You know that thing where people make fun of a terrible opinion by writing it in a mixture of upper and lower case? It's probably not a good idea.

Screenreader software used by blind or partially-sighted people interprets capital letters as the beginning of a word.

This means that a phrase written as "FiNe PEopLe oN BoTh siDeS" will sound like gibberish.

If accessibility matters to you, try to avoid doing this.

@@feditips ... okey, but isn't it the whole point to visualize that gibberish?

@MinameH @feditips It's easy enough to think that as a sighted individual where we have the ability to see what is said. But doing it, rejects people that can't see, or that otherwise use screen readers because they have struggles reading, from being able to know what is said, which one might be able to know if it's something simple, but too much, it overloads.

We have the option to see and hear. Not everyone has the ability to do both, so only letting a person see what's actually said through one of those methods.. it takes away that ability for people who can't use both methods of taking in what is written.

@jase @feditips so to not reject blind people, we shouldn't make such joke anymore? Kind of... feels not 100 % right

@MinameH @feditips you know, there's other ways around. Like italics if the social networks you're on supports markdown.

But yes, because of screen readers, let's not make things inaccessible for them.

Using capitalised letters in ways it messes up how a screen reader reads what is written.

Using excessive emojis because for 5 yellow heart emojis, it'll say "yellow heart" five damn times.

Using non ASCII custom fonts from places like, because while translators are able to understand what is said, screen readers do not, and will either completely ignore them or spit out the random garbage that creates the font characters.

And generally too, don't be one that reacts to someone like they have no brain for not being able to understand the tone of a message, because that's ableist af.

Be accessible. Or just say you don't care and are ableist.

@jase @feditips why not implement settings option/browser addon whatever to e.g. convert upper letter to lower or remove multiple smilies? Shouldn't be that difficult to implement

@MinameH @feditips Converting uppercase to lower case just creates a whole different issue. If one is PlacingWordsTogether like in the name of something like let's say my favourite TV show MiraculousLadybug, converting that just then confuses screen readers thinking it's one word.

And then multi word hashtags, where this obviously is mostly going to be done, doing an exclusion for hashtags wouldn't really make sense, because people still do these things in hashtags too.

And in regards to emojis, and the custom fonts issue, this at the end of the day is on screen readers for not being caught up to date with today's internet.

A screen reader could so easily say "5 yellow hearts" instead of saying "yellow heart" five times. And this actually also is a translator issue too when using the text to speech option.

And a screen reader shouldn't have any excuse to not understand custom fonts when translators manage perfectly fine.

In regards to having some sort of browser plug-in, good option, but that puts it all on the user who has this need instead of us being more inclusive for them.

Not everyone uses desktop browsers.

It's along the lines that someone I interacted with a few weeks back, that whinged at someone complaining about a transphobic advert on YouTube.. oh just use an ad blocker.

Not everyone again uses a desktop browser to watch YouTube, or has the ability to use a ad blocking method on their phones because not everyone has Android or a jailbroken iOS device, and with Vanced being no more, other apps around that are privacy orientated.. great for some, but super damn limiting.

And at the end of the day, we shouldn't have to be subjected to hate speech bombarded in our faces while we're settling down maybe to relieve some stress watching our favourite content.

And same goes with all this regarding being accessible to disabled folks. Yes tools should be more readily available and all to make things more accessible, and these tools that are available should be doing better.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't make adjustments to try and be as inclusive as we can for others because hey it's not our problem.

It is our problem that the very problem exists that neurotypical/abled society cannot be arsed to make compromises to be more accessible and inclusive to others that have struggles we don't have... But could.. could some day have and we'd soon be realising how important it is for others to do more to let us have equal opportunity despite of our disabilities.

@MinameH @jase @feditips we can make jokes about terrible opinions without excluding blind people from being able to hear the joke
it's not *making jokes* that's the problem, it's making jokes with a "sighteds only" barrier on them

@Miname @feditips I have not once laughed when reading crazy-case. It's almost exclusively used to be mean.

@MinameH @feditips the problem is that it's actually gibberish when read from the screenreader, not just a shitty take

remember the use case is that you literally can't see the text in this situation

@catboy @feditips Screenreaders don't make a difference between italic and non-italic afaik… That would make it seem as if it was actually your opinion

@catboy @Namenlosxy @feditips oh, one thing on this I just came back to.. or, use the tone tag for sarcasm "/s" or "/sarc".

Even better that. Though again tone tags are kind of not exactly screen reader friendly because it just will say "s" not "slash s". But then they're such a universal thing for displaying tone that is as needed as screen readers for many..

Good point. I was not aware of this feature, and how it creates an issue. Will refrain.

@feditips Or use CamelCase appropriately by capitalizing only the beginning of a word. We screen reader users will appreciate you.

@feditips Could someone explain to me why someone would deliberately take the time to use capitalization like that ? I think it is generational, but maybe it is more of a subculture thing…

@mrak It's to make statements/replies 'sound' mocking in written form. If you've ever heard someone being mocked using a silly voice, that's what they're aiming for.

@mrak @feditips It's meant to be sort of drawn out in a mocking tone. Like if you imagine the caps as emphasis, it sort of distorts the words to that effect. There's also a loose connection to a Spongebob meme.

@mrak @feditips it's used as an equivalent of a mocking singsong tone of voice

@feditips plus it's psychophobic as well, mocking people with mental disability.

@feditips This just sounds like it's having the intended effect. I.e. taking an opinion you dislike and rendering it to others as the gibberish you feel it is.

Not to say that this is necessarily a good idea to begin with, but it is exactly what you're trying to accomplish by doing that.

@eviloatmeal @feditips it's the same though - the intended effect is like saying "the fetus has a right to life" in a stupid mocking voice, but the actual unintended effect could end up something like "tuh hee eff ee tee us aitch ey ess a rig aitch tee" etc.

@eviloatmeal well, no, because using my eyes, I know what you are mocking; this is lost on translation in screen reader, and making that particular idea look stupid is the important point. @feditips

That makes me wonder if there's actually many blind peoples using Mastodon. Is there someone concerned here?


Accessibility is a big thing on Masto and the Fediverse, the most boosted toot of 2021 was this:

@BinaryWolf @feditips well I have at least two blind followers that I know about. Not everyone announces their disabilities

@feditips AFAIK the whole case mixing is also hard to read for e.g. dyslexic people, so it's (unintentionally, usually) ableist in several ways.

@meganeko @feditips can confirm, it's often harder for me to read
although sometimes it's easier? depends on what letters are capitalized, bc it can keep my focus in the right places--but a) I doubt most people know how to do it so it'll have that effect and b) a slight help for me is not worth making it completely inaccessible for others

@feditips Never thought about these unintended consequences. It’s good advice to follow.

@himbeer What's said in this post is essentially also why hashtags should be written in camelCase or PascalCase instead of completely lowercase. Screenreaders may sometimes read this out correctly, but far from all of them do (as you pointed out to me recently as well, comparing Google's TTS doing fine with Unicode fuckery while Apple's not doing well at all)

@feditips Does HTML support alt-text... for text?
If so, at least on platforms like Friendica that support styling with HTML, you could write the gibberish and it will be viewed like that on a screen, but the browser's screen reader will actually read the (non-gibberish) alt-text, like it was an image

@feditips I just found this particular "thing" juvenile and pointless. It's like putting /s at the end, but where you spend six times as long typing it to express how much you loathe the person you're mocking.

@feditips Then again, that's less people having to read terrible takes and all the toxicity and mockery that goes with it...

@feditips Okay but isn't the whole point to express that the terrible opinion is gibberish? ;P

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