This Week in Social Media Marketing

When Instagram Deletes Your Post

social media social media for creatives social media for entrepreneurs social media marketing Nov 07, 2022

What's Happening 

Recently, Instagram deleted one of my Reels without warning. I’ve had sound removed from posts due to licensing issues, but never a whole post deleted.

The Reel was a remix of a clip from an old SNL sketch. Thus, it was probably removed because of licensing issues as well. I had to play detective to find out what happened because Instagram didn’t warn me AT ALL.

To help you avoid a similar fate, I’ll share what clues I followed to discover the Reel was deleted by Instagram and how my account was affected.


Use it for Your Business

If a post disappears, check the following:

Account Status: This is the first place I checked because Instagram puts any notifications if your content breaks the community guidelines and has been taken down for some reason. Find your account status by going to the three lines > Settings > Account > Account Status.

My status was “You haven’t posted anything that is affecting your account status.” The guidelines state you will not get a warning before content is removed; however, if you’re in danger of losing access to your account, you will be notified.

Archive: If you enable the archive feature, Instagram keeps a copy of all stories, posts, and lives. Access your archives from three lines > Archive. Set the drop-down menu to “posts” and check to see if you accidentally archived the post. The post will not be in the archive if Instagram removed it. I also checked the stories archive since I shared the post to stories. There was a blank grey box where the story should have been.

If you’ve accidentally archived your post, you can hit the three dots > “show on profile” to return it to your feed.

Notifications: Check your notifications to see if likes or comments from that post are listed. Notifications from the post disappearing are another indication Instagram removed it.

Insights: Check your insights from the button on your profile page. Insights from the post disappearing are another indication Instagram removed it.

In my particular case, I also checked the original post I remixed. That post was removed.


What To Do Next

You have little recourse if Instagram removed your post. You can appeal the decision, but I’ve never received a response from the Instagram reporting team. So, the odds of success seem slim.

In my case, I’m fairly certain that it was a licensing issue, so I can steer clear of remixing content posted from anywhere other than the creator. My guess is my post would still be there now if I’d remixed a Reel from the official Saturday Night Live account, not another creator.

I don’t recommend publishing the same post again for fear you’d be in danger of losing access to your account.



Relevancy Rating

Just because it's new doesn't mean it's worth your time: Is checking to see if Instagram removed your post worth your time?

Yes!: I give it 5 out of 5 thumbs up.

The worst-case scenario is being in danger of losing access to your account. Spending a few moments investigating could save you from losing your account and all lead generation from Instagram!


Social media is constantly changing. Sign up for This Week in Social Media Marketing to stay informed of the trends and decide whether it’s worth your time to try them.