Friday, December 26, 2014

I'm Hearing. Why Should I Sign the Caption Smosh Petition?

You are a teenager and you can hear and you are wondering why you should sign a petition asking for closed captions on Smosh, a show you might not even like yourself? The reasons why you should sign are many! Here are seventeen reasons.

  1. You might have a friend who is deaf or hard of hearing. Especially if you are a teenager! Smosh is very popular with hearing kids aged 13 to 17. 
  2. Even if you don't have any friends who are deaf or hard of hearing, there are probably deaf or hard of hearing kids in your school or college.
  3. Make it possible for deaf and hard of hearing teens to chat about Smosh on social media. There's a lot of talk about Smosh on facebook, twitter, instagram, and tumblr!
  4. You don't like Smosh but you are a fan of Pewdiepie or another top YouTube channel? Smosh is just one of many top YouTubers that are not captioning! We had to start somewhere.
  5. Maybe you have a friend who is learning English as a second language. Captions can help him or her.
  6. Captions help you too even though you can hear! If you are in bed and feel like watching a video, you can watch it without sound and not worry about waking anyone up.
  7. Don't feel like paying attention in class? Captions let you watch videos secretly. (We don't advise this)
  8. Falling asleep or it doesn't interest you in Mass or during a sermon? Captions let you watch videos letting you get through it. (We don't advise this)
  9. Eating in a noisy cafeteria? Captions let you enjoy video while you are eating.
  10. Got a little brother or sister? Captions will help your little brother or sister learn to read!
  11. Have trouble understanding a speaker on video (accent, background noise)? Captions can help you understand.
  12. In a library where you have to be quiet? Captioning lets you watch a video quietly.
  13. Trying not to wake the house watching a video? Captioning lets you watch the video quietly, unless you start laughing too much.
  14. Surprise, surprise. Most people who use captioning are NOT deaf or hard of hearing! Eighty percent are hearing, according to a British study.
  15. If you don't want your parents to know that you are watching Smosh, captions let you hide it. (Mom and/or dad might not approve of the humor or language in Smosh).
  16. As people get older, it is common to lose hearing. Captioning helps people who are getting older be able to watch. (Captions may help your grandma or grandpa.)
  17. Closed captioning is not that hard to do, nor is it that expensive. It is the right thing to do!

Sign the Caption Smosh petition!

Why Should I Sign the Caption Smosh Petition??

We are having a tough time getting deaf and hard of hearing people to sign the petition to Smosh to caption. And no wonder!  Because Smosh does not caption, deaf and hard of hearing people are unaware of Smosh. One deaf person actually said to us, "Why should I sign??? I don't know anything about Smosh!" Of course not...because there are no captions, deaf and hard of hearing people are unaware that Smosh is a top funny YouTube channel with 19 million subscribers on their main channel, and a total of 30 million on all their channels combined. Deaf and hard of hearing people are unaware that Smosh is an award-winning channel. Deaf and hard of hearing people are unaware that Smosh is making a movie that will probably be released in summer 2015, and that features Smosh's two main actors plus a slew of other YouTube stars (none of which are captioning).



Why You Should Sign

Why should you sign even if you know nothing about Smosh and have never seen the show (some videos have been captioned by volunteers)? You should sign the Caption Smosh petition because:
  • Top YouTube shows need to somehow get the message that they need to caption!
  • Deaf and hard of hearing children and teenagers are missing out on the ability to participate in teens' chatter about Smosh on social media. If you are not a kid, sign the petition so that today's deaf and hard of hearing kids don't have to miss out! Do it for the deaf or hard of hearing kid that you used to be.
Why We Are Petitioning Smosh

Why are we petitioning Smosh? We are petitioning because it is a last resort. Nothing else we have tried has worked to get their attention! Smosh has never responded to all the people who have been asking for captions.We have tried:
  • Personal email. Failed. There's been no response to private email sent to the Smosh "contact us" emails - info@smosh.com and support@smosh.com.
  • Tweeting. Failed.
  • Facebook comments. Failed. (There's no ability to send a private message or post to the Smosh Facebook page)
  • Instagram. Failed.
  • Tumblr. Failed.
Petitioning is the only tool left for us to try! We are on the cusp of 2015, and the vast majority of the top YouTube channels are not captioning. A petition, if it has enough signatures, can get the attention of the media. A petition can go viral. A petition can be used to tell people about Smosh and the need for captions on Smosh, even if people are not on social media.

