Twitter, a multi-million user social media platform is at the center of controversy once again. This time its Accessibility Team is at the core for concern. Under Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, Twitter’s Accessibility Team has been eliminated and Senator Edward J. Markey has taken action in form of a letter to Musk.
Twitter has a responsibility to ensure that its platform is open and accessible to disabled users. Yet, you recently eliminated Twitter’s Accessibility Team, which played a crucial role in developing and implementing essential features for Twitter users with disabilities.
Accessibility features like automatic captions and third party screen reader apps are no longer available, causing users lack of ability to use the platform, leave entirely. Senator Markey includes the following points in his letter to Musk, requesting a response within a deadline.
- Please explain why you eliminated Twitter’s Accessibility Team.
- Will you commit to immediately restoring Twitter’s Accessibility Team? If not, why not?
- In November, before you eliminated Twitter’s Accessibility Team, it announced several
upcoming projects, including improving both image description education and the closed
caption button for users.13 What is the status of each of those projects?
- What resources is Twitter devoting to the creation and maintenance of accessibility
features for disabled individuals on the platform?
- Is Twitter compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the
accessibility regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the
Communications and Video Accessibility Act and other relevant laws?
- Please explain why Twitter Spaces no longer includes automatic closed captioning
features. Will Twitter commit to reinstating automatic closed captioning for Twitter Spaces? If not, why not?
- Will Twitter allow third-party apps to provide accessibility services for users with disabilities? If not, why not?
- Will Twitter commit to allowing automated accounts that increase accessibility on the platform without the need for providers to pay fees? If not, why not?
- Will Twitter commit to changing its default settings to remind all users to include alt-text on all photos and images? If not, why not?
- Will Twitter commit to creating user-friendly closed captioning tools for users when they upload videos? If not, why not?
- Will Twitter commit to creating user-friendly audio description tools for users when they upload videos? If not, why not?
Musk has yet to respond about whether or not Twitter Accessibility Team will be reinstated.
The full letter (PDF)