Spotify Content Filter Glitch Exposes Explicit Lyrics on Dozens of Popular Tracks

London – Young fans of various renowned artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, Eminem, and others have been exposed to explicit lyrics on Spotify, even when users have blocked explicit content.The streaming service often displays a song’s original lyrics, which can include profanity and derogatory terms, on the screen when the ‘radio-friendly’ or clean version is played.

An investigation by the BBC found that the issue occurs with dozens of popular songs, including works by Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Drake, and Lil Nas X.

When asked for comment, Spotify declined to respond. However, the BBC understands that the company is aware of the issue and is working to fix it.

Spotify had previously introduced a system to deal with explicit content in 2018 after facing pressure from parents. Explicit songs are usually marked with an ‘E’, and users can choose to block explicit content in their account settings.

However, the challenge lies in the lyrics in Spotify’s database, which often remain the same between the edited (clean) versions and the original, potentially exposing users to explicit words.

Currently, more than a third of songs in the Spotify UK top 50 chart contain explicit lyrics. Of those, half display the explicit lyrics on screen when the clean edit is played.

The BBC found over 100 more impacted tracks, including some featured in children’s film soundtracks or child-friendly playlists.

Some of the affected songs include “IDGAF” by Dua Lipa, “Bad Idea Right?” by Olivia Rodrigo, “Starboy” by The Weeknd, “Nice for What” by Drake, “Gold Digger” by Kanye West, “Godzilla” by Eminem (feat Juice Wrld), “Goosebumps” by Travis Scott, and “Hot Girl Summer” by Megan Thee Stallion feat Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign.X X X X X X X

Spotify seems to have removed lyrics for several songs after being alerted to the problem by the BBC.

The BBC also discovered that on desktops or laptops, users can still read lyrics of explicit versions of songs even when the tracks are blocked, simply by clicking on the track names from a search or artist profile page.

As the world’s most popular music streaming service with over 500 million users, Spotify still faces the challenge of fixing this issue and ensuring a safer and more suitable listening experience for young fans.