Help us get more signatures on the Caption Smosh petition - we HAVE to do something to get the top YouTube channels to closed caption! We don't know what else to do!

Sign the Petition to Smosh for Captions!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Now Petitioning Smosh!

Caption Action 2 has launched a petition demanding that Smosh closed caption. We've tried everything else to get Smosh's attention, including old-fashioned email. How do you get the attention of a YouTube channel with 19 million subscribers, 2.6 million followers on Twitter, and 6 million likes on Facebook? Start a petition!

(Wondering what the big deal is? Volunteers have captioned a total of 40 Smosh videos so you can get a taste of it at http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/05/smosh.html. We have been watching,  and these videos are damn funny! It is not hard to see why Smosh has grown to 19 million subscribers! But, deaf and hard of hearing people are left out.)

This is historic. We don't think anyone has ever petitioned a YouTube channel before! Will it work? We hope so! But its success depends on people like you!



https://www.change.org/p/smosh-start-captioning-smosh

Note: The screenshot above is an example of nonsensical automatic captioning on Smosh.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

#CaptionSmosh!

Update! There is now a Change.org petition to Smosh! https://www.change.org/p/smosh-start-captioning-smosh


Mark your calendars!

Friday December 19, 2014.

This is when people should  push the YouTube channel Smosh to closed caption, using the hashtag #CaptionSmosh. (You don't have to wait til Friday to start using the hashtag #CaptionSmosh) Smosh is a top YouTube channel with over 19 million subscribers that releases new videos every Friday. Caption Action 2 and others have repeatedly asked Smosh for captions, but got no response. They aren't the only top YouTube channel not captioning - we had to vote on ONE to target, and Smosh got the most votes! We've got to get at least ONE YouTube superstar to caption so other YouTube superstars get the message!

Here's What to Do!

Facebook. Go to their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/smosh and post comments demanding captions, on Smosh posts. Watch the Caption Action 2 facebook group (and join the group!) for reports!

Make a Video: Are you on YouTube? Create a quick, short video blasting Smosh for not captioning. We can then share links to those videos on our own Facebook pages and in Facebook groups.

Blog. If you are a blogger, re-blog this or blog about it!

Discussion boards. If you are active on a deaf-related discussion board, post about this.

Twitter: Tweet @smosh, @smoshian, @smoshanthony to demand captions. Also tweet @defymedia! They own Smosh and have less than 1,000 followers and are more likely to pay attention to your tweet! The hashtag to use on social media is #CaptionSmosh.

Instagram: We need an Instagram volunteer to post screenshots on Instagram of bad automatic captions on Smosh videos. Along with hashtags and comments. Smosh instagram: instagram.com/smosh

Tumblr: We need Tumblr volunteers to post screenshots of bad autocaptioning on Tumblr. Smosh tumblr: http://smosh.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: Same thing here.

Google+: (https://plus.google.com/107658787431067089650). Ditto.

LinkedIn:  It could work if done within activist/deaf circles.

Reddit: Post in Reddit /r/deaf, /r/transcript, and /r/captionrequest subreddits.

Email: Smosh has two email addresses that would work for this: support@smosh.com (for technical problems. lack of captioning certainly qualifies!) and info@smosh.com.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Facebook Web Series AND Starz Web Series!

This week, two major events in the web television world: First, Facebook announced it will have the exclusive web series version of Twilight! This was a popular theatrical film series about young vampires. Now it is going to return, as a web-only series only on Facebook!

