I have encountered more image descriptions on Mastodon in 24 hours than I have in Twitter in a couple of years. Seriously. I'm not exaggerating.
As a blind person, this means a lot to me. If you read this and you describe your images, thank you so, so, so much on behalf of all of us. If you don't, now you know you'll be helping random Internet strangers make sense of your posts by typing in a few more words than usual.

@Leftcel_Infilitrator Thanks for asking! Pinafore seems to just give you an edit field to type in a description when you upload any kind of media, but I am not sure how other clients do this.

@Leftcel_Infilitrator @guilevi

Yup, upload and click Edit It should be far more obvious or popup a text field when an image is uploaded

@guilevi @Leftcel_Infilitrator

There is also an OCR feature to identify text in images Didn't know about that Didn't pick up any of the text

@JoMoMup @guilevi @defrisselle @Leftcel_Infilitrator Seems to be hover text, rather than an Alt tag, at least on my computer.

long-ish (~1400 chars) post about hashtags on Mastodon, and accessibility. 

@Leftcel_Infilitrator while @guilevi has already answered your question about how to describe images, I'd like to add some information about hashtags. :)

Hashtags on Mastodon are primarily used for content discovery. Most servers/instances only allow you to search for toots by hashtags as search for any text in the message (often referred to as 'full-text search') is resource intensive.

So, if you want people to find your messages while searching for a specific topic, having the right hashtags in your message is often the only way. Not just for finding other people's messages, but also finding back an earlier status you posted yourself.

What can help people with screenreaders when it comes to hashtags, is to capitalise ever word in compound hashtags; also referred to as camel-casing. For instance, rather than #accessibilitytips, write #AccessibilityTips, as some (most?) screenreaders will use that as a word-boundary hint, and thus allow them to pronounce the hashtag as individual words.

Whether to use inline hashtags, replacing the actual word, or to list them all at the bottom of your post, is a personal preference from what I understood.
If you use a lot of hashtags, I assume a summary at the end rather than inline is probably better, but since I don't use a screenreader myself, I'll defer to the expertise of those that actually do use them.

#accessibility #a11y #hashtags

long-ish (~1400 chars) post about hashtags on Mastodon, and accessibility. 

@FiXato @Leftcel_Infilitrator @guilevi You can also follow feeds of hashtags via rss fyi.

long-ish (~1400 chars) post about hashtags on Mastodon, and accessibility. 

@Zach777 @FiXato @guilevi Wow you can!?

long-ish (~1400 chars) post about hashtags on Mastodon, and accessibility. 

@FiXato @guilevi @Leftcel_Infilitrator

> If you use a lot of hashtags

please don't!

long-ish (~1400 chars) post about hashtags on Mastodon, and accessibility. 

@jesuisatirebitpickup care to clarify why not? :)

long-ish (~1400 chars) post about hashtags on Mastodon, and accessibility. 


cause it feels like spamming and misusing the hashtags system

long-ish (~1400 chars) post about hashtags on Mastodon, and accessibility. 

@jesuisatirebitpickup I don't see how making sure your post can be found under relevant tags, is abusing the system.
Especially when you consider that most Mastodon servers rely on hashtags for content discovery, since they don't offer full-text search (contrary to Friendica, IIRC).

long-ish (~1400 chars) post about hashtags on Mastodon, and accessibility. 


it's a matter of stile, do as you see fit, people have enough tools to sort out.

@Leftcel_Infilitrator @guilevi when you add the image to a toot, you click on it. Then you can add a text to that image for screenraders.

This works the same in the android app.

@greenWhale @Leftcel_Infilitrator @guilevi I didn't even know this was a thing, thanks for pointing it out and giving an explanation, will remember if I post pics in the future!

@Leftcel_Infilitrator Click on "Edit" in the top-right corner of the preview of the image you upload. See the image attached. @guilevi

@Leftcel_Infilitrator @guilevi Hashtags, IMHO, are for categorization, filtering, etc. Here, I suppose, it's better to write a short summary of what the image shows, especially the stuff that visually complements whatever is written above.

@Leftcel_Infilitrator @guilevi When you attach an image to a post there is a message on it which says "No description added".

Click that and it'll open a window to add a text description to the image.

@guilevi Thanks for mentioning this. I have never thought about it how important picture descriptions can be.
I will take care about that in the future for everything I publish.

@guilevi Yes yes yes! Image descriptions are a blessing!
I've described every image on my account, and Image descriptions are required by rule on RaRu.Re !!

@ocean @guilevi I guess that's a positive side for my obsessive tendencies :blobcatthinking:

@guilevi In addition, people can follow @PleaseCaption (and let the bot follow them back) to get a reminder if they post an image without description.

@silentium @guilevi @PleaseCaption

Just testing... the bot hasn't been very responsive as of late...
BTW, since I cannot ALT in this web-client, here it is: this is an image of two... no... ONE piebald cat, in TWO places at once... a Quantum Entangled Cat, if you will LOL. (Seriously though, 2 VERY similar looking black and white cats, on the side of a street in Japan, looking in the direction of the camera)

@silentium @guilevi @PleaseCaption If you use Toot on iOS, it has a setting that will prevent you from posting pictures without a description. It’s a nice touch.


Actually I don't put description on the images I toot there, usually because they're just funny ones and it stops being funny if it has to be described/explained so the extra work seems pointless to me.

Would you consider that acceptable ? When do you believe it is important to describe images ?

