Familiar with this social media street term — Instagram jail? If you’ve found yourself unable to use some of the Instagram features, chances are this term has gotten up with you.
But, what is Instagram jail exactly?
What is Instagram jail?
Instagram jail is a term that social media marketers use to refer to the act of being blocked by Instagram.
During your Instagram jail time, your access to the platform is limited. You are blocked from taking certain actions. For instance, you may be temporarily blocked from posting on the platform.
Almost what you would expect with similar blocks from other platforms; for instance PayPal Jail denies you the ability to withdraw funds until the hold period lapses.
While it's not something that happens often, it can be frustrating when it does.
13 Reasons why your account may be blocked.
Instagram algorithms monitor your account usage, and whenever unusual activity is detected, your access to certain features may be temporarily blocked.
Some of the activities that may see you land in the Instagram jail may include:
- Leaving large amounts of comments within a short period of time
- Mass following accounts
- Gaining a large number of followers quickly
- Liking too many posts within a short period of time
- Sending large amounts of DMs (especially similar messages) to people who don’t know you
- Aggressive follow and unfollow patterns
- Posting inappropriate content or one that violates community guidelines
- Posting copyrighted material
- You have a non-allowed link in your link-in-bio section. (Snapchat, Telegram, spammy links, etc)
- Your account is too young (1-3 months old)
- You have previous violations
- Other users have reported your account before for policy violation
- You're using an app that violates Instagram's terms of service
- Misusing automation tools
- Logging in from different IPs
Note that while most of the activities above only land you in Instagram jail, some may actually see you banned from using Instagram, so make sure you adhere to your community guidelines, even after getting unblocked.
Types of Instagram Action Blocks
There are different types of blocks on IG that may land you in Instagram jail. These include:
- Instagram temporary action block
- Action block with an expiration date
- Instagram action block with an expiration date
a) Instagram temporary action block
This is a block that only lasts a few minutes to a few hours, often less than 24 hours. You usually get this type of block when you violate their terms of service.
You usually get a message like this:
You’re temporarily blocked. It looks like you were misusing this feature by going too fast. You’ve been temporarily blocked from using it. We restrict certain content and actions to protect our community. Tell us if you think we made a mistake.
b) Instagram action block with an expiration date
This block indicates exactly when it will expire. You will often see a message that includes a statement like: This block will expire on 2023-04-07. You should be able to resume the activity a day after the date the block is set to expire.
You can expect these types of blocks to last anywhere between 24 hours and 30 days.
c) Instagram block without an expiration date
Sometimes you may encounter an action block that doesn’t have an expiration date set. You can expect these blocks to take between 2 weeks to a month before they are lifted.
Though not clear, some actions that lead to these blocks include posting inappropriate content or misusing automation tools.
How to fix an Instagram action block
An action block on Instagram means that the platform has detected unusual activity on your account, and it has temporarily restricted your ability to perform certain actions, such as liking, commenting, following, or sending Direct Messages.
Here are some steps you can take to try to fix an action block on Instagram:
1) Remove and stop using Instagram-banned hashtags
Instagram has lots of banned hashtags that limit the distribution of your content, and continual use may lead to action blocks being imposed on your account.
By removing and stopping their usage, you can see some of your blocks lifted.
Examples of banned Instagram hashtags include:
Keeping up with the list of banned hashtags can quickly turn into a tedious process, but luckily there are a number of hashtag tools that can help you clean your hashtags.
Such a tool is IQ Hashtags.
2) Report a problem
When you try taking an action that has been blocked, you get a warning popup that often lets you know the type of block and how long it’s expected to last.
Directly below the warning text, you may see a button that says ‘Tell us.’ If you believe the block was a mistake, click on that button to let Instagram know.
You can also report a problem by submitting it from Instagram Settings. Here's how to do this on desktop:
- From your Instagram profile page, click the “Settings” icon (the gear icon) in the top right corner of the screen.
- The options modal appears
- Click the “Report a Problem” button.
- A text area modal appears here.