Facebook

Will it have edited closed captions?? We can't guarantee it.  The producer is Lionsgate, and while they have a fairly good record on captioning of original web-only productions like Orange is the New Black, they also have a web series, BeFit on YouTube that is not captioned.

There will be five short Twilight films on Facebook next year. Given how high profile this is (it was all over the news today, on sites like Entertainment Weekly) chances are pretty good it will be captioned, but again, there's no guarantee. We have seen plenty of high profile web-exclusive content produced without captions.

(courtesy LionsGate Films / Twilight)
Starz

The other major event? A well-known movie/original content channel, Starz, has launched a web series that spoofs the Power Rangers. This show was actually produced by an experienced web series producer (one that does not caption), iThentic.  As you can see, there are no captions. This new series appears on the Starz-owned YouTube channel Union Pool.



Why is that significant? It is significant because it means that more and more, the "traditional" channels like Starz are moving into web television. And they are not thinking about the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people for closed captions.

Update: Shortly after this post went out, we got a tweet from Union Pool saying that they will caption!

Join Caption Action 2!

Help ensure that the new Facebook Twilight Series has captions, and help get Starz to caption its YouTube channel! Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good Mythical Morning Starts Fan Subtitling

Earlier today, the first captioned Good Mythical Morning video was posted with crowdsourced captions. (This is a follow-up to our previous blog post, A Historic First: #captionsforlauren)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWmTOOhqGg8&list=UU4PooiX37Pld1T8J5SYT-SQ

The quality of the crowdsourced (fan subtitled) captions is not as good as with professional captioning. On our Captioned Web TV blog, we have published many shows that were captioned by the producers or volunteers, but those shows are generally lower-tier shows. Should the deaf and hard of hearing community expect professional captioning from higher-tier shows like YouTube Stars' shows, an example of which is Rhett and Link?

Here are some screenshots illustrating that fan subtitled captioning. The screenshot below has three rows of captions, not easy to read.




In the screenshot above, the only captions displaying is the name of our country. It is just there alone, no context at all for the caption. Plus, the video has some "dead time" where the men are talking but there are no captions.

How Fan Subtitling Works

This video has the fan subtitling option enabled. Not all videos will have it enabled. Here's how to see it: 

1. Select the "...More" 


2. Select the "Transcript" under "...More"


3. You will see the transcript with time coding. You can navigate the captions by selecting the transcript lines. We navigated and found the captions weren't matching the transcript time codes.


4. Select the "English" down arrow and then "Add subtitles/CC." Doing that takes you to a timed text video page where you can edit/add captions.


Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Historic First: #CaptionsForLauren

Imagine that you are a young fan of a popular YouTube show. Then one day, you find yourself in the emergency room and you have lost all your hearing. Now you can't watch your favorite YouTube show because there are no captions!

This is really happening now to a young lady named Lauren Neal, who is a fan of the Rhett and Link web TV program "Good Mythical Morning." Now hearing fans of Good Mythical Morning, who call themselves "mythical beasts," are trying to convince Rhett and Link to start captioning that show immediately.\

(Update: Good Mythical Morning now has fan subtitling. Fan subtitling started around the afternoon of September 18, 2014.)

This was the first Instagram post that summoned the attention of the Rhett and Link fan community:


This was followed by a post by Lauren Neal herself:




Fans of Rhett and Link set up a campaign called #captionsforlauren. Another hashtag is #gmmcaptions, but the main one is #captionsforlauren. Several people have posted on Instagram and Twitter, some with comments like they are "crying."

At the same time, ironically, a few weeks ago on September 3, the Rhett and Link producers posted in the Rhett and Link community  a request for volunteer captioners to help caption Good Mythical Morning in multiple language including English.



We believe that it is wrong to rely solely on volunteers to caption a popular YouTube show! Volunteers can help fill in gaps, but the primary method of getting captions should be paying a captioning service or doing it themselves! Otherwise, the captioning "supply" will be unreliable - volunteers are just that, volunteers and can not be expected to do the work!

