If you’ve ever wondered “why can’t I follow anyone on Instagram?” As every time you try to follow, like posts, or post new comments, you get the message “Action blocked“? The reason is simple: Your account has been temporarily blocked. Find out why and how to resolve this and follow again.
Why can’t I follow anyone on Instagram?
The Instagram has several ways to punish users who pass the limit and ban the profile is just one of them. Another is shadow banning, which although not a recognized practice on most social networks, is used to hide content from harmful accounts, broken hashtags, or bot-scraping schemes.
A third method, not as radical as banning, nor as subtle as shadow banning, is the temporary and partial blocking of a profile, specific to interactions with other users. It is a way of protecting the network from an account that has been identified as a bot or harmful but, in a preliminary rather than definitive way.
These are some of the reasons that may lead to a temporary profile block:
- Have a recent account with no posts (zero or very few) and leave to enjoy posts, comment and follow multiple accounts in bulk;
- Have a very active profile but with incomplete user information (generic name, no avatar, no bio);
- Post many posts, enjoy many posts and/or follow and unfollow many users, all in a short time;
- Share repeated content (posts or comments) constantly;
- Mention lots of random users and hashtags in posts and comments;
- Use third-party apps with Instagram to like posts or get followers.
These behaviors may indicate that the profile is a bot or smart guy who wants to inflate his reach with third party apps. But instead of banning, Instagram blocks resources for a period of 24-48 hours. During this time, users cannot follow new profiles, post comments, or like posts even if they can access them.
When you try to do so, you will receive the message “Action blocked.” The text says: “This action has been blocked. Please try again later. Limited certain content and actions to protect our community. Tell us if you think this was a mistake.”
How to get rid of the block
Instagram can “block” a user in two ways: by IP or by account. In the first case, you can circumvent the punishment by switching the account access IP, which on a mobile phone can be done by switching the mobile data connection to Wi-Fi or vice versa.
In the second case, if you think you have been unfairly punished, you can send a message to Instagram and question the decision by tapping “Report a problem” when the “Action blocked” message appears.
You can also send a message via the Instagram help tool:
- With Instagram open, go to the profile screen and tap the three parallel lines in the upper right corner;
- Tap “Settings”, “Help”, “Report a problem”;
- On iPhone, tap “Something’s not working”, while on Android, tap “Report a problem”;
- Describe the problem and why you think you have been unfairly punished;
- Send the message and wait for Instagram to position itself on your request, whether or not your account is restored.
Finally, if you have committed some of the infractions described at the beginning of this post, the best you can do is wait for the lockout time to pass and let the account go back to normal again. And after that, avoid repeating the same behaviors (or using the same apps) so you won’t be blocked again or banned from Instagram.