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)

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.

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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!

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Live Streamy Awards Not Captioned

On Sunday night, September 7, 2014, the Streamy Awards streamed live (no pun intended) at 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)


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.

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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:

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?"

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