Just the same, this #captionsforlauren campaign is a historic first! It is the first time that Caption Action 2 has known of a campaign by hearing fans to get closed captions on a web TV show! Finally, a group of hearing fans is realizing what it means to not have closed captions on web TV shows!

Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

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.

Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

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?"

Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

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)

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

Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Captioned Web TV Shows Officially Up for a Streamy Award!

The following closed captioned or subtitled shows are officially up for a Streamy Award (full list is at http://www.streamys.org/2014/08/4th-annual-streamy-award-nominees/).  The Streamy Awards will stream live on September 7, 2014 at www.streamys.org. This is the web TV equivalent of the Academy Awards, so it is a very big deal. Last year, 7 million people watched; this year because of expanded categories, it could be as many as 10 million. It is not yet known if the Streamy awards live broadcast will be closed captioned.

Unfortunately, this list is short compared to the total number of shows up for a Streamy Award (more than 60). If you want to help get more nominees/award-winners captioned, join Caption Action 2 (facebook.com/groups/captionaction2)  on Facebook! On the Facebook group, the full list has been broken down into a series of ten posts with links and contact information for shows that are not captioning or subtitling.

Anothony Eats America - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/04/anthony-eats-america.html (Food and Cuisine)
ASAP Science - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2012/09/asapscience.html (Science and Education)
BlackBox TV Presents - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2013/03/blackbox-tv.html (Actor in a Drama, Directing)
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2013/04/comedians-in-cars-getting-coffee.html (Non-fiction or reality)
Convos with My 2 Year Old - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/05/convos-with-my-2-year-old.html (Kids and Family, Actor in a Comedy)
Emma Approved - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2013/10/emma-approved.html (Actress in a Comedy, Actor in a Comedy)
Fatherhood - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/04/fatherhood.html (Kids and Family)
Funny or Die - (a Between 2 Ferns episode) http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/03/funny-or-die.html (Collaboration)
Kids React - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/07/react.html (KIds and Family, Editing)
Lauren - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2013/07/lauren.html (Drama, Actress in a Drama, Directing)
Lizzie Bennet Diaries - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2013/04/lizzie-bennet-diaries.html (Drama, Actress in a Drama, Actor in a Drama)
Mental Floss - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/08/mental-floss.html (Science and Education)
PBS Idea Channel - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/06/pbs-idea-channel.html (Non-fiction or reality)
SourceFed - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/07/sourcefed.html(News and Current Events)
YouTube Nation - http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com/2014/05/youtube-nation.html (News and Current Events)

Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

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.

http://youtube.com/user/sesamestreet

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

Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

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!

Today!



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:


Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

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

Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Disney's New Muppet Webseries Isn't Captioned!

Disney recently came out with a new webseries, Disney Drive On With The Muppets. In order to see the videos, you have to sign in to see them. If you don't have an account, you will need to create one, and it's free!


Look closely at the below video in the upper right corner at the symbol within the red circle. That's one of the videos that are captioned. The Muppet webseries videos aren't captioned.


For those of you who wish to contact Disney Movies Anywhere, at the bottom of the screen of videos is Connect with "Contact Us" and "Closed Captioning Inquiries." Under "Closed Captioning Inquiries" is the name of a contact - Jody Belliveau, Senior Manager, Product Development. Email this person or use their form to send your message.

http://www.disneymoviesanywhere.com/discover

Join Caption Action 2

Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Caption Action 2 Drops Causes, Changes to Open Facebook Group

We have created a new open group to replace the Causes page for Caption Action 2:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/captionaction2/.

We are creating the new group because the causes page no longer meets our needs and does not work in today's environment.

The new Caption Action 2 group is an open, international group for discussing closed captioning and subtitling for original programming for the web. People can talk about web TV shows that they want captioned or subtitled. This group also serves as a way for people to collaborate to get certain web programs closed captioned or subtitled.

It also supplements this blog and the Captioned Web TV blog.

See you there!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Captioned Web TV Shows Competing for Streamy Awards!

