Explicit content is any content that contains strong language (think words you’d rather not say in front of your granny or a three-year-old parrot), or if the song is themed around a difficult topic such a abuse emotional or physical or a topic such as suicide. The explicit tag is there to help sensitive listeners and parents avoid songs that might be difficult or triggering.
Spotify do not label content as explicit themselves rather they request certain information from the rights holders of the music to be included such as whether the song should be marked as explicit. If the rightsholder flags a song as explicit the label will be tagged onto that song.
This means that explicit content can occasionally slip through the net, however as a user you can report any explicit content that might have been missed by using the ellipsis menu next to the song.
Now that you know what explicit means, what can you do about it? Especially if you are a parent with a family account on Spotify you will be interested in the welfare of your children and are likely looking for ways to limit their exposure to explicit content. Though there are many reasons to avoid songs with explicit labels for example if you’re selecting music for work, or a family affair such a long car-trip, or a party involving children.
One important thing to note; while you can filter out explicit contents using the settings section of your Spotify account (see steps below) the filter will not hold if the account is used to play music through a secondary device such as a smart TV or an Amazon Alexa. In these cases, you will want to either search for a clean playlist or create a playlist you know has no explicit content in advance.
The second thing to note is that the filter is user and device-specific, so if you apply the filter on your mobile, but are also logged in on an iPad or computer the filter is not transferable and will have to be reapplied on the second device.
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Filtering out Explicit Songs Using a Mobile Device
Okay so your 11-year-old loves rap and nags to get her own Spotify account, you comply but find yourself lying sleepless at night worrying about all the Eminem lyrics she’ll be hearing, you worry that her view of women will change and that she will lose her power. Sleep eludes you and you decide you’ll just have to delete the app off her phone …. Or you can follow the steps below to make it more likely that the rap music she’ll be exposed to is clean and more in line with your values:
- Open the Spotify mobile app
- Tap the home icon on the bottom left
- On the top right select the cog-wheel for settings
- Scroll down to Explicit Content and tap it
- Toggle the button to block explicit content
- Songs with the E label will now be greyed out (see images below).
Filtering our Explicit Content on a Desktop
You have to have the app to do this, but the process is very similar to above:
- Log into the app
- In the top right corner click the cogwheel
- Scroll down until you see Explicit content and click it with your mouse
- Change the toggle
Blocking Explicit Content for a Family Hub User
If you have invested in Spotify premium for the whole family by using their nifty family plan, then you can block explicit content for a user on the plan while the others can keep listening to whatever they like. To do this follow the steps below.
- On a desktop go to your Family Hub
- On the menu on the left select Premium Family
- Select the family member for whom you want to turn off explicit content
- Turn the Explicit Content toggle off