Instagram and the Abuse of Inappropriate Hashtags.

Some of you might have seen the commotion on one of my recent Instagram posts of late.


Let me first clarify that I am not out to shame any individual publicly, which was never my intention in the first place.

I am against the flagrant misuse of shop hashtags, which has been going on for some time, despite the efforts of many shops that have been going around, commenting ONE BY ONE on every single picture to politely ask the said Instagram user to please kindly remove any inappropriate hashtags.

This has been going on for some time, but I felt that the situation had reached a whole new low when I came across this: Someone actually hashtagging pictures of her cosmetics for sale, with shop hashtags.


As you can see, I was so mad about it that I actually left a comment with my personal account, quite politely asking this user to stop abusing hashtags, because it is extremely unethical, to me at least.


This person actually ignored me, and had the cheek to delete my comment, pretending that nothing ever happened!

I don’t deny it, I was extremely pissed off. And so I posted this on my Instagram.

To the kind folks who have agreed with me, left a comment of support, and helped to report those users/photos, thank you so much. Some other users have commented that I am being unnecessarily harsh, but in fact, I am just minding my own business (literally!)

Why am I so pissed off with inappropriate hashtagging?

Hashtags are there for a purpose.

When I search for a particular hashtag, obviously, I am looking for Instagram pictures of something in specific. Especially when it comes to names and brands. 

For instance, if I were to search for #AngelinaJolie, I sure don’t wish to see pictures of random unattractive naked girls who look nothing like Angelina Jolie. And if I search for #Chanel, I am not interested in random pictures of quilted imitation bags from Taobao that have been happily tagged as #Chanel too. Hashtags are there to facilitate easy browsing and sharing on Instagram, NOT for abusing by being used inappropriately!

For many customers who search for a particular shop hashtag, what they are looking for are Instagram pictures of outfits and reviews, from customers who have bought/worn items from the shop, or yes, even buying/selling posts of apparel, but only relevant to the shop.

By inappropriately hashtagging all these shops, customers and myself have to trawl through a HUGE amount of junk, and it is really really frustrating when all you want to do is look at nice pictures of outfits.

There are even more unscrupulous people, who have their own shops and resort to hashtagging the “popular” shops in order to get more viewership for their shops. SERIOUSLY? That is the lowest of the low. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I abhor unethical business people, even more than unethical people in general.

Just take a look at one of the most popular online shops in Singapore, and their hashtag gallery.

Out of the first 21 photos, 14 of them are NOT EVEN RELATED to LoveBonito. That is the extent to which hashtags are being abused by our local shopping community on Instagram. It is ridiculous.

How you can help to play a part

If you are a customer of the shop viewing their hashtag gallery, and you see all these inappropriately tagged photos, what you can do is to tap on the “Photo Options”, to “Report Inappropriate” and flag the photo as spam.

Tap on the button on the bottom right.

Then tap on “Report Inappropriate”

And you can report the photo as spam.

Good riddance to all these spam photos, and let’s make Instagram and shop hashtags a pleasanter experience for everybody! If you are one of those guilty of inappropriate hashtags, I implore you to stop doing so, and only use the appropriate hashtags at your own discernment.


 PS. I have removed the photo on my Instagram as nicely requested by the person in question who has also removed her inappropriate pictures/hashtags, but I wish to increase awareness of this issue, which is why I am posting it on my blog instead.

PPS. I don’t usually like to rant or bitch on this space, but let’s just say I woke up with fiery intent to make the world a better place.

PPPS. If some of you ignorant folks are gonna say, WTF, you think you own that hashtag on Instagram? Who are you to tell me to stop using it? I’d like to say this to you. Dude, you don’t own the road either, so you mean I can’t tell you not to litter on the roads if I see you doing so? Please get the idea of social etiquette and courtesy into your befuzzled mind.

PPPPS. If you don’t shop online, or don’t belong to the local online shopping community, you probably have no idea what the fuss is all about, in which case, just ignore this post!

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