The Streamy Awards (the web television equivalent of the Academy Awards) are back! Captioned web television programs are competing for Streamy Awards. The competition is FIERCE - and this is where the deaf and hard of hearing community can make a difference.

Why can you make a difference? You can make a difference because for the FIRST time, fans can submit shows for Streamy nominations. Shows that get the most fan submissions become one of the five nominees for each category in the Streamys. How can your fan submission make a difference? Well, did you ever take a test that you got a B on instead of an A because you got one or two questions wrong? When the competition is fierce the difference in the totals can be very narrow - and your submission could make the difference between whether a web TV program becomes a nominee or not.


You can submit as many shows in as many categories (e.g., comedy, drama) as you want! But submit ONLY shows that are closed captioned! Go to Streamys.org/submissions to make a fan submission. Below are known captioned shows that are competing for a Streamy award. You can submit any show from captionedwebtv.blogspot.com, but these are known to have already been submitted.  (Check back frequently as this list will be updated when we learn of more captioned shows that have been submitted for consideration. The last day to make a fan submission is July 27.)

  1. Black Box TV  (horror, science fiction, thriller, zombies))
  2. Clutch (action, adult)
  3. Convos with My 2-Year-Old  (comedy, parenting, family) 
  4. Emma Approved (comedy, vlog)
  5. Horror Hotel (horror, mystery, science fiction)
  6. Jewvangelist (comedy)
  7. Larps (Action, Drama, Fantasy) 
  8. Lizzie Bennet Diaries (romance, vlog)
  9. Misdirected (comedy, soap)
  10. My Gimpy Life (comedy)
  11. Out with Dad (teen, gay)
  12. Producing Juliet (drama, gay)
  13. Sexplanations (health)
  14. SourceFed  (comedy, news)
  15. Super Knocked Up (comedy, superhero)
  16. Where the Bears Are (comedy, gay)
  17. Platoon of Power Squadron (action, sci-fi) 
  18. HelLA (comedy)
  19. Entangled with You (drama) 
  20. Pairings (drama) 
  21. Gifted Corporation (thriller, international) 
  22. Autobiography of Jane Eyre (drama) 
  23. The Division (drama) 
  24. Oh, Liza (drama)
We submitted some of these shows ourselves. Again, here is the URL for voting:

STREAMYS.ORG/SUBMISSIONS

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Captioning? Oh, We Will Consider It Later.

If you need a better insight into the mindset of web TV producers regarding captioning, look no further than Chris Hadley's web TV reviews on a popular web TV review site, Snobby Robot. Hadley ALWAYS asks web TV producers if they are or will, closed caption their shows. More often than not, the answers are VERY disappointing and revealing.

Samples

1. Crowd Funding with Hopper and Finch: A Show That's Not Your Typical "Buddy" Comedy - Published 7/3, at the very end the producer's response: "...the show is not currently closed captioned, but that he will explore utilizing that feature once season 1 debuts."
2. Mighty Woman Adventures: What Happens When a TV Superhero Suddenly Becomes a Real One? Published 7/2/2014, at the very end the current status:  (Note: While the show has yet to air, its trailer is not currently closed captioned.)
3. The Mop and Lucky Files Season 2: Published 7/1/2014, at the very end a not-so-nice statement by the producer: The series is not currently closed captioned, and the show’s creators say they have no plans to do so for season 2.

See how unimportant deaf and hard of hearing people and their need for closed captioning is to producers of web TV? Their own public statements reveal their attitudes and failure to incorporate closed captioning into their planning.

"Hoping" To Caption

Now and then a producer tells Mr. Hadley that they "hope to" caption, like in these. Unfortunately our experience has been that even with good intentions expressed up front, captioning often gets forgotten in the rush to complete the project.

