I'm seeing a lot of proclamations that there should be no exceptions to describing your images or that there's no reason to interact with any that aren't described.

I know these mean well, but they are themselves ableist.

Disabled people know that access needs can clash. I benefit from described images, but I know some people struggle to write them because of their own disabilities.

And that's okay! The culture of image descriptions is great here but it should never be absolutist.


I challenged someone on their hardline stance on this once, and it blew up into a tiny fedi drama, with the nice outcome of more social solutions.

That's around the time people started to CW undescribed images.

My instance developed an emoji :help_describe: to indicate you'd like a media description added.

There's a group you can tag, @imagecaptionspls@a.gup.pe, that people follow who are willing to add descriptions.

And there's @PleaseCaption to remind you if you forget.

Please describe:

* your jokes/memes - it's no good saying "this is just silly, you're not missing anything"; let us be the judge of that! Also, being disabled isn't about being dull and worthy all the time.

* your artwork - I'm so sad when I see cool art I can't boost (and sometimes can't even discern :) )

* your gifs and videos - description isn't just for still images!

* your audio clips - yep, these can be described too!

@bright_helpings *Especially* when your joke is really dumb and simple, just write the punch line. That way people who can't see the image get the joke, and people who don't get the joke *also* get the joke

@rockario Yeah another thing image descriptions are really good for is explaining jokes that depend on particular cultural references, because not everyone will understand those. Since I don't watch much TV or live in the U.S., I've learned where lots of meme templates come from thanks to image descriptions. :)

@bright_helpings @rockario Same here! But when it comes to describing an image that's not mine or a meme that I don't know the providence of, I have to try and figure out what to search to find out where it's from 🤣

@bright_helpings @rockario I (sighted) often benefit from that when I don't get the joke.

@rockario @bright_helpings And if you don't want to spoil the punchline, put it under a CW in a reply

@rockario @bright_helpings Yeah, I most often want an image description so I understand the joke.

@bright_helpings They also have added benefit for sighted folks as well, as they can serve to explain something that might not even be obvious at tenth glance, let alone first. :blobdizzy:

@bright_helpings I really relish describing audio, it's a fun challenge to get across the feeling of a melody or tone of voice.


about “describing your images”:
In the ActivityPub forum, there is also a thread about writing a formal Fediverse Enhancement Proposal.
This goes then to all the implementors, developers, writers of ActivityPub software.

weex started it there and said:
“When media such as images and video are uploaded and shared without captions, it excludes the visually impaired from knowing what the content is.

To address this, some user interfaces highlight such media so that people can be more easily made aware of this deficiency in what they may share. People can then reply to ask for a captioned repost, or decide whether they want to share or otherwise engage with such content.”

I have added this thread there too, the Link is https://socialhub.activitypub.rocks/t/would-media-captioning-make-a-good-fep/2319

/ @aral

@sl007 @bright_helpings @aral When I upload pictures I add descriptions. However I am not sure whether I do things right, because I fall to notice the descriptions after uploading them.

@alternative_be I can’t see them on your photos. Which interface are you using to post? Web? App?

@bright_helpings I’ve been thinking about how I should best be describing something like my cat photos here, especially since the software is good about encouraging doing so.

@michaell @bright_helpings First describe the subject then the context, then the action: "a fluffy tabby cat curled up in their bed, stretching their paw out from the side weirdly while sleeping." (This is just a random example not a real picture description)

@bright_helpings If I may ask: if the image contains only text (as scan or screenshot) that can easily read by a text finder software (Google lense fi), can a screenreaders do it, too, or do I have to add the whole text in the description?
And I would add that classic emoticons, #wordle scores (use https://wordlescore.herokuapp.com instead) or other text base arts may be difficult to read by screenreaders, too (FFF did such in their toots often here on the fedi, sadly).

@blueplanetslittlehelper it's best practice to add the text in an image to the description.

And yes anything more than a couple emojis is unfriendly to screenreaders. The best thing to do here on the fediverse is put emoji-heavy posts behind a CW.

@bright_helpings Hi ! When I post insect pictures I rarely describe what they look like if I tell what species it is. Would it be better to say species + a short visual description, or is it more practical to just get a "normalized" description from elsewhere for you, since you have the precise name ?

@bright_helpings I hope you don't mind me asking. I would be glad to make my insect stuff more accessible to blind people. Thanks in advance if you want to answer, and thank already for what you posted earlier !

@StrepsipZerg Not a problem, I'm happy to answer questions from people who want to make things better! Thanks for asking.

