Spotify is an audio playground of all sorts, but it is now facing a wave of hardcore pornographic content that is a direct violation of the streaming platform’s own rules.
Frequent users of the on-demand streaming service have probably come across goofy edits of sexualized or explicit album covers, such as the artwork for Impaled Nazarene’s Vigorous and Liberating Death being covered with simple drawings of underwear over — gasp — naked skeletons, as well as the more optimal placement of a bra over a demonic goat’s breasts and a red heart over a sex acts two of the five skeletons are engaged in.
Still, every Cannibal Corpse album remains unedited, including their classic 1992 release, Tomb of the Mutilated, which features a zombie performing oral sex on another zombie as their bodies decay, so it’s unclear by what standards Spotify deems censoring necessary.
When it comes to images of hardcore pornography not involving skeletons getting freaky or Vincent Locke’s drawings of carnal zombies, however, one would imagine it’s pretty clear what type of sexual content violates Spotify’s own rules, one of which has been duplicated below:
We have tons of amazing content on Spotify, but there are certain things that we don’t allow on our platform. Don’t post excessively violent or graphic content, and don’t post sexually explicit content. What to avoid:
Content that promotes graphic or gratuitous depictions of violence, gore, or other shocking imagery includes, but may not be limited to:
severely mutilated or dismembered bodies
promoting animal cruelty or torture
Content that contains sexually explicit material includes, but may not be limited to:
pornography or visual depictions of genitalia or nudity presented for the purpose of sexual gratification
advocating or glorifying sexual themes related to rape, incest, or beastiality
Despite this rule, both Vice and New York Post have reported finding a wealth of pornography, ranging from playlist and podcast cover images displaying explicit sex acts and/or genitalia as well as recordings of erotica readings (human and digital narration) and even sounds that are intended to yield sexual arousal.
Both news outlets captured screenshots of offending material (and censored those images) and Vince reported that after contacting Spotify for comment, many of the materials they discovered were removed from the platform.
“Spotify prohibits content on our platform that contains sexually explicit material. When content that violates this standard is identified, it is removed,” a Spotify spokesperson told Vice.
What’s troubling is that this content, at the time the reports surfaced (July 26), was accidentally discoverable through typing in just one comma or period into the search bar rather than a search using specified keywords within the sexual realm. Vice also reported that one Spotify user reached out to them and claimed that their 8-year-old daughter stumbled upon pornographic images as a result of accidentally typing a period into the search bar.
“I don’t know what I expected, but it sure wasn’t hardcore porn,” the parent said.
Loudwire has independently verified the existence of hardcore pornographic images and overtly explicit sex recordings on Spotify. We are electing not to display censored images of this highly graphic content, nor will we link out to where this content is discoverable.