1. A Guy Going Crazy: The Road to Hollywood Has Never Been This Bumpy - Published 6/30/2014, this producer tells Mr. Hadley at the very end that they "hope to produce a closed captioned version for the deaf and hard of hearing."
2. Narrators: What if That Voice Inside Your Head Was Real? - Published 6/16/2014, this producer tells Mr. Hadley at the very end that "The series is not currently closed-captioned or subtitled, but [producer] hopes he can have that feature in place soon.")
3. Professor Bob's Brain Stew: A Fun, Magical and Interactive Approach To Teaching Science - Published 6/11/2014, at the end of this review of this edutainment program the producer tells Mr. Hadley "the series is not currently closed-captioned, but [producer] says he hopes to add that feature to each episode within the next few months." Caption Action 2 comment: We'll see if they are serious after a few months. The first episode was posted in May and it is now July.

Can't Afford to Caption

Or a producer that is relying on crowd funding claims it can't afford to caption, as in these examples:

1. Crowd Funding the Aussie Way with The Cleanists: At the very end, the producers tell Mr. Hadley "We would love the series to be closed captioned and/or subtitled. It’s not in our budget at the moment, but we’d definitely be trying to make that happen."

Say They Will Then Don't

Or the producer says they hope to have captions/subtitles by the time the show premieres - and the premiere date arrives and there are no captions or subtitles, as in this example:

1. I Don't: A Polarizing Debate on the Subject of Marriage - Published 6/9/2014, the producer told Mr. Hadley at the very end that  "The series is not currently closed-captioned, but [producer] says he would like to add captions and subtitles (in Spanish) to each episode before its premiere date of July 4th on Youtube." Caption Action 2 note: The videos are already posted on YouTube, without captions or subtitles. We were forgotten in the rush to get online on time.

All of Chris Hadley's web TV reviews on Snobby Robot can be seen here.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cheers and Dismay at New YouTube CrowdSourced Captioning

We knew it was coming. Crowdsourced captioning for YouTube! Would we finally be able to stop the begging for captions on YouTube or at least reduce it sharply? Doesn't look like it! Here is why:

According to the new support page "Contributing subtitles and closed captions" on YouTube, https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6054623,  YES, people can create captions for YouTube videos. BUT, the channels have to be voluntarily participating!


 Expand that "+" and you get a list of who is participating currently.



What is the problem with this? The problem is that word "Participating." Unless a channel is participating - voluntarily - there won't be any crowd sourced captioning. If they are participating, and if they have enabled this feature for the video, you will see this when you select the CC icon (if the CC icon is turned on at all). Otherwise, you won't see this.




So, cheers to YouTube for providing another option for increasing captioning on YouTube. Dismay because of the requirement that channels be participating in order to have the crowd sourced captions. Which means the begging has to continue. Only it will now have the newly added plea, "Could you participate in the YouTube Crowdsourced Captioning option?"

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reading Rainbow Adds Link to Captioned Kickstarter Video!

It took a week of trying, but today Caption Action 2 succeeded in getting the popular Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign to add a prominent link to their closed captioned Kickstarter video! (Unfortunately, Kickstarter's video player does NOT support closed captioning and whenever there is a really hot campaign, Caption Action 2 has to ask the campaign to either create a captioned version of the video or put in an easy-to-find link to the closed captioned version).


What is Reading Rainbow and why is it important for deaf and hard of hearing children? Reading Rainbow does not teach reading; it encourages children to LOVE reading. Deaf and hard of hearing children often struggle with learning English. It is therefore challenging to teach them how to read well. At the same time, frequent, voluntary reading (not just reading for school) is the key to reinforcing those hard-won English skills. That's where Reading Rainbow comes in!

LeVar Burton is the guy behind Reading Rainbow. You may remember him from either Roots or Star Trek.






People in the deaf and hard of hearing community can become backers of the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter for as little as $1. If you are a little more flush ($375) you can adopt an entire classroom of deaf and hard of hearing children, and if you are REALLY flush ($5,000) you can adopt an entire school for the deaf!

Last but not least, here is the message from Reading Rainbow confirming they added the link today. Note their frustration with Kickstarter for not enabling closed captioning on their video player!


