Why Is Spotify Censoring My Music? (How To Fix It + Explanation)

Spotify has become a household name and it’s no surprise – they’re the king of the music streaming game.

However, if you believe that Spotify is getting a little too big for its boots and is censoring your music, then you should read this article to learn all you need to know.

Everything You Need To Know About Censoring & Spotify

Spotify will keep track of what a user listens to in order to provide musical suggestions and also to create community engagement across the platform. Spotify will only censor music that breaks the platform’s rules. Explicit content, such as bad language, will be censored.

Woman using Spotify app on mobile phone.

Why Does Spotify Care What Music You Listen To?

We all value our privacy. It’s a key factor that concerns many of us when we use any online platform.

When it comes to using Spotify, you may want to enjoy your guilty pleasures in private, whether that’s some 90’s dance tune that hits the sweet spot or a raging metal tune that you’d rather not let anyone know that you can’t get enough of.

At the end of the day, our listening habits and tastes can be a private affair and so it might pain you a little to know that Spotify likes to keep tabs on what you listen to.

The reason for Spotify showing such an interest in what you’ve been rocking out to is simple:

  1. Spotify Uses Your Musical Habits To Build Custom Playlists Based On Your Listening History

    • If you navigate to ‘Made For You‘ from your ‘Home’ screen you’ll see a variety of playlists from ‘Daily Mixes’ to your ‘Discover Weekly‘.
    • The information that Spotify collects about what you listen to has been processed by an algorithm that then creates these playlists. Hopefully, they’ll have even more tracks you’ll love.
  2. Spotify Collates The Artists That You’ve Most ‘Recently Played’ To Display Them On Your Profile Page.

    • Your profile page is meant to show both you and others what it is that has kept you tuned in.
    • Your profile page will display the last 50 artists that you’ve listened to and that helps you and others identify what kinds of music you’re into at the time.
  3. Spotify Wants To Show Your Friends What Music You Listened To Last

    • Spotify’s ‘Friends Activity‘ feed is a key feature of the platform and lets others see what their friends just played.
    • The ‘Friends Activity’ feed will post the last song you listened to and this information can be viewed by anyone who follows you.

Spotify cares about what you listen to in order to improve your overall experience of the platform and engage you with a community of music lovers.

If you have been listening to a lot of music that has explicit content, then don’t be surprised if Spotify recommends more of the same in the form of tailor-made playlists.

Also, it is worth noting, that unless you change your privacy settings, your friends and followers will also be able to sneak a peek at your current music tastes.

Remember, if you don’t wish Spotify to keep such a close eye on what you listen to then you can always activate a ‘Private Session’ by toggling the option from within the ‘Social’ tab in ‘Settings’.

Read our blog here about bad Spotify sound quality.

What Are The Criteria For Spotify’s Censoring?

Spotify allows for a wide range of expressions and forms in which messages and ideas can be shared in a creative way.

Obviously, not every artist and their message will be received by everyone in the same way, some individuals may be entertained and engaged, whereas, for others, the content might be appalling or disturbing.

To ensure both freedom of expression and the need to protect the community against extremism, Spotify designed rules that must be abided by.

If these rules are broken the content will likely be removed and, in some cases of repetitious offenses, the account in question may become suspended and banned.

Here’s a breakdown of the rules that need to be abided by in order for content not to become censored by Spotify:

  1. Dangerous Content
    • Spotify does not allow content that incites, encourages, or celebrates the idea of harm.
    • The idea of harm can take many forms, but it includes self-harm, extremist violence, discrimination, and sexual abuse.
  2. Deceptive Content
    • Spotify will not allow material that attempts to mislead the community.
    • This includes anything that is seen to be directly tied to manipulating listeners to believe something that is not true and using faked material with the sole intent to abuse trust.
  3. Sensitive Content
    • Content will break the rules if it is seen to be glorifying or inciting certain actions, such as extreme sexual acts or violence.
    • How such acts are depicted within the content will dictate whether it breaks the rules.
  4. Illegal Content
    • This rule is a simple one; any material that breaks the law in any way will be removed by Spotify.
    • This can include content that breaks copyright laws, to material that is intended to encourage specific abuses of the law.

These rules, as Spotify states:

“help ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.”

If you find something that you believe breaks these rules and you want to report it to Spotify then just follow this link.

How Do You Disable Spotify’s Censoring?

Spotify has the option for users to censor certain ‘explicit’ content that is available from their catalog of listening material.

Spotify won’t censor content that is already available on their platform for you. It’s a setting that you need to toggle on or off.

If you’ve enabled censoring of musical material on your account and want to disable it then just follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Spotify on your device.
  2. Navigate to ‘Settings‘ using the 3 dots or the ‘cog’ icon, depending on what version of the Spotify app you’re using.
  3. From ‘Settings’ search for the ‘Explicit Content’ option.
  4. Here you’ll have the option to ‘Allow explicit content.
    • If the option is green then explicit content will be played, however, if it’s greyed out then tracks labeled as explicit will be skipped.
    • It’s easy to identify explicit content on Spotify via the ‘E’ icon.

Why Is My Spotify Blocking Cuss Words?

If you’ve found that Spotify is blocking cuss words it may mean that you only have access to the ‘clean’ version of the track you want to listen to.

Artists who produce material that is labeled as elicit often release two versions, one being ‘clean’.

A clean track won’t have cuss words included and is edited to be suitable for radio play.

If you don’t have access to the explicit version of songs, then the reason may be due to ‘parental controls.

Spotify Premium Family accounts allow parents to choose which accounts have access to explicit material and which do not.

If you believe that the content you have access to is limited because of restrictive settings then it may be worth speaking to the main account holder and discussing the parental controls for your specific account.

Read our blog here about 11 ways to get banned from Spotify.

Does Spotify Censor Podcasts?

Spotify does not censor any material on its platform directly, it has rules that must be abided to and, if broken, can result in the removal of said content.

However, after some controversy over misinformation and the Covid 19 pandemic on the well-known podcast by Joe Rogan, Spotify has now made use of a ‘Content Advisory’ label.

This label is meant to advise potential listeners that the content within the podcast could be deemed inappropriate or offensive to some individuals and groups.

However, due to Spotify allowing content such as Joe Rogan’s podcast to exist on the platform, many famous artists have pulled their content from Spotify’s catalog.

Sources

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