Do sighted people (or people who otherwise don't feel that image descriptions are for them) look at image descriptions here?

Generally I mean, not necessarily "always" or "never."

I'm just curious because I'm about to boost something that I wouldn't boost except for the image description. It's so good.

And I was wondering how and if I need to tell people to do that. Except now I've had to anyway. :p So yeah, you have to look at it.

@bright_helpings yes!!! especially for memes or jokes i don’t understand. i’m always bummed when one of those doesn’t have a helpful image description and i have to move on wondering what the joke was lol

@shade I hate that too! I'm so old and uncool, I'm so bad at pop culture that I have no chance of understanding the meme or the reference if it isn't included in the image description. :)

@bright_helpings i think i actually replied to someone "boosting for the image description" the other day

@bright_helpings I look at them a lot! Sometimes someone will post a pic from a TV show or movie I don't recognize and the description helps me contextualize it, sometimes my friends make extra jokes in the description, sometimes I just like to read how people describe themselves in selfies

@Pixley All of this! Like I told Felix, I have never seen TV or movies so I never get those references otherwise. And I especially like seeing how people describe themselves in selfies.

@bright_helpings I actually often need them for additional information. For example for context, or if it's hard to me to get what it is that I see in the picture or what is supposed to be important about the picture. Or if there's text that is too small to read comfortably.

@bright_helpings I especially look at them if it's a joke and I feel like I'm missing something because often captions will have the extra bit of context I need

@bright_helpings i love them. they’re a whole nother aspect of the post; a whole semi-separate creative medium!

@mood This is so true. Their usefulness as an accessibility tool needs to be primary, but that doesn't stop a good one from being a real work of art.

@bright_helpings when the image and caption are of the same amount of quality/interestingness, that really makes my heart happy 😅

@bright_helpings it's one of those things that i don't know how i coped without it before

@eject Totally. Now I expect to click on or hover over all images on the internet and get descriptions, I'm so spoiled by this place.

i like them being there, they're helpful for parsing information if i'm not sure what's being depicted, and i'll only boost posts that are primarily image if they have descriptions

@bright_helpings I usually do, sometimes I can get like, extra context or information that I wouldn't usually get from just the picture itself

@bright_helpings Depends. Sometimes I'm just curious, how other people describe what's to see on a picture (and learn from it). Sometimes, it's hard to recognise, what's on the pic and I'm happy to get additional information on what it might be.

@bright_helpings I appreciate when images with text provide a transcript of the text also since i'm usually on my phone and it often makes text images unreadable

@bright_helpings Yes!

Use cases: A) on mobile (using Subway Tooter) descriptions show up underneath a post. It helps me decide whether or not to open images or videos to actually see the contents (e.g. when marked sensitive).

B) I *like* reading descriptions of things in people's own words. Helps me decide what to focus on.

C) They can help clarify crowded/confusing images for me and are *especially* helpful with "image text" posts, which can be difficult to read.

@bright_helpings I usually look at them but definitely when it's a meme or something I don't understand, hoping the description will tell me.

@bright_helpings I love them, they're really useful for when I'm not sure what to notice or look at in an image and I really appreciate when people make an effort to make them interesting

@bright_helpings I look at them if it's a joke that I don't get. They are also useful in the rare case that I want to look at the fedi but I don't have access to a quick internet connection but in practice I never do, if I'm outside I don't want to be thinking of cursed internet shit.

@bright_helpings I at the least check there is one before boosting a post, but also check them to see if there's any interesting additional information

@bright_helpings I almost always look at them.

If I'm on my phone it depends whether I load the image, which can take a few seconds on bad data.

It's also good for context. The description can tell me what to focus on, while I might be looking somewhere the fuck else in the unimportant background.

I'd love it if I could see an image description without loading the image on desktop honestly, because reading something that'll upset me compared to seeing it is a big difference. Sometimes I'm fine within a CW, like gore, but specific kinds of images are an issue

@MxCraven It would be good if you could just choose to not load images until you decided from the description whether you wanted to, yes. :)

@bright_helpings I habitually roll over images for extra information or if the image itself doesn't seem interesting enough to justify the loading time. In that case I can just keep scrolling once I get the idea.

