Monday, September 8, 2014

Live Streamy Awards Not Captioned

On Sunday night, September 7, 2014, the Streamy Awards streamed live (no pun intended) at www.streamys.org. There were no closed captions. We had tweeted the Streamy Awards AND Dick Clark Productions, well in advance to ask if there would be closed captions, but neither responded. A captioning service (which we will not name) even tweeted the Streamys, but apparently had no response.

This was a huge event for the web TV community, and we deaf and hard of hearing were totally left out of it. Caption Action 2 posted angry comments all over the Streamy Awards facebook page; sent out angry tweets, spammed the Streamy Awards live chat room, AND today, filed a formal complaint against the Streamy Awards and Dick Clark Productions with Coca-Cola!

Why Coca-Cola? Because Coke was the sponsor of the live Streamy Awards! Their money paid to produce a show watched internationally by millions of people. While millions of deaf and hard of hearing could not watch. Think about that the next time you grab a Coke to drink!


If only there had been captions so we could have enjoyed watching Lizzie Bennet get its well-deserved award for Best Drama!

It is very easy to file a complaint against the Streamy Awards with Coca-Cola. Just call

(courtesy of CocaCola)

800-438-2653

Press 2 when asked by recording. You will get a live person quickly during work hours.

It is too late for this year's Streamys. We are trying our best to make a huge stink about the lack of captioning so that next year, the 2015 Streamy Awards - the 5th Streamy Awards - will be captioned. You can help by adding your demands for captions to our complaints!

Twitter: @streamys
Twitter: @dclarkp

Update: If you search Twitter on Streamys and captioning you will find that in 2010 the Streamys boasted of having captions in five languages. So why did they stop?? Save a buck? Didn't care about deaf and hard of hearing? We suspect the reason for captioning in 2010 was not accessibility but because it is international.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Facebook Video Player Now Supports Captions!

What a surprise! After many requests to Facebook to add captioning support to their videos, we find out that they've added it! Seems in the last few days, it was put in place and a help file written to explain how to use it. Fortunately, it uses the easy-to-use .srt (SubRip) format.

Here's the help file:

https://www.facebook.com/help/www/261764017354370

Another way to get there:

Facebook Help > Get Started on Facebook > Accessibility for People with Disabilities.

On the Accessibility for People with Disabilities page, scroll down to Photo and Video Accessibility, then select "How do I add captions to my video?"

Sunday, August 31, 2014

From Victory to Failure in Four Years!

Four years ago, the new re-purposed Caption Action 2 decided to target what was then the #1 show online, Annoying Orange. Caption Action 2 thought that if it could get the #1 show to caption that it would send a message to lower-ranked shows and they would caption too. (How little we knew then!).

So we started our targeted actions. Tweets. Facebook posts. Even a facebook page just for trying to get this show captioned. Our efforts got the attention of someone. That someone was a volunteer captioner. Annoying Orange began captioning through the dedicated efforts of this volunteer. This was our first web TV captioning victory, four years ago.

These were our blog posts four years ago:

  1. Help Get The Annoying Orange to Caption! - 9/30/10
  2. Number One Web Series is Now Captioned!  - 11/3/10

Over the next four yeas, that volunteer became a professional with his own captioning service. Annoying Orange continued to be captioned - whether volunteer or professional, we don't know, but we think professional. Then, a few months ago, that former volunteer began working for another captioning service. Then the captioning on Annoying Orange stopped. Just like that, it stopped overnight. The last captioned episode was published May 30, 2014.  (Even before that, episodes started to be missed here and there.) No replacement captioner.



There has been no captioning since then on Annoying Orange. It is no longer as hot as it was four years ago, but still gets a healthy number of views online. Caption Action 2 tweeted and posted facebook messages, but no dice. It didn't work. Annoying Orange totally ignored our tweets and facebook messages demanding that they resume captioning.

Now what? This is a perfect example of how that gap - not requiring captions on original web TV programming - in the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (21st CVAA) hurts us! Web TV producers can legally stop captioning whenever they want, and "tough luck" to us. No more captions? Oh, that's just too bad for you, you poor deaf and hard of hearing people.

Our first victory is now a FAILURE. It will remain a failure unless YOU help get it back, send a LOUD message to the producer of Annoying Orange that we will NOT tolerate the loss of captioning and it MUST resume immediately, AND they must go back and caption the uncaptioned videos!

YouTube page: .youtube.com/user/realannoyingorange
Contact: twitter.com/annoyingorange
Facebook: .facebook.com/annoyingorange
Discussion (you will need a youtube account): youtube.com/user/realannoyingorange/discussion
(Comments can also be posted on any video)

Also - if you or your friends are on Facebook, join the Caption Action 2 group at facebook.com/groups/captionaction2!

It is very important to make producers understand that captioning is not a luxury that they can drop whenever they feel like it!