Comparing Automated Methods to Detect Explicit Content in Song Lyrics

The Parental Advisory Label (PAL) is a warning label that is placed on audio recordings in recognition of profanity or inappropriate references, with the intention of alerting parents of material potentially unsuitable for children. Since 2015, digital providers {--} such as iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer {--} also follow PAL guidelines and tag such tracks as {``}explicit{''}... Nowadays, such labelling is carried out mainly manually on voluntary basis, with the drawbacks of being time consuming and therefore costly, error prone and partly a subjective task. In this paper, we compare automated methods ranging from dictionary-based lookup to state-of-the-art deep neural networks to automatically detect explicit contents in English lyrics. We show that more complex models perform only slightly better on this task, and relying on a qualitative analysis of the data, we discuss the inherent hardness and subjectivity of the task. read more

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