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Facebook Live adds captions

Facebook Live finally becomes accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing people

Wednesday 7 June
Facebook Live adds captions

Editor - June 07 at 07:00

Facebook just got a little more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing users. The social media giant is adding closed captioning capabilities to its Live product, USA Today reported Tuesday, allowing viewers to see automatically generated captions on broadcasts that show up in their News Feeds.
To see the captions, both publishers and viewers need to activate the setting. It's a welcome addition to Facebook, which has already offered automatic closed captioning on regular videos and advertisements for a few years. When Live launched in 2016, some deaf and hard of hearing users noted the lack of captioning, which rendered the videos inaccessible. More than 5 percent of the world's population — or about 360 million people — are deaf or hard of hearing. While Facebook's new effort likely has at least some commercial interests behind it (captioning could also draw in more viewers wanting to watch videos on mute), it certainly allows for deaf users to more fully experience videos on the platform. It also helps broaden publishers' audiences, and could push them to make their content more inclusive. FCC rules and guidelines for captioning exist for TV, but not for online media like Facebook and YouTube unless it's also broadcast on TV in the U.S. Nevertheless, Facebook's new feature will support the CEA-608 closed caption standard for broadcasters. "It's absolutely an imperative for the deaf and hard of hearing community." "It's absolutely an imperative for the deaf and hard of hearing community, so our hope really is that we can continue to build more and more tools in the captioning space that increase the amount of videos that have captioning both real time and otherwise," Jeffrey Wieland, Facebook's director of accessibility, told USA Today.
But while these captions do increase accessibility, they aren't a catch-all solution. Auto-generated captions can be riddled with inaccuracies, jumbled words, run-on sentences, and no punctuation. That's why Rikki Poynter, a 25-year-old deaf YouTuber, created the #NoMoreCraptions movement last year. Poynter wanted to call out "crappy" automatic captions and encourage fellow YouTube creators to write their own in order to make their videos even more accessible. "If you truly want all of your viewers to get involved in your content and your channel, captioning is the way to go," she told Mashable last November. For Facebook Live, broadcasters can work with third-party captioning companies to write and insert closed captions. Publishers can also use their own captioning technology. Poynter is optimistic about Facebook's new feature, telling USA Today she thinks it's a great idea. "It's something that people have been wanting for YouTube live broadcasts, but haven't been able to get it," she said.
She added that the captioning can be particularly helpful for weather announcements and forecasts, as well as politics-related content. Regardless of subject matter, deaf and hard of hearing users deserve to have the same access to news, resources, and fun as much as anyone else. That simple fact makes this a move in the right direction for Facebook, and a model for other companies in the tech and social media space. You can learn how to enable Facebook Live captioning here.
Source:Mashable

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