Keep in mind that it may take some time for Instagram's support team to review your case and respond to your report. In the meantime, you can try the other steps listed below to try and fix the action block.
3) Wait for the action block to expire
Instagram action blocks usually last for a few hours to a few days, depending on the severity of the offense. So just waiting it out can fix your problem.
While you're waiting, you need to stop other activities that may be seen as spammy or against Instagram's terms of service. This will help prevent any further action blocks from being issued to your account.
4) Use a different internet connection
Sometimes switching to a different internet connection (a different WiFI network or mobile data connection) can help lift temporary Instagram action blocks. This will help prevent Instagram from detecting the same pattern of activity and potentially triggering more action blocks.
Here's how to switch to a different internet connection on your device:
- Open your device's settings and go to the Wi-Fi or network settings.
- Disconnect from your current Wi-Fi network and select a different one to connect to.
- If you don't have access to a different Wi-Fi network, try switching to a mobile data connection.
Once you've connected to a different internet connection, try using Instagram again to see if the action blocks have been lifted.
5) Remove your Link in Bio Link
Another reason for receiving an Instagram action block is using unauthorized links in your profile bio section.
For instance, linking to a Telegram or Snapchat account can see your activity on the platform limited. To fix this, simply delete the link, and do not replace it with another until your account is fully restored.
6) Reinstalling Instagram
By uninstalling, and reinstalling your IG mobile app, you can get some of your temporary blocks unblocked as cookies and other associative data collected by Instagram bots would have been removed.
7) Remove access to bots and Apps
Bots are usually the main culprits for account limitation. If you use Instagram automation tools, then you may want to pause their use until your account is restored.
Revoke access, as you try to find the best way to leverage these tools without breaching IG’s terms of service.
To revoke access, follow these steps from the desktop device:
- From your profile page, click on the gear icon on the top right
- On the modal that appears, select Security and Privacy.
- Click this option takes you to a page where you can modify your details.
- On the left sidebar, click on Apps and Websites.
- Revoke access to all the applications that you think are causing your account activity to be limited.
8) Show Instagram you aren’t a bot
Sometimes just proving to IG that you are a real person can help lift some of the blocks placed on your account.
Here are a few steps to take:
- Change your password
- Connect your account to a Facebook page
- Verify your phone number or email address
- Enable 2-factor authentication, etc.
- Change your Instagram account type (from personal to business or vice versa)
9) Clear Instagram cache
If you see an error that says:
“We’re sorry, but something went wrong. Please try again,” it’s likely a caching issue.
How to fix it: (Android devices)
- Open the Settings app and tap on Storage
- Choose Internal Storage
- From the options given, select Other Apps.
- Scroll down till you find Instagram.
- Tap on it and click on the Clear cache button.
With iPhone, the only way to clear the cache is to delete and reinstall the app.
Instagram action block FAQs
What is an Instagram action block?
An Instagram action block is a way for Instagram to automatically prevent you from taking certain actions on its platform. This can be done in response to behavior that is either harmful or abusive or simply because the platform wants to keep its content safe.
How long is Instagram Jail?
Most action blocks resolve within 24 hours, others a few days while some serious ones may take anywhere between two weeks to 30 days. You should expect to get out of the dreaded Instagram jail within a few days provided you do not break more rules.
Why am I seeing the “Action Blocked” Instagram error?
If you're experiencing an action block on Instagram, it's likely because the app has detected that you're using the platform in a way that goes against their Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. Action blocks can prevent you from liking, commenting, following, or even viewing certain content on the app.
While it can be frustrating to be placed in Instagram jail, it is important to remember that it is a consequence of breaking the rules. To avoid being placed in an Instagram jail, it is important to follow the community guidelines and refrain from engaging in behavior that could be considered spamming or inappropriate.
If you do find yourself in Instagram jail, it is important to take the time to review the terms of service and understand what actions led to your temporary ban. With this knowledge, you can work to avoid making the same mistakes in the future and continue to use Instagram in a positive and respectful way to grow your business