‘Click here’ trend: understand how accessibility feature is being used for hidden messages on social networks

‘Click here’ trend: understand how accessibility feature is being used for hidden messages on social networks

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Image of an arrow with the text ‘click here’ went viral on X, formerly Twitter, but many users didn’t understand what it was about. Image transcription ‘ALT’ tool offers the possibility of including hidden messages. White background image with an arrow and the text “Click Here” went viral on X. Reproduction/X Whoever opened companies that posted the same image: a white background with an arrow and the text “Click Here”. But not everyone understood how this new “trend” works, which uses an image description feature originally created for accessibility for people with disabilities to leave hidden messages. “Out of nowhere my timeline is full of click here”, “what the f*** is this click here?” and “I can’t take this click here anymore” were some of the comments from confused users. Print of a post on X with the message: “The social network X dawned like this on 03/29”. Reproduction/X Image description Image description, also called alternative text, is a way to increase accessibility for people who are blind, have low vision, or who use text reading programs. In X, it is represented by the “ALT” stamp that appears when clicking on an image, and has not been created now. On the social network’s official page there is a tutorial that teaches you how to use it. For example, if a user posts a photo of a flower, there is the possibility of adding an accessible caption that describes that image, such as: “Photo shows a person’s hand holding a red rosebud on a dark background” . But the “Click here” trend uses the feature to write messages unrelated to the image. Company pages used it to advertise products or services, influencers used it to publicize times when they would broadcast live, and many users published swear words or jokes. The movement generated criticism from those who believe that people with disabilities are being harmed. “Brands getting into Click Here distorting the real purpose of the application, which is to allow people with visual impairments to ‘see’ what’s in the image 🤡”, wrote the user of the account @STENl0. Journalist Rodrigo Alves, from the “Vida de Jornalista” profile, used the ALT resource itself to criticize. “If you are a blind person, the trending image is the phrase Click Here and an arrow pointing to the ALT. If you are not a blind person and clicked on the ALT just for the trend, please be ashamed and start using the tool to describe the images, so people with visual impairments can also know what you posted 😉”, he wrote. Post from the “Vida de Jornalista” profile criticizes the trend that uses ALT for purposes other than image description. Playback/X

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