Music, Venue

Has music censorship been effective?

Yes: James Ward

Censorship has played a large role in the music industry since parental advisory stickers were added to album covers. I would say that it has been largely successful as it gives parents more choice with what they allow their children to listen to, especially in the US where the scheme has been in place since 1985. In wider use, radio edits have generally censored profanity and made music more palatable to all audiences, and as a child my interactions with adult themes and language were restricted by this, just as it is with the watershed for television.

No: Ellie Robson

Now that we’re in an increasingly digital age, I think that the censorship of explicit music has become less successful. When I was younger, adults would have influence over the music that I listened to – I remember my mum would turn the car radio down at times when songs used explicit language, and I would only receive age appropriate CDs. With more youngsters having almost unlimited internet access, they are more likely to stumble across explicit music on platforms such as YouTube. I also think that when a song gains a reputation for being crude, those who it hasn’t been made for seek it out more.


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James Ward and Ellie Robson

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September 2021
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