A Twitter bot that reminds you to add alt tags. Read more

Alt tags, or image descriptions, are critical for making sure that digital content is available to those who are blind or who have low sight. Twitter provides functionality for the inclusion of alt tags on images, gifs, and videos posted to the site, but does not require it, nor does the Twitter interface “nudge” users to include them.

By following @AltReminder, users will be reminded when an image they post (or an image in a tweet they retweet to their followers) does not have an alt tag. They can then add an image description.

Developing and launching this tool has brought to light many ways in which accessibility features of a site, even one as popular as Twitter, are rarely prioritized. Many workarounds were necessary to access alt tags on images programmatically, and the bot was locked by the service as soon as it launched for “not being human.” This belies the fact that there are countless other “bot” accounts live on the social media platform, indicating that the service @AltReminder provides is perhaps not one that Twitter wishes to allow.