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The Nillabyte Perspective: Technology

Facebook Hates Blind People


Yes, I went there. Facebook hates blind people.

As a blind person who appreciates and uses useful technology, I appreciate companies who remember that blind consumers have needs that are unique and different from sighted users. For computers and mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad, we rely heavily on screenreading technology. On my Mac, iPod touch, and iPad, I constantly use VoiceOVer, Apple's built-in screen reader for sight impaired users.

VoiceOver works great, but only if the apps are developed properly. Most of Apple's native apps are VoiceOver compliant, and there are several third-party apps for both Mac OS X and iOS which work with VoiceOVer.

When an app or website isn't VoiceOver compliant, many blind users will contact the developer. Several developers are willing to make the simple changes to their apps and websites. Most of the time, all it requires is a properly labeled button or field so VoiceOver can accurately state the intent of the button or the content of the field.

Facebook, though, seems to take the opposite way that other developers take. Each new version of the Facebook app seems to have less and less VoiceOver compliance. I know of several users who have complained to the Facebook team about the app's blind-user unfriendliness. But Facebook doesn't seem to care.

Today was the tipping point for me. Facebook just released a new version of their app that is supposed to be faster, easier, snappier, less convoluted, magical, revolutionary, evolutionary, fantastically wonderful, and filled with pure awesomeness! I downloaded it on the iPad, opened the app which is filled with wonder and magic, and was not at all surprised to find that it is even more blind unfriendly than before.

Why? Why can they not devote just a little bit of time to have a blind user test it out so they can make their app screenreader friendly? I came to one conclusion: Facebook hates blind people.

They want all blind people to not ever use Facebook. They only want Facebook to be used by narcissistic sighted people who can actually see the wonder and beauty of the photos on Facebook. They only want people who can actually see the farms on FarmVille.

They only want sighted people so only they can see the wonderfully designed iconic "thumbs up" Like button. They only want sighted people to enjoy the wonder and awe of Timeline. They only want sighted people to be able to waste their time talking about pointless things that don't matter. They only want sighted people to discuss the latest washed up actress who poses half nude on Maxim so people will take her seriously.

Facebook wants all blind people to stop interacting with their friends and family. Facebook wants blind people to stop interacting with others in real life. Facebook wants to purge all blind people from social media because Facebook doesn't want blind people to be part of society.

Facebook hates all blind people.

Copyright © 2012 Nillabyte LLC

Comments

  1. glorybean's Avatar
    Awesome! Facebook sucks on so many different levels. I stopped using it months ago. I had never thought of the screenreading issue before four sight impaired users. I think Facebook hates just about everybody
  2. The Man's Avatar
    I hate Facebook. It's a POS.
  3. Peter's Avatar
    I'm blind and I feel that Facebook hates me.
  4. walrus's Avatar
    I 100% agree. Facebook hates blind people.

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    Nillabyte.com is a website dedicated to news, opinion, and discussion.

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