Instagram Expands Banned Hashtag List: Goodbye #notassexyliciousasyou


In an ongoing effort to control the squirming beast that is social media, Instagram recently updated its service to ban even more hashtags.

Along with the expected attempts to make it just the teeniest little bit harder to find inappropriate content, the behind-the-scenes update also nixes hashtags it deems “unsearchable” because they are too generic and produce an unmanageable number of hits. Among these:

  • #photography
  • #iphone
  • #iphoneography
  • #instagram
  • #popular


In the “Maybe They’re Trying a Little Too Hard” category, Instagram has also banned references to:

  • old school punk (#thesexpistols)
  • gustatory pleasure (#foodorgasm)
  • portrait posing (#iloveitwhenhemakesthisexpression).

And from the department of “Who Knew This Was Even a Thing?”, we’ll never know what kind of momentary phenomena might have coalesced around:

  •  #notassexylicousasyou
  •  #SexualWednesdays
  • #bitchcanigetacosmo

One more hashtag change of note: Hashtags per photo now are limited to a miserly 600, so make your words count!


P.S. Australian entrepreneur Nick Drewe has compiled an unofficial list of banned Instagram hashtags.

Image credits: “#like2″ by misspixels, “Lots of Hash” by Michael Coghlan

  • bob cooley

    Usually it’s not a case of their trying to hard – more likely those were banned as a stop-gap to specific forms of abuse or content that was consistently unwanted / against their TOS with that hashtag.

  • Kian Lavi

    This just seems ridiculous…

  • Eziz

    I wonder if it’s going to help, since all hashtags are abused. Try #blackandwhite for instance.

  • D.G. Brown


  • Paul Brown

    What happens if you use a hash tag that’s banned? Does it just not convert to a clickable link? I use iPhoneography for my cross post to Twitter – don’t really care about it on IG.

  • myrna652

    just as Andrea responded I cannot believe that a student able to get paid $8867 in four weeks on the computer. hop over to these guys w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  • Jordan Butters

    Only 600 hashtags per photo? Maaaaaaan. #only600hashtagsperphoto

  • Coop

    I actually get banned crap like “webstagram” and “instalike” but as for fowl language or sexual stuff, Instagram is really for adults, it’s kind of lame to censor the community so much.

  • Truikos


  • harumph

    Ironically enough, it looks like my other comment was moderated and deleted because I quoted one of the offending hashtags from the article. lol.

  • Paul Brown

    I edited my recipe on IFTTT so now when I post to IG I leave off the iPhoneography hash tag but IFTTT adds the iPhoneography hash tag to the auto-generated Twitter post for me.

  • Dee


  • jay

    Buhgaawk! #FowlLanguage