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Twitter Updates Alternative Text Descriptions with New On-Image Badge and Expandable Captions

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Twitter Updates Alternative Text Descriptions with New On-Image Badge and Expandable Captions


Twitter is testing some upgrades to its image alt-text descriptions for vision-impaired users, with a new ‘ALT’ badge being added to images where alternative text descriptions are available, and an expanded description window to make them more accessible.

As you can see here, the new option will put more specific focus on alt-text data, with a mini-window opening up when you tap the ‘ALT’ indicator, outlining the additional detail.

For context, it is possible to display Twitter’s alt-text descriptions in-stream now, but not in any dedicated, stylized format.

Twitter alt-text display

The updated display would make alt-text descriptions much easier to use, and would likely improve their value to more users, while also improving general accessibility.

Twitter’s offered alt-text on images since 2016, while it’s also been working to make it easier for users to add in text descriptions to improve access for all users.

Twitter alt text process

Those upgrades have been part of the platform’s broader accessibility efforts, which have also included auto captions on videos and improvements to in-app layouts and fonts, in line with accessibility best practices.

Upgraded alt-text will be another welcome addition – though it’s only in testing at this stage.

Twitter says that it’s launching the new features to 3% of Twitter across Android, iOS, and Web. Twitter will assess the results of this initial test pool, before deciding on a broader roll-out of the update, likely in April.





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Murdered rapper’s song pulled from YouTube in India

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Sidhu Moose Wala's murder sparked anger and outrage from fans from across the world

Sidhu Moose Wala’s murder sparked anger and outrage from fans from across the world – Copyright AFP Narinder NANU

YouTube has removed a viral music video in India released posthumously by murdered Sikh rapper Sidhu Moose Wala following a complaint by the government.

The song “SYL” talks about the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal which has been at the centre of a long-running water dispute between the late Sikh rapper’s home state of Punjab and neighbouring Haryana.

The track, released posthumously on Thursday, also touches on other sensitive topics such as deadly riots targeting the Sikh community that broke out in India in 1984 and the storming of an important Sikh temple in Amritsar by the army the same year.

It had garnered nearly 30 million views and 3.3 million likes on the singer’s YouTube page before it was pulled down over the weekend.

“This content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government,” said a message posted on the song link.

The song is still available in other countries.

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In an email to AFP, a YouTube spokesperson said it had only removed the song in “keeping with local laws and our Terms of Service after a thorough review”.

The government did not immediately respond to enquiries.

Moose Wala’s family termed the removal of the song “unjust” and appealed to the government to take back the complaint, local media reports said.

“They can ban the song but they cannot take Sidhu out of the hearts of the people. We will discuss legal options with lawyers,” uncle Chamkaur Singh was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times daily.

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Moose Wala — also known by his birth name Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu — was shot dead in his car in the northern state of Punjab last month.

The 28-year-old was a popular musician both in India and among Punjabi communities abroad, especially in Canada and Britain.

His death sparked anger and outrage from fans from across the world.

Last week, Indian police arrested three men accused of murdering Moose Wala and seized a cache of weaponry including a grenade launcher.

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The men had allegedly acted at the behest of Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar and his accomplice Lawrence Bishnoi who is currently in jail in India.

Moose Wala rose to fame with catchy songs that attacked rival rappers and politicians, portraying himself as a man who fought for his community’s pride, delivered justice and gunned down enemies.

He was criticised for promoting gun culture through his music videos, in which he regularly posed with firearms.

His murder also put the spotlight on organised crime in Punjab, a major transit route for drugs entering India from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Many observers link the narcotics trade — mostly heroin and opium — to an uptick in gang-related violence and the use of illegal arms in the state.

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