Spotify’s Filter Fails to Censor Explicit Lyrics


Spotify has come under fire for showing explicit lyrics to young fans, even when they have blocked explicit content. The streaming service often displays a song’s original lyrics, which can include racial slurs and swear words, on screen when the clean version is played. The issue has been found to occur with popular songs by artists such as Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Drake, and Lil Nas X. Spotify has declined to comment but is reportedly aware of the problem and working to fix it. The company introduced a system in 2018 to deal with explicit content after pressure from parents. However, the lyrics in Spotify’s database for edited versions can still contain explicit words, meaning users can see them when viewing the lyrics. Currently, over a third of songs in Spotify’s UK top 50 chart contain explicit lyrics, with half displaying the explicit lyrics on screen when the clean version is played. The issue also affects high-profile tracks featured in children’s film soundtracks and child-friendly playlists. Spotify has removed lyrics for some songs after being alerted to the problem by the BBC. It has also been discovered that users can still read the lyrics of explicit versions of songs on desktops or laptops, 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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