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Add warning before posting a media without alt-text #5644

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ffffluffy opened this Issue Nov 9, 2017 · 15 comments

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ffffluffy commented Nov 9, 2017

With #117, Mastodon now allows users to add an alternative text to media in order to improve accessibility for visually impaired people. However, many people, including me, too often forget to do so. I think it would be great to display a warning when a media doesn't have alt-text yet, before the user send the toot.

I was thinking of a warning such as "The media doesn't have alt-text", displayed either on the media (in a similar way than alt-text), or a banner above or beyond the text area.

I don't mean to make a mandatory system, but a reminder would be really helpful.


  • I searched or browsed the repo’s other issues to ensure this is not a duplicate.
@jmfcodes

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jmfcodes commented Nov 9, 2017

Yes please! I love this idea. Not mandatory, but a reminder :)

@wxcafe

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wxcafe commented Nov 19, 2017

👍

@wimvanderbauwhede

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wimvanderbauwhede commented Mar 11, 2018

There was a thread about this yesterday with quite a few people (7) in favour of this:
https://cybre.space/@grainloom/99662062864050430
So I'd like to add their voice to this issue.

@timmc

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timmc commented Mar 11, 2018

I'd be in favor of mandatory alt text, tbh. That's a much stronger nudge to make sure content on Mastodon is accessible to everyone. If you really don't want to put any description, even "comic" or "photo" or something, you can still put some dots or whatever. But I think it would be great for getting people to actually add alt text, especially because it's so easy to forget.

(So many images are of text, and it's a shame that that text is then not copied into the alt text... or the toot, for that matter...)

@nightpool

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nightpool commented Mar 11, 2018

i'm 👎 on mandatory validation, but 👍 on a warning indicator.

requiring EVERYBODY who posts an image to have the verbal spoons to caption that image is just trading one type of inaccessibility for another.

@timmc

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timmc commented Mar 11, 2018

I'm in fact saying they don't have to have those spoons. They can use "-" if it's just too much. It's still in some ways just a warning, but it better sets a social standard.

@nightpool

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nightpool commented Mar 11, 2018

i feel like most well intentioned people would just give up posting rather then add a misleading alt text, and that sounds bad.

@jmfcodes

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jmfcodes commented Mar 11, 2018

I choose not to post photos if I don't have the energy or mental fortitude to provide at least a rudimentary alt-text (like "sleeping cat"). I don't think this is bad, i think this is what building an inclusive community looks like. I think it's bad to knowingly and willfully exclude people from from something because jotting down a couple words is too cumbersome.

as @timmc says, folks can just enter a single character rather than a full description-- to at least acknowledge that they are excluding people from a post.

i previously said above that I was not in favor of a mandatory reminder. But this thread is reminding me that mastodon already has an enormous accessibility problem that extends well beyond alt-text options, so now I am changing my opinion: yes, it should be mandatory.

the philosophy that accessibility should only exist if it doesn't inconvenience abled people is an able-bodied and able-minded tactic to silence and exclude the disabled. i hope it's obvious why this is the antithesis of building a strong and inclusive fediverse.

@timmc

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timmc commented Mar 11, 2018

I'm sure we can figure out some way to not be hostile to either people with low-vision / shitty connection / gifs-I-mean-videos disabled / etc. or newcomers who are confused about their options for alt-text. Required, but if they try to skip it, hint that "-" or similar will let it by? I'm not very good with UI design, unfortunately, so I'm hoping someone else will be more clever. :-P

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nightpool commented Mar 11, 2018

@jennifermf the idea that two people's disabilities can cause conflicting access needs is not "the philosophy that accessibility should only exist if it doesn't inconvenience abled people". it's the exact opposite of that, and it's activism 101 stuff.

i support a reminder. i don't support a mandatory requirement. mastodon should be for everyone, not just those who have the energy to present themselves in a legible way 100% of the time.

@Gargron

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Gargron commented Mar 12, 2018

Mastodon is built on the social contract between people following each other: If you expect your followers to expect you to write alt text, you do that; If you don't, you don't. I'm not in favour of "hardcoding" such social relations. However you can enforce this in your code of conduct if you want.

@Cassolotl

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Cassolotl commented Mar 12, 2018

I once read a twitter thread about accessibility and image captions for screen readers. The person basically said that if the content of the picture is clear from the text in the body of the tweet (eg: "check out this cute doggo I saw at the train station today!") then an image description is just not required, and might actually be a waste of time for the visually impaired person.

I don't think saying "people can just put a hyphen" is a good solution; it feels messy. I think we have to trust people to judge when an image description is and isn't relevant or helpful.

@jmfcodes

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jmfcodes commented Apr 16, 2018

@Sciss

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Sciss commented Apr 16, 2018

@Gargron as it stands in the current version I'm seeing (2.3.3), it's totally not obvious to add the caption. I know people who do have problems when there are no captions; so of course, one should be free not to add a caption, but the UI should definitely be more helpful and obviously indicating that there is no caption. I personally would caption all my image uploads, but I simply forget all the time, because the UI does not indicate anything.

@penduin

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penduin commented Apr 24, 2018

at least on mobile, the description field is hidden by default, but should absolutely be shown, i'd say even focused upon inserting an image.

there are several user-facing options to confirm when boosting etc, i'd love to see one to confirm posting with alt-less embedded media.

@Gargron Gargron added suggestion and removed enhancement labels Oct 20, 2018

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