@bright_helpings thanks again :)
If you ever have questions about insects I'd be glad to return the help 😁

@StrepsipZerg fabulous! I know next to nothing about insects so that sounds very useful. :)

@StrepsipZerg I think it would be better to give a short visual description, yeah. You're right that I could look it up, but reakiatically I'm not gonna. :) It's nice to have the info right there.

@StrepsipZerg @bright_helpings This is helpful for gardeners too. We can label images with species name but that’s just gardeners talking to gardeners. I’ve been trying to describe what can be seen (for everyone who needs it) while also including species name (for gardeners).

@bright_helpings .hg writing the description is a good thing to do instead of telling the poster that they should have

if they can, then it's a reminder that they should, and if they can't, then you're just helping them out. and, importantly, /you/ are not the one deciding for them whether they can.

@bright_helpings I have a question, that I've struggled with. I post stream archives of video gameplay on YouTube, and I kind of assume... people who are blind wouldn't really get much out of my videos, since they'd only hear me talking with no gameplay context.

So when I post about new videos here, with a thumbnail image of the video, I usually don't put any major details in the description; if I did thoroughly describe every one, twice a week, it would be a lot of extra work for no real benefit.

But I'm not trying to be ablelist or say like "I don't want blind people to listen to my videos", it's just... I assume they wouldn't want to?

Am I being weird about it or is this probably not a big deal; I do describe any other images that are just about regular posts/memes/jokes etc. Just never bother with the thumbnails.

@bright_helpings @imagecaptionspls @PleaseCaption@botsin.space thanks a lot for this! How does the @PleaseCaption bot work? I'm not very familiar with the fediverse yet

@lucik botsin.space/@PleaseCaption/10 says

"🔔 To get started:

1. Follow me and I'll start to follow you back
2. Every time you forget to add a text description to an image I will send you a reminder.

Don't want reminders anymore? Unfollow me!"

@bright_helpings I can't seem to follow it 🤔 I get an error saying "The remote-account couldn't be loaded" (roughly translated from German)
I'll investigate! Thanks for recommending the bot and for the toots about captions in any case 😊

@lucik I'm not anything to do with it, so I have no idea I'm afraid. :) Sorry it isn't working for you, I hope it's still working okay and you manage to figure it out!

Judging by your mentions of the bots not turning into links, it looks like you're not federated with them, check with your admins.


@maloki @bright_helpings thanks a lot! @JohanEmpa would it be possible to federate our instance with this bot as well?

@lucik @maloki @bright_helpings
No, I'm sorry, botsin.space cost too much 🙁

Some bots post a lot of images and it would fill up our S3 storage too fast.

There is no way I can afford keeping this server up and running eternally when everything keeps growing. Our dashboard show +895 % interactions and S3 grew with 147 % in a week.

@JohanEmpa @lucik Just because you federate with it doesn't mean all the bots show up on your instance though.

You can reject media and stuff in admin settings.


@maloki @lucik @bright_helpings
Right, thanks for the tip, but that takes too much time

People can create new bots and new people here can follow the bots. Then it automatically pulls everything in until I happen to see them and manually take action. Also can't they post unlisted? then I won't even see them

Bot sucks (from my point of view) because they cost money, waste my time, flood the timeline and push out human content by posting copy-pasted content that few if any people ever look at

@JohanEmpa In a meeting right now, I'll get back to you.

@JohanEmpa @maloki @bright_helpings thanks a lot for looking at this, I didn't know that it works this way and it makes sense you don't want to have these troubles :)

@bright_helpings that's a great emoji! Could we add it to our instance fandom.garden? if yes, who should we credit, and is it under any kind of licence?

@ikol thanks for asking! @t54r4n1 made it so questions should probably be directed at them, i don't know how emoji works here :)

@bright_helpings @ikol sure, you are free to add it and if you want to credit me that would be rad! but also generally people nab emojos and credit is not expected. they are made to be shared!

@bright_helpings Are other instances free to use this emjoi, and if so, what are the terms, who can I credit and would they like credit on the .art website aside from just in a toot?

@welshpixie This question got asked the other day and here's the answer given by its creator then! mspsocial.net/@t54r4n1/1082276

@bright_helpings@mspsocial.net @imagecaptionspls@a.gup.pe @PleaseCaption@botsin.space Maybe it would also make sense to have a hashtag? In case anyone wants to look through all posts and help out, as well (#HelpDescribe ?)

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