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accessibility of social networking site content

From: WCAG 2.0 Comment Form <nobody@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 23:53:37 +0000 (GMT)
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-Id: <20080121235337.79E1F6B62D@kent.w3.org>

Name: Roger Hudson
Email: rhudson@usability.com.au
Document: W2
Item Number: (none selected)
Part of Item: 
Comment Type: general comment
Summary of Issue: accessibility of social networking site content
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
During the last few years, there has been an explosion in the use of social networking sites like Flickr, Youtube and Myspace and it is not clear how WCAG relates to all this new content on the web. Much of the content on these social networking sites does not comply with WCAG. It is probably unreasonable to expect all the users of these sites to be aware of what is required to make their contributions accessible and unrealistic to assume that they will have the desire to do so.

When it comes to the accessibility of social networking sites, maybe we should look more at the processes that allow people to put material on the web, rather than the final content. That is, everyone should have the opportunity to participate, for example the process should allow a blind person as well as a person with cognitive limitations to set up a blog or a myspace page or put photos up onto Flickr, and then make this material available to as wider audience as they wish.

The applications (tools) should encourage the users of these sites to include accessibility features. But if they don\'t, the application should degrade gracefully so that the resulting content does not cause problems for assistive technology users and wherever possible provides some basic text alternatives derived from the titles or descriptions provided by the person uploading the content.

Proposed Change:
The issue of the accessibility of user-generated content on social networking sites should be directly addressed in WCAG. In particular, there should be guidance about who is responsible for ensuring the content of these sites is accessible and how this could be best achieved.
Received on Monday, 21 January 2008 23:53:45 UTC

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