Last week, Twitter rolled out reminders to encourage users to add alternative text, or a written description, to images or GIFs they post. This is important for social media users who are blind or visually impaired and may rely on screen readers or text-to-voice software to navigate social media. Other platforms such as Instagram also offer what’s known as an alt text feature.
Lachi, a recording artist and songwriter who is legally blind, would like social networks to do even more to incentivize people to use these tools, such as by featuring posts with alt text more prominently on feeds. “Reward it in the algorithm, and then we’re all going to do it,” she said in an interview with The Information. Social networks could also help popularize these features through awareness campaigns with influencers and celebrities, she said.