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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Update! Fake Captioning Has Not Stopped!

Update on The Young Turks' fake captioning! We thought they had stopped, because we didn't see any more after "Flash Grenade Explodes in Infant's Face/Drug War's Latest Victim," which was posted 5/30/2014, which was the same day as our blog post "Watch Out for Fake Captioning!"

Then, they apparently went back and fake-captioned already-posted videos, starting with "Obama Administration Sets New EPA Rules," which was posted 6/2/2014. Fake captioning has continued, with the latest one (as of this blog update) being posted 6/5/2014.

So that's their pattern. No fake captions for awhile, then go back and do the fake captioning. It seems they have no intention of stopping! As a reader of this blog pointed out, their attitude seems to be that the autocaptions are "good enough" and uploading those autocaptions as fake captions gets them the CC icon when it is not deserved!!

The source for these images and links is http://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks/videos.

What can we do? We are being ignored by these producers (tweeting, posting on facebook has been ignored), who pump out news videos and totally disregard the need of deaf and hard of hearing people for REAL captions. Fake captions are worse than no captions at all because fake captions fool people (deaf, hard of hearing, and others) because of the presence of the illegal CC icon!

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Watch Out for Fake Captioning!

What is #fakecaptioning? Fake captioning is when a producer does not edit the automatic captions generated by YouTube but instead simply downloads, then uploads, the automatic caption transcript. YouTube can not tell the difference between an edited autocaption transcript and an un-edited autocaption transcript. YouTube automatically indexes the captions if they are seen as "edited," applies a cc icon to the video's listing, AND uses the captions in search engine results.

So if a producer is engaging in #fakecaptioning, they are cheating. They are getting a search engine advantage that they do not deserve.  Plus, they are fooling the people who really need the captions - deaf and hard of hearing people - into thinking that they are truly captioning their videos when they are not!

The popular YouTube news channel The Young Turks is guilty of engaging in #fakecaptioning. Below is a sample of The Young Turks' video listing page, showing the CC icon for some (they aren't even captioning consistently!) of their videos.


Caption Action 2 has teamed up with Subtitle YouTube (a group of volunteers that caption popular videos when the producers won't caption) to bring you this blog post.  Below are two videos. The first video is the video from The Young Turks channel on YouTube, titled "The Heart-Warming Science Of Gay Dad Brains." The second video is the same video captioned by Subtitle YouTube. Click on the image to view the video (we are not able to embed it). It should be very obvious at the very start of the video that The Young Turks is using the automatic captioning without any editing, passing them off as real captions - #FAKECAPTIONING!

Just a few of the indicators that it is actually an unedited autocaption transcript, and these are from the first 30 seconds of the video:
  • "game" fathers instead of gay
  • repeats the word patterns in the same caption ("patterns brain patterns"
  • no punctuation at all - can not tell where one sentence ends and another begins. ("straight men and straight women this is really a fascinating study because") There is no break between "women" and "this."
  • the inclusion of a name in place of a word. ("what the researchers did Anna")
  • no correction for grammar. ("brains are new straight fathers")
  • short-stand-alone phrases hanging on the screen. ("the brains" appears all by itself)
  • incomprehensible statements ("love new gave others")
..and that's in just the first 30 seconds. Now watch the video from Amara below to see the difference it makes when the autocaptions are edited.


http://www.amara.org/en/videos/Kw7SQ7neM7Fu/info/the-heart-warming-science-of-gay-dad-brains/?tab=video

If this upsets you - and we do not want #fakecaptioning to spread - let The Young Turks know how you feel, via either a comment added to any posting on their Facebook page or their Twitter account! Use the hashtag #fakecaptioning in either your tweet or facebook posting.

