A group of volunteers who transcribe media from other subreddits are shutting down their community, in part due to changes the company is making to its API. The community, r/TransscribersOfReddit, will June 30, a day before Reddit starts charging for API access.
The group transcribes media from around 100 sub-reddits. Its goal was to provide temporary solutions for accessibility features that Reddit lacks, such as alt text, while imploring the company to address these “shortcomings”, according to Rebekah Ginsburg, moderator of Transcribers Of Reddit. As reports, Ginsburg (aka u/halailah) is also president of the Grafeas Group, a nonprofit that provides the technology that powers much of the community’s transcription work.
“In light of recent events, we now recognize that the Reddit enterprise has shown a serious lack of will to address the platform’s fundamental issues,” Ginsburg wrote. “It is clear that these issues are coming from above and we do not believe they can be resolved. Unfortunately, although this decision has been extremely difficult for us, these circumstances mean that we can no longer operate this project.”
Ginsburg added that “the API is changing and the realistic limits on the amount of work we can undertake and our lack of trust in Reddit as a platform and obvious disregard for the accessibility of Reddit corporate ‘made it’ impossible” for the team to continue the project.
As Reddit said so of having to pay for API access, community members say apps such as RedReader, Dystopia and Luna don’t have “sufficient moderation features” for blind and visually impaired moderators.
Reddit declined to comment. The edge on these issues. A spokesperson previously said the company was “exploring a number of things” related to accessibility on its platform. In the meantime, it looks like it will soon be harder for some people to use Reddit.
Some communities I’m a member of have volunteers who will add alt text for an image in the comments or transcribe a short video. Still, the loss of a larger coordinated effort to make Reddit more accessible is a blow.
Reddit said last month that it would start charging for access to its API, which third-party developers have used to build apps (such as those for moderation and accessibility) that plug into the platform. Moving in the community, and several third-party applications, including those that tens of thousands of people use to access Reddit, following the changes.
However, Reddit is with the new policy. CEO Steve Huffman also said he was this would make it easier for members of a subreddit to vote against a moderator who makes unpopular decisions. Some moderators took similar comments from a Reddit admin as a direct threat, after to protest API changes.
Reddit too of subreddits that were suddenly labeled as not safe to work with. Not only did these communities first allow porn to protest API changes, but by making them NSFW, Reddit was unable to monetize them due to its advertising policies.