Criticism of YouTube From the Deaf Community: We are Being Left Out
YouTube can count on criticism from the deaf and hard of hearing community this week. Despite protests, the platform has decided to delete the “Community Contributions” feature.
This removes the possibility for users to submit subtitles for videos, and only the owner of the content can add them. The timing is unfortunate, as the change coincides with the International Week for the Deaf.
YouTube could already count on outrage and protest in July when it was first announced that the Community Contributions feature would disappear. Deaf, hard of hearing and users who watch foreign content largely depends on it.
More than 500,000 signatures have already been received for the petition calling for the feature to be retained, but YouTube has not responded.
“We hoped Community Contributions would be a broad, community-driven source of high-quality translations,” YouTube explains in their statement.
“However, it is rarely used, and users continue to report spam.” Instead of the free and already built-in functionality of YouTube, users are referred to other technological parties such as Amara for good subtitles.
“YouTube will cover the cost of a six-month Amara subscription for users who have used the Community Contribution functionality for at least three videos in the last 60 days,” a statement from Google’s subsidiary reads. There is speculation on Twitter about the reason for this transition.