Last Updated on February 5, 2023 by James McAllister

By: James McAllister


As Instagram users, we want to avoid doing anything that may break Instagram’s rules, or limit the amount of people that the posts reach.

At the same time, we also want to be able to express ourselves freely, without having to worry about Instagram taking action against us.

Therefore, you may find yourself wondering – are you allowed to swear on Instagram, and will there be any negative consequences for doing so?

In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!

Is Swearing Allowed On Instagram?

Instagram App

Yes. Instagram users are permitted to use swear and cuss words, along with other forms of profanity as long as they are not used to break any of Instagram’s other rules.

This includes things such as harassing other users, or writing adult content.

Therefore, you can comfortably use swear words without needing to censor them in any way – on their own, they will not result in any action being taken against your account.

That being said, we recommend avoiding them when possible, especially if they don’t add anything to the conversation. Even a statement that you feel is completely harmless may be considered to be harassment by somebody else, and Instagram is likely to take further action against the message or your account if you are reported.

Unfortunately, we have heard stories about Instagram users being banned for very simple things, which has led to us becoming overly cautions in attempt to avoid any action against our accounts.

Will Posts Containing Profanity Be Reduced In Reach?

We know that posts containing profanity won’t be removed. But if you swear in your Instagram post or caption, will the reach of the post be reduced?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a confirmed answer from Instagram. However, anecdotal reports from other Instagram users indicate this may be the case.

If you think about it, this does indeed make a lot of sense.

Instagram is a global platform now, with users made up of all ages. It’s understandable that Instagram would take steps to reduce the amount of children and teenagers exposed to explicit content, and do what they can to keep Instagram a family-friendly platform for most users.

If you believe that Instagram may be limiting the reach of your posts, the best thing you can do is to upgrade to a business account and check your post analytics each time that you publish. Try to look for patterns to identify what may be causing some posts to reach less people than others.

Finally, if all of your posts have experienced a sharp decline in reach, it’s possible you may be shadowbanned. Thankfully, this is usually temporary.

Can You Swear In Instagram Reels?

Yes. Just like with regular Instagram posts, users are permitted to swear and use profanity within Instagram Reels, as long as the contents of the reel do not violate any of Instagram’s rules.

Like TikTok, Instagram likely uses some sort of artificial intelligence to determine the content and context of your video.

Therefore, you should avoid doing anything that may break Instagram’s guidelines, even if you don’t believe any of your followers will actually report you.

Can You Swear In Instagram Stories?

Yes. Swearing is allowed within Instagram stories, as long as you aren’t breaking any of Instagram’s other rules.

For example, creating a Story just to call somebody a bunch of bad names may constitute harassment, which can get the Story taken down and a shadowban (or permanent ban) to be placed on your account.

There is one notable exception, however.


Other Instagram users have pointed out that if you use caption stickers and your Story contains profanity, the swear word will be censored and the audio will contain a beep when played.

So, it does seem like Instagram wants to discourage swearing, even if they don’t outright block it.

Can You Swear In Instagram Ads?

No. Unlike regular posts, you are not allowed to use any sort of profanity within your Instagram ads, including swear and cuss words.

Instagram has a team of reviewers that check each advertisement prior to the ad going live. If you use any sort of profanity within your advertisement, the ad will simply be rejected.

Repeated violations of Instagram’s advertising policies (which also extend to Facebook) may result in your ads remaining in review for longer periods of time, or even ad account being shut down entirely.

Therefore, you should pay extra attention to make sure that your Instagram ads do not contain any swear words. This is true both in the text itself, as well as within any media that the ad is utilizing (such as photos or videos.)


Swearing on Instagram is permitted, as long as you aren’t also violating any of Instagram’s other rules.

However, profanity is not allowed with ads, and may be censored when posting in Stories using stickers.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any questions about Instagram or you’d like to share your experience, please do so using the comment form below.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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