram, and it’ll check to see whether the content is still publicly visible.
The app revealed that all of the photos on the inactive @petapixel Instagram account are still visible — in other words, we’re not shadowbanned.
When we tested with the username of one of the photographers who reported the shadowbanning to us, @iconoclastical, the website found that it is shadowbanned because its photos didn’t publicly appear on tag pages they should have been found through.
“We track a combination of signals and are 100% confident in the results,” the website’s developers write. As long as you’re regularly using hashtags on your Instagram photos, the website should be able to accurately tell if you’re affected.
“No one knows how the internal algorithm works (other than Instagram),” the developers say. “There is no ‘trick’ to avoiding the ban or cheating this test.”
It seems that Instagrammers are worried about this issue, as the website currently states that about 4,500 people have been checking their accounts every hour since the app was launched on April 14th.
If you’re curious about whether Instagram has shadowbanned you, head over to the Instagram Shadowban Tester and find out for yourself.