@lienrag It is not acceptable to not describe images of jokes. It excludes people.

This is a general problem: Abled people don't expect disabled people to participate in jokes and memes and shitposts, but we do. We don't want to be excluded from fun stuff our friends/peers are doing.

It doesn't ruin the joke to explain it; anyone who doesn't need/want to look at the description won't.

But even if it did, people matter more than jokes.

@KAOS @shahaan @bright_helpings @guilevi

So, everytime you post a joke you take the time to translate it to Chinese, Arabic, Russian,.... in order to be sure to include everyone ?

@shahaan @bright_helpings @lienrag @guilevi @KAOS As far as I know Chinese, Arabic and Russian aren't disabilities and as such it is a very poor taste comparison.
@hypolite @lienrag It's also worth noting that online translation services exist and are somewhat decent. There's a reason we use photos in captchas.
@hypolite @guilevi @shahaan @bright_helpings @lienrag @KAOS This sounds like a moral lecture from someone who has run out of arguments. As we all know, there are jokes that do not translate well, if at all, into other languages. There is a word joke and also a "picture joke" - even if this term is not familiar. Musicians entertain themselves with funny melodies - which I don't even begin to understand. I would never think of accusing them of excluding me. To accuse someone of excluding others because their messages are not universally transferable is nonsensical and would ultimately lead to an impoverishment of all cultures.

That said, I would like to see alt-text added to images that are difficult to describe. Even at the risk of the joke not being understood.
@ilanti Are you seriously suggesting that me calling someone out for equating disability with non-Latin scripts sounds like I'm running out of arguments?

I hope you ran your comment by one of your many visually-impaired friends because otherwise it would sound pretty fucking privileged.
@hypolite @Hypolite Petovan What I'm saying is that you don't make arguments, but moralise and judge: "your jokes aren't that funny", "your comparisons show bad taste", "your comments sound privileged" are, at least in my understanding, not arguments, but rather speeches of a priest or a governess. I have no problem with priests and governesses - they are honourable professions - but I am surprised to find them in this discussion, and this after you have accused others of having no arguments. Does that really fit together?

But maybe we have a misunderstanding of language or culture here. Because in the end we come to the same conclusion that alt-texts are helpful even for "funny pictures".

Perhaps I should clarify what an argument is in my sense:
just remember that just because a joke loses all its fun to you if it is explained, that does not mean others will all feel the same. We've gotten used to finding descriptions of visual jokes sufficiently amusing;
(copied from the above comment by @Mayana)
And here we see clearly what are the advantaged of an argument: it picks up the discussant, addresses his arguments and enables him to change his point of view. Telling him that his jokes are not funny will not achieve that.
@ilanti I do moralize and judge because it is a very moral issue, there's no logical point to make here. When somebody say "Please add image descriptions so that visually-impaired people can also enjoy your funny pictures" and someone is essentially like "Nah", you know there's no logical argument that will get through them, they purposefully chose to publicly exclude disabled people, which is an extremely (im)moral position.

Word to the wise, next time you actually agree with someone, please don't comment on their tone publicly. You don't have to like it, but it won't do anyone any favor to comment on it.
@hypolite @Hypolite Petovan It's not about tone. Your message and the one I quoted send completely different messages:

Your pictures may be not that funny if you can't describe them


Please consider describing them anyway, because blind people may have a different perspective than you have.

Even without the "please", the second message would be more substantial, more communicative and less arogant than the first.

It is now up to you to decide how you want to communicate further. For my part, I would like you to refrain from unsolicited "wise advice", for example.
@ilanti And now you can go fuck yourself.

You apparently haven’t picking on the subtle hint I wasn’t interested talking about this with you anymore, but this should clear any lingering misunderstanding.
@hypolite Interesting ... that a person who presents himself as so morally superior is so quick to fly into a rage.

@hypolite @shahaan @bright_helpings @lienrag @guilevi @KAOS

I'm just going to go ahead and block them because I can spot a concern troll at over 50,000 metres.

I post descriptions on my memes because the idea of people not getting my joke makes me sad.

Oh, and to answer the point. I'll post in the language of my audience. And usually that's English.

This isn't neccesary. There are translators like DeepL and Google Translator, which can translate pretty accurately.
@KAOS @shahaan @bright_helpings @guilevi

@lienrag @KAOS @shahaan @bright_helpings @guilevi

Nyt meni vänkäämiseksi.

Saavutettavuus kaikille on täällä perusperiaate. Näitä kaikkia ryhmiä on niin monia, että jokaisen tarpeita ei aina voi erikseen miettiä.

Yhteisönormit, kuten Alt-Teksti, on tältä pohjalta kehittyneet vuosien aikana.

Näitä normeja ei tarvitse erikseen selittää ja perustella. Ne voi hyväksyä vaikka niitä kaikkia ei ymmärräkään.

@feld Holy shit dude, I may be partially sighted but that's more than enough for me to see that you're fully an asshole.

@bright_helpings @feld I've just blocked them rather than reporting because I don't think they've broken a rule per se but I do know that they have nothing of value to say.

@Homebrewandhacking Yeah, it's pretty rare for instances to have explicit rules against ableism. Which is a shame.

@feld @bright_helpings good time for me to remember that you can block an entire instance

@bright_helpings @lienrag @guilevi I second this. The image description is optional and as a sighted person I can simply choose not to view it. It's an opt-in system.

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