Updated: Oct 23
Deciding to provide less potential access for the deaf community and beyond is on the cards for YouTube after scrapping the community captions in the near future. And you'll have to pay for the privilege later.
According to a recent release by YouTube, the community captions feature will be ending and potentially replaced by a third party input in the future. A third party service that you will ultimately have to pay for.
"While we hoped Community Contributions would be a wide-scale, community-driven source of quality translations for Creators, it’s rarely used and people continue to report spam and abuse." - YouTube Support
Liam O'Dell (@LiamODellUK) first reported the YouTube announcement, covering all the reasons for the decision. Full article -
Though you have to acknowledge if the feature was not being reaching it's full potential, I can't help but sympathise with the countless smaller channels and YouTubers that most likely to use the captioning in the intended way. If YouTube cites spam and misuse, is that only for their larger, money-making channels where such toxic community is often drawn to?
A by-product of community captioning is the translations that people do for each other. I have enjoyed short films and TV shows from around the world because someone has done the translation for me to enjoy. It is the growth of the feature like this that shows the true value for everyone with accessibility features.
Though YouTube would say they are experimenting with their auto-captioning for videos to make it better. I can hand on heart say it is just... so... bad. I never use it as the audio to text is so disjointed, badly timed and badly scripted that it makes viewing videos a chore. If they want to fall back onto another feature over the community captions, it simple has to work first.
On another note, the aim of YouTube to outsource the community caption to a third party where audiences are expected to pay to access the feature is adding barriers to disabled communities. It speaks volumes of how much they care for profits over access.
"We’ve decided to discontinue the Community Contributions feature across all channels after September 28, 2020. You can still use manual and automatic captions, as well as third party tools and services." - YouTube famous last words.
But what about channels just adding the captions manually!? Yeah, like we can see PewDiePie doing that for every video he has?
ENDING ON A POSITIVE
At least the new Avengers game has some rumoured hearing aid wearing representation in a massive AAA game. It might be too much to imagine the use of hearing aids being implemented into the gameplay but at least they are there. For once I am half way to a cosplay outfit already. Now where can I get a bow?