Fix Instagram “restrict certain activity to protect our community” error

Instagram takes customer security seriously and may restrict user’s activity when a breach is suspected. This will lead to the error message – ‘We restrict certain activities to protect our community’. 

If you have seen this error message and are concerned, worry less. This article decodes for you this particular error message. 

I will explain what exactly can result from this message, and how to deal with the error and continue enjoying Instagram. 

For a quick look; the error message may be a technical glitch or a result of a violation of Instagram’s terms of use.

To resolve the error, you can go through the basic troubleshooting options to remove glitches; update your profile; remove links; remove apps, or wait it out. 

We shall be exploring all this and more in this article. 

What does this error mean?

Instagram users by default are subjected to Instagram’s terms of use. All behavior and activity are therefore monitored and users that go against the acceptable risk a suspension or a ban from Instagram. 

So, if you see the ‘we restrict certain activity to protect our community’ message, then this is either:

  1. An Instagram technical glitch 

Glitches are usually temporary and will go away after a while. 

Or

  1. A ban or suspension

This means your account has most likely violated Instagram’s terms in one way or the other. This message may come if:

  • You do not have a valid phone number 
  • Your profile/account information is incomplete

Instagram can restrict users owing to the lack of information to prove authenticity. One of the features that characterize bot accounts is incomplete profile information.

So you may be seeing that error message because you have not provided all the information as required.

  1. You commented on or shared certain (unacceptable) content 

Instagram may restrict activity if your account engages in sharing and commenting on abusive content, or any activity that violates the platform’s guidelines and terms. 

  1. You have been reported by other users

Other users may have reported your activity or content as inappropriate, resulting in Instagram’s automated system action which will display the error message. 

  1. You engage in spamming

Instagram puts restrictions on automated activities and engagement; any activity that is inorganic and is aimed at raising numbers of likes and/or followers. 

How long will this error message last? 

The length of the error will greatly depend on; 

  • The violation – what exactly has caused the suspension or ban 
  • The gravity of the violation – how bad the situation is, and 
  • The frequency – how many times a person has broken those particular guidelines. 

Normally, however, a restriction can last anywhere between hours (24 hours) and days (30 days) if it is not a permanent ban. 

How to fix the “we restrict certain activity ” Error

Okay, so what can you do about the “we restrict certain activity” error message to enjoy your Instagram experience?

1. troubleshooting options to regain normal function

  • Check your internet connection; a poor connection may trigger the error. Be sure that your internet connection is stable and reliable, also, be cautious about the use of VPN.
  • Log out and back in; try refreshing your account by logging out and back into the account. This can help deal with the technical glitches and restore your Instagram experience.
  • Check server stability; Instagram’s servers may be down and this means you need to wait as Instagram sorts this out. It is therefore important to keep an eye on the server status, you may just need to wait it out.
  • Try another browser; if you are using a laptop or desktop to access Instagram, you may want to try changing from one browser to another and see if this helps.
  • Clear cookies and cache; accumulated cache may be causing technical glitches, try to remove cache and cookies by accessing your settings, then account, then tap on browser settings, then clear browsing data.
  • Reinstall the app; Instagram app reinstallation can help solve technical issues and reset the settings. You can do this in the Play Store or App Store by accessing Instagram, uninstall then install

If it is more serious than just a glitch, you can try the following options: 

2. Update your profile / complete account information

You must provide full and clear data on Instagram. You may be new to the platform or have been there a while but have relaxed on providing information. 

For Instagram to verify the legitimacy of your account and not mistake you for a bot, keep your profile with all information, and updated. 

To complete and update your profile; 

Launch the Instagram app and tap on your profile picture at the bottom right corner of the page, 

Then at the top right corner, you can tap the three-line icon to access the menu, and tap on settings/ settings and privacy,

Instagram Account
Instagram Settings and Privacy

Next, you can go to the Accounts Center, select Personal details, and then update your information. This includes your email address, phone number, and date of birth. 

Alternatively, you may have some prompts to complete your profile on your profile page just below your posts. 

