Spotify’s Content Filter Fails to Censor Explicit Lyrics in Numerous Popular Songs


Spotify has been displaying explicit lyrics to young fans of artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Eminem, even when users have blocked explicit content. The streaming service often shows the original lyrics, including racial slurs and swear words, on screen when the clean version of a song is played. The issue has been found with popular songs by artists such as Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Drake, and Lil Nas X. Spotify has not commented on the issue but is reportedly aware of it and working to fix it. The company introduced a system to deal with explicit content in 2018, but the lyrics in the database for edited versions can still be explicit. Currently, over a third of songs in Spotify’s UK top 50 chart contain explicit lyrics, with half showing the explicit lyrics on screen when the clean edit is played. The BBC found 100 more affected tracks, including some from children’s film soundtracks and child-friendly playlists. Spotify has removed lyrics for some songs after being alerted to the problem. On desktops or laptops, users can still read explicit lyrics even when the tracks are blocked by clicking on the track names from a search or artist profile page. Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming service with over 500 million users.

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