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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