Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sesame Street's YouTube Channel Stopped Captioning a Year Ago

We're familiar with the Sesame Street show since we were kids. They're still on TV today, and they've got their own YouTube channel.

But, the captioning stopped after August 5, 2013.

The last captioned episode featured the Cookie Monster on August 5, 2013. The next episode was August 20 and it did not have captions.

Could he have eaten all the newer captions since then? We hope not.

Sesame Street is a Streamy Award nominee this year! Which makes it even more important for them to start captioning again.


Note: You will need to go back a full year on the Videos page to find the last captioned video.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fake Captioning Throughout TYT Network!

After learning that the fake-captioning Sam Seder Majority Report show is part of the TYT Network (The Young Turks Network), Caption Action 2 decided to investigate the ENTIRE TYT Network to see if any others in the network were fake captioning. We found a handful of shows that have been, or are STILL fake captioning. Some are even unintentionally posting the entire autocaption transcript on the screen when they try to create fake captions (example is below).

First, some history. The Young Turks YouTube channel was fake captioning (as we reported in May 2014 with a followup in June 2014) up until June 6, 2014. Caption Action 2 did some things behind the scenes that may have resulted in their stopping the fake captioning. We wondered if any other YouTube channels are fake captioning, and the first clue we had that the TYT Network was engaged in fake captioning was last week when we discovered the fake captions on the Sam Seder Majority Report.

Update 3: It looks like both Pop Trigger and What the Flick have also stopped. Fake captioning was removed from the most recent fake captioned video on What the Flick, and Pop Trigger has not fake captioned for awhile.

Update 2: On Wednesday night 8/20, we discovered that another channel featured in this blog post, the Rubin Report, had removed the fake captioning from its most recent fake captioned videos.

Update: On Monday night 8/18, we discovered that the last channel featured in this blog post, Absurdity Today, had removed the fake captioning from its most recent fake captioned videos.

Now here is what we found in our investigation!


The first fake-captioned video, "Can you guess the fastest growing chains in America?" was published today, August 17, 2014. On the channel's About page, it says "The Rubin Report is a proud partner of The Young Turks Network."

Update: The Rubin Report apparently has stopped. A check of their video listing on Wednesday night found they had removed the fake captioning from the above-featured videos.

Also today!

While we were writing the draft of this blog post, they published another video with fake captions. The first video in the screenshot was published an hour ago on today, August 17, 2014. The channel's About page indicates the association with The Young Turks.

One week ago:

The video "The Craziest One Direction Fans" was published August 5, 2014 with fake captions. Sometimes the fake captions don't even display because for some reason, the browser gets overwhelmed. Pop Trigger is listed on the TYT Shows page under Culture and Education.

One month ago:

This channel posts about five movie review videos one day each week. The first fake captioned video in the screenshot, a review of Boyhood, is from July 10, 2014. An interesting thing about this one: when you start the video, you can see the entire autocaption transcript on the screen! Wow! Someone really messed up on this one! They messed up so badly that for the rest of the video, there are no fake captions displaying. That plus it seems to cause the browser to become unresponsive for a short period of time.

Finally, three months ago:

This channel posts about two videos a month, meaning it is not pumping out videos. The first fake captioned video in the screenshot is from April 29, 2014, which is before The Young Turks stopped their fake captioning.  Absurdity Today is listed on the TYT Network shows page under Network Partners. We are unsure if this channel has stopped their fake captioning.

Update: Absurdity Today apparently has stopped. A check of their channel Monday night found that they had apparently removed the fake captions from the above videos. The disappearance of the fake captions happened in 24 hours or less! New screenshot showing same videos without CC symbol:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fake Captioning Returns?!?!

Just as we were about to head to bed tonight, we discovered another YouTube channel that is apparently doing fake captioning! The last one we blogged about, the Young Turks, apparently got so much flack that they stopped captioning altogether. But here is another one doing it! Watch these videos from Majority Report with Sam Seder:

Update 8/20: the fake captioning on the Sam Seder Majority Report has stopped.

The above screenshot is taken from the video titled "Victoria Jackson Loses County Race But Her Campaign Ad is the Gift That Keeps on Giving," posted to YouTube on August 8, 2014. A check of the video listing page indicates they started doing this about two weeks ago.

Just like previously with the Young Turks, the video listing page displays the CC symbol but watching the videos shows that nobody has bothered to edit the captions! They clearly just took the autocaption transcript and re-uploaded it to YouTube to generate fake captions!

We thought that the Young Turks was the only YouTube channel that has done or is doing this, but apparently they are NOT!! We MUST, MUST, MUST put an end to this! Send tweets, post facebook messages, contact Google, do whatever it takes to get the word out about this and make it stop immediately!

Whenever Caption Action 2 finds out about fake captioning, we will post a blog post about it! The message to web TV producers must be, fake captioning WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Update: Captions for YouTube did a blog post on this topic earlier, explaining that fake captioning does not help search engine results: http://www.captionsforyoutube.com/blog/posts/15