Facebook May Contain: More Stuff I Can Read

I was sort of dragged kicking and screaming into Facebook because I couldn’t get a hold of someone and Facebook was the only way to get updates. Then, of course I ended up staying around. As much as I enjoy getting people’s updates there, I do not enjoy the pages and pages and pages of posts that consist of images of text. If you didn’t know, screen-readers can’t read text if it is just a picture of text. To see if the text you have is an image or not, try and copy and paste it somewhere else. If you can’t, it’s an image of text.

Then Facebook started trying to auto-describe images. But whenever it came across an image of text, it would unhelpfully say “image may contain: text.” So I was still out of the loop on the funny joke or powerful saying or whatever.

But a week or 2 ago, I started noticing that the auto-describer would actually take a crack at recognizing the text! Yes! It isn’t perfect and if it isn’t confident about the output, it still won’t bother, but I can now read more of those snippets that fly around Facebook, and some of them are actually worth it, so for all the people who responded to my complaint about the inability to read those images of text with “Oh well, you’re not missing anything,” you’re not entirely correct.

This isn’t permission to just post images without trying to describe them. You won’t know if Facebook will recognize every image. So if you can take a second to transcribe what’s in the image, that would still be wonderful.

Hopefully I haven’t jinxed it by mentioning it, but for now I’ll enjoy being able to read more posts and not wanting to punch things when I have to scroll past pages of “Image may contain: text”.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Whether or not the you’re not missing anything people are right doesn’t really matter. The point is that we should all get to judge that for ourselves, so describe your damn photos and if the text is so important, write it out.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.