Parents are no longer the only ones answering their children’s questions at home, and that may be leading to some unintended consequences. While smart assistants like Alexa probably want to serve as nothing but a positive influence for the little ones in your home, that isn’t always the case. According to The Telegraph, Amazon Echo devices are “playing songs with explicit lyrics” at the behest of their little owners, which doesn’t exactly make for family-friendly content.
Amazon’s music service, Amazon Music Unlimited, does not have parental guidance features to help protect youthful ears from inappropriate language. This becomes a problem when users ask Alexa to recommend music, and she defaults to her company’s platform and invariably ends up broadcasting music that could be offensive to younger audiences. While Apple Music and Spotify both have parental filter options, Alexa is obviously reticent to turn to a rival service.
But fret not — Amazon has recognized this to be a problem, and while an Amazon spokesperson told The Telegraph that the company does not currently have an explicit lyric filter on Amazon Music, the team is “working on a solution.” It’s unclear as to whether or not this solution would include an age filter of some sort. Without an age filter, explicit lyrics and other content can be access on both the Amazon Echo line of devices, as well as other Amazon-branded gadgets like the Fire Tablet.
Considering the amount of backlash Amazon has received thus far via social media channels regarding the lack of filters, it seems as though it’s high time that the brand does something to address the problem. One Twitter user noted, “Amazon Echo, a device that is marketed as a device for the ‘entire family’ has zero ability to block explicit content. Shameful.” Another parent pointed out that Amazon’s publicly-viewable playlists like, “Most played of 2017” feature explicit songs without the option to add a filter.
For the time being, it would appear that the best workaround is to use other streaming services. Amazon noted, “We honor the filters set via our third-party music providers. To update your filters, log into your account [e.g. Spotify] and select the explicit filter.”