QR Code link allows R Rated tracks to be played to a minor

  • 3 August 2016
  • 5 replies

I produced a QR codes and printed it on a Card to send to a child. The Sound Cloud file was read through a QR code scanner and the proper file played. Then the Sound Cloud player continued with a track that had nothing to do with me and it was RRR Rated! I now have a major problem with the Parents thanks to Sound Cloud who are suggesting that I might have deliberately sent what can only be described as 'pornographic' audio! I have checked everywhere to see if there is any information that says 'when a QR Code links to a single file the instrument doing the reading will continue to receive more than just the linked file and select audio tracks automatically' but I fail to have found this expectation explained anywhere. I am not litigious normally but unless a satisfactory answer can be given to me to pass on to the parents, I will have to consider my options. All the audio was recorded on a second smartphone showing the track and the subsequent tracks that the child was not supposed to get and is now held by the parents who will not release it but I have heard/seen it. I urge you to address matter quickly.

5 replies

Hi again Brodie,

Thanks for getting back to me here.

Firstly in relation to the specifics of the algorithm, this works off a series of interactions with your account and content. For example, it will look at people that have followed you or liked your track, then look into their followers and likes and draw recommendations from all this information. In other words it looks at whole networks of people’s activities. This is why it may not be related directly to the title of your track. All that said, I’ve passed on your feedback about this to the recommendations team who are always looking for ways to improve the service.

As for the sharing of any new tracks, if you set a track to “private” and share it, only people with the sharing information will be able to view and listen to the track. No related tracks will play after any private track or playlist. Note that people visiting your SoundCloud page directly will not be able to view any private tracks- these are only accessed through a sharing link.

You can see more information about how to make your tracks private from here:

That said, as we do not support QR codes directly within the product, I’d recommend testing that tracks share and play correctly when set to private through QR codes.

Again apologies to you and the families for any trouble caused via this, and please report the tracks directly to our Trust & Safety team if you believe them to be in violation of our Terms of Use.

Thanks again,

SoundCloud Trust & Safety Team
Thank You for your response Holly,

I have sent your response to the family who at least have cooled down somewhat although they remain dismayed. Your explanation about the algorithm I understand, however who wrote the parameters may need to give some explanation as to how there is some connection between a man talking about a travel beach in Australia, its sand and points of interest can possibly have a connection with a pornographic song. Clearly, if I might say, the senior management of Sound Cloud has every right for concern because if the algorithm can be so far off comparability, it puts your whole service into potential jeopardy. If I were playing a Christmas carol at a family gathering how could I now be certain I would not, if I allowed Sound Cloud to continues past the track specified, suddenly stun the vicar and guests with a computer-suggested introduction to ghetto porn? This may put a smile on your face but I urge you to have the matter raised, not for me, your ex-Sound Cloud customer, I am of little import, but to the growing market looking to use Audio in a businesslike manner a la the maturing of YouTube. It started out as the idiots guide to life shot on a smartpone and now is an integral part of business life. Imagine if I was watching a Corporate video on a core subject matter and it finished and suddenly depicted something completely original in the field of carnal erotic exploration. It might lighten up the conference but I suggest the Brand Manager would be seriously rethinking the value of YouTube. You are drifting toward that space.

However all brevity aside, are you saying that if I generate a QR Code and connected it to a specific Sound Cloud track/song etc that is marked as Personal, the person scanning the QR Code will only see the nominated track and nothing else? If I were to publish that code, put it on a chocolate bar for example, the bar-eater/scanner will only see the nominated track? If that is the case then you need some up-front education for users so my embarrassing situation cannot be repeated.

I have tentatively asked for a copy of the video they shot on a smartphone of the episode but other than with me, they are too embarrassed to send it on and as that is there wish, I am obliged, until I can persuade them otherwise to keep their confidence. I am not sure that they actually got any track information as all I heard was the track itself and haven't seen the video. I will apply gentle pressure if that is the only way you can identify the track.

I will keep you in the loop with any further developments Holly but at least the family have apologised for suggesting I was intentionally involved now they have your explanation. When I send them your response to this email, perhaps the matter will close; I guess it will depend on the response.


Brodie Goozee (mr)

PS I should tell you that the whole purpose was to demonstrate how a young person can create an audio diary about their travels and share them. I do not think I have managed to give this young person the confidence to give it a try. Very sad.
Hi Mr Brodie Goozee,

Sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused here. At this time, there is no option to disable the "related tracks" feature from public tracks or playlists.

After reviewing your email, I can appreciate your concern with your intended audience being exposed to the reported related tracks. Unfortunately, we do not currently have the functionality to age restrict content or to flag content as NSFW (not safe for work) or explicit.

Additionally, the tracks which display in this area are generated by an automated algorithm. This algorithm returns recommendations through a network of relations and interactions on SoundCloud (for example a user liked a track, a user followed another user, a track is reposted etc.). This means that there is no way for us to manually prevent specific tracks from being associated with your content.

However, it sounds like there is specific tracks you have encountered that possibly violate our Terms of Use. As this is the case, please let us know which tracks you are seeing by sending us their URLs to the email address that Mathis mentioned above. This way we can review and remove any tracks that violate our Terms of Use.

In the meantime for future shares, if you make your track private before sending out the code, your listeners will not receive any related tracks.

I can appreciate that this is not an ideal situation. Please know that we are working towards a solution for this in, improving the related tracks experience is a high priority for us.

Apologies for any continued issues you have had as a result of this. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

Thanks again,

SoundCloud Trust & Safety Team
Mathis, If you consider sending a Sound Cloud audio message about a delightful beach to a minor who then, for no reason I can explain, after listening to the track hears about a person singing about (Medically speaking) virginas. penises oral sex and how it is the birthright of the male after dancing with a female as INCONVENIENCE may remind you to read my fist email again. Now I am not going to write to any 'Trust and Safety' person. You are going to get someone to write an apology to me that I can send to the minor's parents by way of explanation. This apology will explain that the fault was yours and it will not, cannot happen again and give the reasons why you can make that promise. I suggest you do this after re-reading my last email. Allowing pornographic material to be experienced by a minor has certain legal ramifications in so many States! I look forward to being able to send your response to the family as your next communication. Brodie Goozee (Mr)
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Hi there,

Sorry to hear about this inconvenience. Please reach out to our Trust & Safety team about this issue, as they can assist with this more efficiently.

Thank you & all the best