CW your emoji posts like these please! They’re hell for screen readers. Not only do they take age to finish reading out, they also are completely meaningless if not visualized.

(check the toot this one is a reply to) here’s an example to how a screen reader reads these posts:

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@Siphonay Or just write "Everyyyyybodyyyy pointing the moooouse!"

@Siphonay All those not-blind people in her comments saying things along the lines off "There should be a way to detect multiple emojis and just say it's emojiart." 🙄. Oh yes, I suppose because it bothers you to be mindful of what you publish, blind people should just loose access to emojis altogether.

@Siphonay Huuuu. There is also people who are like "This is why emojis must be canceled.". They are totally missing the point.
If you make a post with a long series of A or /, it would be the same problem. I know the sign bunny meme is terrible for this reason for example.

@Sylvhem or people using Unicode symbols that look like letters in their display names

@Siphonay Yes! Actually, I saw once a guy said something like "Screen-reader should just read this as normal letters.". And no, they shouldn't because they are different characters and because people using screen-reader can actually need to know this in the right context.
The problem is that people use those characters to make a visual and not a text.

@Sylvhem @Siphonay On the one hand you're right, inclusivity is important, but on the other hand, does art need to be restricted to a subset that is accessible to anyone ? Because that's what some of these posts are like.

So yeah, people should avoid using weird characters in their everyday posts, but also, if language use is shifting toward this kind of expression, screen reader need to adapt.

Because the alternative is the Académie Française, with its prescriptivist approach to language.

@aearil @Sylvhem you're taking this to the extreme. Nobody is saying that this shouldn't be done at all, just that it is done in a way that's not preventing disabled people from using the website at all. I really don't see the analogy with language prescriptivism.

@Siphonay @Sylvhem Where I was going with language prescriptivism is that you cannot prevent everyone from using language the way they want to. And right now language, the way people express themselves on the internet includes unicode and it's not going away.

Internet has evolved since the days of ASCII, and screenreaders need to catch up in a way that's not just blurting out a sequence of unicode characters descriptions.

@aearil Or you can just post a screenshot of the meme and then post this instead. Or on Mastodon, use CW.
There is a lot of ways around this :).


@Sylvhem @Siphonay On mastodon, a CW is definitely an excellent solution for the time being.

That said, this and the other solutions you propose are still a hack to compensate for the shortcomings of accessibility tools.

computer text is an expression medium, and as such, people are always going to push the envelope to express themselves. Unicode and emojis are here to stay.

You can educate some people on accessible posting, but you'll never reach everyone. Right now, I think (and I know how it sounds) the issue can be mostly engineered away.

Lots of screen readers, including the better ones, are proprietary and can't be easily improved. That said, fediverse client could maybe implement a screen reader mode that'll strip/translate unicode heavy posts to something more palatable.
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