@bright_helpings when i'm on low bandwidth or text-only mode, it's nice to read image descriptions instead of having to load images

@bright_helpings If there's something abstract or some kind of meme I don't understand, I'll usually check the image description for context. I know some mutuals also like to put extra stuff in image descriptions, so I sometimes know to check for extra jokes or context. If I'm just watching the timeline go by I usually don't.

:33 < @bright_helpings I mainly intentionally look at it before boosting it, I don't boost if it doesn't have alt text that conveys what image shows​

@bright_helpings @mood depends. E.g., sometimes, they contain an explanation for jokes I don’t otherwise get because I’m dumb.

I know image alts *shouldn’t* do that but I appreciate when they do.

@bright_helpings @mood caveat: not an accessibility expert.

But the purist view is that alt is a substitute (*alt*ernative), not a description. For example, in HTML, an emoji depicting a winking eye could be: <img src="winking_eye.png" alt=";-)" title="icon depicting a winking eye” />. IOW, if the image doesn’t render for whatever reason (such as your browser is a screen reader), the image should be *replaced* by the alt text and still make sense. alt substitutes, title describes.

@chucker I'm much more interested in accessibility than purists! @mood

@bright_helpings @mood and that applies to Masto as well. My understanding is vision-impaired people want their screen readers to be efficient, so a screen reader should be able to say what it says in the alt text as though it *were* the image itself. Thus, not “this is an image that shows a cloud” but instead simply “cloud”.

(But again, I’m not the expert here)

@chucker @bright_helpings @mood I’m not an expert either, but my understanding is that Mastodon’s image descriptions are much more for what you see as the “title” role than the “alt” role. Efficient replacements are for non-content (toolbars, other UI things). Images in toots are content. They are full toot sometimes. They are the punchline other times. The descriptions don’t need to be efficient, they usefully describe the toot, the punchline, what have you. Bring people in on the joke/content.

@bright_helpings I clicked yes. I find that if I'm having a headache I want less images but reading is sometimes good so I'll do that. Also for jokes sometimes I'm confused or if someone is wearing something but I can't read it or don't get the reference I can look it up.

@bright_helpings YES. 100%. It's not just for blind critters.

Sometimes the image won't load. Sometimes we just have no idea what the absolute fuck we're supposed to be looking at. (Like, "what's important in this photo, why are you showing it to me?" type thing.)

@bright_helpings ...although I don't really get the "or people who otherwise don't feel that image descriptions are for them" thing? *headtilt* 'Cause image descriptions are definitely for us too.

@bright_helpings yeah, they're often useful when im confused about what i'm looking at in an image, or don't know what something is called (to look it up afterwards)

@bright_helpings It's become more or less a habit for me to look at the image description when I look at a picture. Sometimes they don't add much but sometimes they do especially when I'm missing context for a picture or can't figure out what I'm supposed to see in it.

@bright_helpings It depends on what I'm looking at. If I don't understand what I'm seeing or what the OP wants me to see, I look at the alt text as some give an explanation in there.

For the people who refuse to add alt text for no reason, at least try giving a simple explanation of what you want us to see.

@bright_helpings I chose "It depends" because I don't always look at them. When boosting I will read it or also when I don't understand the significance of the image.


Yes, I look for them.

Image Descriptions make stuff more clear when I don't understand the image, (maybe it's an unclear image or a joke or it's just unfamiliar).

@bright_helpings I wish the text were easier to see in clients. I prefer the web in text rather than with images generally, and want to know what I am clicking on before I do. For me all images on the internet should essentially be an on-click-reveal description. But I may have misunderstood your question?

@bright_helpings i never knew how much i needed them. now i rely on them to understand what im looking at

@bright_helpings i look at images and they seem meaningless to me until i read the description and i don't know what that is. visual processing issue? like nothing seems important until it's spelled out to me, or the wrong thing does, or everything is equally loud in the image and i don't understand what it's saying, like trying to hear someone in a noisy bar

@bright_helpings Yes, especially for memes I don't immediately get, I'm hoping that the description will help.

@bright_helpings I sometimes do. Especially if I don't "get" an image, people often hint at what's important in the descriptions.

@bright_helpings for me it definitely is "always". i don't know why, but i just don't feel like i've had the complete experience without reading the image description, if that makes sense?

@thamesynne That does make sense! There is something satisfyingly completist about it.

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