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I just noticed it in one song, thought nothing of it, and then in another, it was really obvious as well.

For reference, in this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85sC2xLIViU E.g. the words nigga and dope are removed, leaving a weird pause there. Why is this, and is this a YouTube-only thing? Because on Spotify, the song is completely normal.

My theories:

  1. The interpreter uploads a censored version on youtube because otherwise it might get taken down
  2. Youtube automatically censors those words (i doubt that though)
  3. The interpreter uploads a censored version on youtube in order to avoid the video being labelled as 18+

Any thoughts?


After listening closely again, I think it might actually be 2. - the censoring makes little sense on some parts (even ass and shit are censored and the song sounds really stupid now)

  • it has nothing to do with youtube – user0 Feb 21 at 20:44
  • Care to explain? The original version obviously had no such censoring – Flying Thunder Feb 21 at 20:47
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YouTube does not have such a powerful filter which would be able to cross-check every spoken (sung) word in every possible dialect/accent/language and then censor out the audio track of such particular video. YouTube has only one filter which is able to manipulate audio track of uploaded video and this filter is directly related to the violation of ToS. It is triggered by approved DMCA submission or manually set based on reports/flags. Then, in either case, and based on the level of violation of copyright, the video will be deleted (worst scenario) or entire audio track will be muted out.

In other words: if the video you found has muted out parts (words) it's not due to YouTube nor any YouTube filter. It's as it is, because of publisher and publisher's decision to upload it that way (in respect of small kids). Most of the time, uploaded video clips of tracks are just a copy of what it's running on TV stations and in most cases, TV stations are forcing artists to mind at least PG-13 ratings when providing explicit video clips.

If the video is uploaded by a verified well-known artist it won't get taken down by YouTube (YouTube can't afford it and lose the traffic) even if there is a heavy verbal load. Artis has always the choice to upload 18+ or 18- version.

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