Reddit has announced upcoming accessibility updates specifically aimed at improving the experience for moderators who use assistive technology. The updates, set to roll out starting next month to make moderation tasks more accessible and user-friendly on Reddit’s iOS and Android apps.
The announcement follows the news of the planned protest across Reddit, which includes support from community moderators like those in the /Blind subreddit, who have stressed that Reddit’s new terms would impact apps they use to be able to access the site, like Reddit for Blind and Luna for Reddit and other screen readers. They said they would participate in the protest for 48 hours from June 12th to June 14th as a result of Reddit’s changes. Other top subreddits are also participating, including r/aww, r/videos, r/Futurology, r/LifeHacks, r/bestof, r/gaming, r/Music, r/Pics, r/todayilearned, r/art, r/DIY, r/gadgets, r/sports, r/mildlyinteresting and many others. Several of these communities are in the double-digit millions in terms of size.
Reddit Moderators Critique Flawed Accessibility Approach Amidst Recent Changes :
Following the news of the accessibility changes, moderators expressed skepticism. They say these changes are a hurried, short-sighted attempt to placate communities with disabilities.
“They have created their own problem,” said Noah Carver, a moderator for r/blind. “They are creating a situation where the developers have to crunch to create an accessibility fix for moderation” and “putting disabled users in a position where they’re not going to be able to use the accessibility client that is most accessible to them.”
Reddit has initiated testing of a new feature called “Official” labels to help users easily identify authentic accounts across the platform. This label will be applied sitewide, removing the burden on individual subreddit moderators to verify the legitimacy of specific accounts. According to a Reddit admin, this feature is currently being tested on a limited number of profiles belonging to organizations with existing relationships with the platform and who wish to engage with Reddit’s communities.
What exactly is Reddit charging for?
Reddit says that it will charge developers of third-party apps, such as Apollo and Sync for using data from the platform like user posts, reader comments and more. App developers say that these API charges are prohibitive. For example, Apollo claims it would be forced to pay Reddit $20 million per year if the charge, as proposed by Reddit, is levied.
Meta Verified :
Meta Verified is a subscription bundle for creators on Instagram and Facebook. It includes:
- Account verification (including the blue check badge)
- Account impersonation protection
- Exclusive stickers
- Expanded reach and access to human support agents.
The promise of accessibility features :-
In a separate post, Reddit also outlined its roadmap to roll out accessibility features on its own apps. The company said that parts of the service, such as the left navigation menu, profile drawer, bottom tab bar (which includes buttons for creating a post, Chat and Inbox) Community page, post detail page, and Home & Popular feeds will be compatible with screen readers next month.
This is the company’s move to appease the community heavily protesting Reddit’s API changes last month, which forced many apps with good accessibility features to shut down. The company exempted accessibility-focused apps from paying for its API as long as they don’t have commercial intents. However, moderators were not happy with the functionality of those apps at the time.