Why should you contact @TheYoungTurks or post a comment on their facebook page? Here are some good reasons, and the reasons are different depending on who you are:

  • If you are deaf/hard of hearing: You need the damn captions to be edited in order to be able to understand the video. 
  • If you are a professional captioning service provider: One of your key marketing tools for youtube video captioning is those improved search engine results from edited closed captions. What The Young Turks are doing gets them the improved search engine results so they don't "need" your services.
  • If you are a volunteer captioner or subtitler: You know how important quality captions are, and you care about that. You know that your "customers" appreciate your efforts.
  • If you are a web TV producer that properly captions your web TV show (either by yourself or by paying for the service): You don't like to see competing web TV programs getting an unfair advantage by faking the captioning. You don't like to see another web TV producer cheating viewers.

Special note: Subtitle YouTube wrote that they did not "caption this episode using (the) normal style (with the Amara handguide). (SubtitleYouTube) mimicked the automated captions format, with their odd line breaks and character counts so that (Caption Action 2) could take screen shots clearly (to) illustrate the differences between the bogus captions and correctly done captions."

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Captioned Web TV Now on Facebook!

Caption Action 2 now has a new group on Facebook called Captioned Web TV, at http://www.facebook.com/captionedwebtv!

Everything we've posted to the Captioned Web TV blog at http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com has also been posted to the Captioned Web TV facebook page. Selected web TV shows will be highlighted via posts pinned to the top. Current advocacy issues in web TV captioning will also be posted there. People are encouraged to post requests for captions on web TV shows, and we will try to get them captioned.

We created this new Facebook page to give the deaf and hard of hearing community another way to access information on captioned or subtitled web tv programs.  Another purpose of the page is to demonstrate how much demand there is for captions on web television, through the number of "likes" on the Facebook page. If you post requests for captioning, that too shows demand!


Finally, adopting the Captioned Web TV identity makes it easier to network within the web TV industry and influence producers to caption. We have already put the word about Captioned Web TV out in the web TV industry, especially through the many web series festivals internationally. It is impossible for us to find all the captioned web TV shows out there, and we are inviting producers to post on our page to make people aware that their programs are captioned.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Free Captioning - Any Takers?

How hard is it to get producers of Web television programs to closed caption? Unless it is a well-known producer (Amazon.com, Hulu), hard! Caption Action 2 has reached out to around 1,000 web TV producers so far and of those, only a couple of hundred were willing to caption. This is why the CaptionedWebTV.blogspot.com blogsite has fewer than 300 entries on it. Will offering free captioning services be the breakthrough needed?

Web TV producers that have been contacted in the past 3 years have usually cited time and money as reasons for not captioning. But, the cost to closed caption a web TV program is minimal. The going rate to closed caption can be as little as $2 a minute for an accurate transcript to upload to YouTube to create quality captions. Therefore, it is possible to closed caption an entire season of a web TV program (10 five-minute episodes) for as little as $100. That's pocket change compared to the average cost of producing a web TV program.

But the primary problem encountered is that by and large, web TV producers simply do not want to pay for captioning services. They frequently view captioning as a nice little extra to have. Often, the response on Twitter is "good idea!" Good idea? They view captioning as a "good idea" instead of as a basic necessity?

Most of the web TV producers that are captioning, are not paying for it. They are doing it themselves, with varying degrees of proficiency. If they were more willing to pay for captioning services just like they are willing to pay for other basic necessities as part of production costs, we would have a lot more captioned web TV out there.

Captioning service providers for their part, are equally frustrated. How to overcome this attitude among web TV producers? Two captioning service providers that can not be named here, have decided to offer a free sample of captioning services. The two providers gave Caption Action 2 a special code/secret instructions to give to web TV producers to get 5 or 10 minutes of free captioning services.

The hope is that once web TV producers try it for free, they will decide to buy captioning services. It has been less than 24 hours since the word was put out on Twitter. Despite some re-tweets (RT in Twitter language) not a single producer has contacted Caption Action 2 (@deafnessguide) to take up the offer. If you know of a web TV program that you wish was captioned, tell them to contact Caption Action 2 to get the special code and instructions sent by private email.

If web TV producers won't accept even an offer of FREE captioning services, then Houston, we've got a problem!

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