If you’ve ever decided to use the captions on YouTube…you already know what we’re talking about.
They are so bad that people put them on just for the laughs. No one can take them seriously, to the point where it sort of went viral. People began making videos like this one, in which they would put a skit on youtube and then rewrite and re-perform the skit based on the utter nonsense YouTube generated as the captions for the original video. It ends up being a hilarious game of telephone in which everything gets turned to mush.
But often, we forget that those captions are supposed to exist for a reason.
They’re supposed to benefit those of us who are hard of hearing, and those of us who are disabled. But we spent so much time mocking the utter uselessness of the function, that many of us forgot they’re are people who can’t use YouTube without them.
An obviously, that’s a huge problem…
A new campaign dubbed #NoMoreCraptions is working to make captions more accessible by encouraging video-makers to write their own captions for their videos.
The movement is led by YouTuber Rikki Poynter, who started it in September to close out Deaf Awareness Month.
“You’re missing out on quite a few subscribers by not providing access to deaf and hard of hearing viewers,” she tells Mashable via email. “If you truly want all of your viewers to get involved in your content and your channel, captioning is the way to go.”
Poynter (who is deaf herself) really makes a good point there. Especially considering that “According to the World Health Organization, 5 percent of the world population — or about 360 million people — are deaf and hard of hearing.” So when she says that youtubers are missing out on tons of subscribers…she’s not exaggerating by any means.
— RIKKI POYNTER (@rikkipoynter) September 20, 2016
“I cannot do this by myself,” Poynter wrote in a Tumblr post announcing the launch of the campaign. “I am one person in a world of 7 billion. I can only make so many ‘Caption Your Videos!’ videos. Every channel has a different audience consisting of different people. In order to reach out to everyone, I need everyone’s help.”