Complete your profile

This will show you how many steps you have completed, 

You can slide across to see what information has not been added yet, and tap to update that information. 

Then tap the tick to finish.

3. Enable two-factor authentication 

To enable two-factor authentication; 

You can still go to Settings by tapping on your profile picture at the bottom right corner, then access the menu, 

Then Settings and Privacy

Tap on Accounts Center, then select password and security 

Instagram Account Center
Instagram Account settings
Instagram Account settings

Next, you can tap on the two-factor authentication and choose option(s) for the authentication code, this can be either the email or phone number on which the code can be sent. 

You will have to go through some confirmations, just follow the prompts to complete the set-up. 

4. Remove suspicious devices 

The next option is to clean up your account by removing suspicious devices and logins.  

To remove suspicious devices; 

Launch your Instagram, tap the Settings icon > Settings and privacy > password and security

From this point, navigate to see the security checks category in the menu and tap on where you’re Logged in

Instagram Account settings

This should give you a list of all the accounts you are logged into on Instagram. When you tap the account, it should show you the login activities of that account, including locations and devices in which the account is logged in.  

If you notice any suspicious login or device, you can remove it by tapping on the ellipses and then  logging out 

5. Remove links from your profile 

If you have links included in your bio for business or personal purposes, it may be that the link(s) were hijacked by cybercriminals resulting in the error message “We restrict certain activity to protect our community” 

It may therefore be necessary to remove links from your bio. 

To remove links; 

Tap on your profile picture at the bottom right corner to access your profile page then tap on Edit profile.

From the menu, tap on Links, this should display a list of links, check through and tap on Remove link to get rid of the link.

6. Remove third-party apps

If you have installed third-party apps to carry out activities on your behalf,  it is a good idea to remove them. These apps are sometimes classified as bots, attracting Instagram’s restrictions

To remove these apps; 

Go to your Instagram Settings, then to Website permissions.

Account settings
Account settings

Tap on Apps and websites, check through the apps, and remove them.

7. Contact Instagram support center 

Another option is to contact the Instagram support center for help. Especially if you are positive that you have not violated the community guidelines, you can appeal. 

You can do this within the app and report the error message received. 

To contact Instagram; 

Launch the Instagram app and go to settings and privacy

At the bottom of the menu more info and support category, tap on help

Account support

Then, select the help center option from the menu and place your complaint. 

8. Wait it out

Lastly, you may have to just relax and wait it out, especially if your account has engaged in any of the above and has resulted in a temporary ban. This, depending on the circumstances, should take about 24 – 48 hours, or up to 30 days. 

Also read: 6 Ways to Create a Second Instagram Account

FAQs

How to remove the Instagram Shadowban

Bans on Instagram are related to violations of terms of use and/or guidelines set by Instagram. Removing the ban is dependent on the violation among other factors. 

To address an Instagram ban, you can try the following options
1. Check and review your profile; make sure your profile has complete and valid information. This includes your contact information, bio, and profile picture as well.

2. Review your content; ensure that your posts and shared information comply with Instagram’s community guidelines. Avoid abusive content and banned hashtags.

3. Pause activity on Instagram; you can take a break from activities like posting, commenting, and liking, for some days. This will allow Instagram’s algorithm to reset.

4. Report to Instagram; if you are sure there is no justification for the shadow ban, you can contact Instagram and report the issue through the help center.

5. Wait for the ban period; you may just have to wait until Instagram lifts the ban after a specified period. 

Conclusion

By trying the options above, you should be able to deal with the Instagram error message – ‘we restrict certain activity to protect our community’. At most, you will have to wait until the suspension time elapses or the ban is lifted. 

It is quite important to adhere to Instagram’s conditions and guidelines as these are set to ensure a safe and smooth experience for you and other users. 

Try therefore to avoid situations and activities that can lead to restrictions such as this.

I hope you enjoy a smooth and safe Instagram experience.  

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Gloria
Gloria
Gloria Is an academician in the social sciences with more than five (5) years of lecturing. She has a passion for research and writing and has written a number of articles about social media. She loves journaling and poetry.

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