Chartwells uses Rockbot’s music filter

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Justin Garner

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Censorship sucks, especially when there’s not much justification for it.  In Maverick’s Corner and Starbucks, the Chartwells staff uses an app called Rockbot, with which you can request a song to be played. Here, many songs and artists have been labeled as “explicit content.”  There are two major problems that stem from this whole situation.

Problem 1. Why are we censoring music?

We are all adults here, and realistically, even hearing “dirty” words while underage is not going to ruin anyone’s life.  A few expletives in what may otherwise be a wholesome, uplifting song won’t throw our lives into chaos. 

As the legendary Frank Zappa once said, “There is no such thing as a dirty word.  Nor is there a word so powerful, that it’s going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.”  

On top of that, censoring a song rips it apart… literally.

 

Problem 2. Why is it so selective and inconsistent?

Manny Bhogal, Chartwells marketing specialist said that he’s supposed to block explicit music from being played.

“All I do is hit a button to block all the music Rockbot views as explicit content,” Bhogal said.

Having one button to ban everything Rockbot views as “explicit content” has only lead to alienation and quite honestly, discrimination.  During a test, requesting a song about murdering a woman, putting her in the trunk and having his daughter help him with the body (’97 Bonnie and Clyde – Eminem) was easy. But, requesting a song about a group getting past losing their friend and bandmate to cancer (Doomsday – Architects) was literally impossible.  Architects aren’t even the only group affected by this.  Wage War, Of Mice and Men and Beartooth, among others, have also been blocked out.  It seems as though the biggest crime is to be from certain genres, metalcore for example.  According to Rockbot’s filter, rap songs about blatant murder are perfectly acceptable.  While, any of these groups that do nothing but try to inspire, motivate and provide uplifting music get completely blocked out.  Just turn off the damn filter.

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