We continue to be locked out of full and equal participation by Six Apart, developers of the TypePad blogging platform, due to an inaccessible CAPTCHA used for account creation and posting comments to blogs. In the past, numerous attempts to contact the company have gone ignored. Now that it has come to our attention that various members of the disability community use TypePad as their blogging platform, despite its inaccessible CAPTCHA, it would seem to be time for another attempt at getting this issue properly addressed by Six Apart. All blind and visually impaired Internet users, along with those sighted people who care about what happens to us, are urged to use the Contact Us page on the Six Apart web site to ask the company to finally do the right thing by making their CAPTCHA accessible. I have already contacted Jane Anderson, Six Apart’s Media Contact, asking for her assistance in resolving this issue or devising a plan for doing so in preparation for another article in the works concerning TypePad bloggers in the disability community. It has been proven over and over again that, if we keep on publicly and privately discussing this issue of the inaccessible CAPTCHA lockout, it often does eventually get resolved. Let’s all keep the lights shining clearly on this challenge as we move toward more positive results.
It has been my longstanding policy not to censor comments posted to Blind Access Journal. I feel the concept of freedom of speech is paramount not only for me as a writer but also for anyone who wishes to provide their feedback, whether it happens to be in agreement or disagreement. There are a couple of categories of comments I feel I must, however, not approve for publication:
- Unsolicited spam comments not relevant to the content of this blog.
- Comments containing prophanity, excessive references to adult situations or statements urging others to engage in activities a reasonable person would consider to be illegal in most parts of the world.
- Comments posted with the sole purpose of personally attacking a third party by way of this blog.
Yesterday evening, I was forced to censor a comment fitting within two of the categories just listed. I really hate censorship, and dislike doing it on my blog even more than experiencing it being done to me.
I have, thus, decided to devise a comment policy for Blind Access Journal, which comes down to the following:
- Absolutely no spam will be tolerated. All comments are moderated as a way to prevent spam without the need to use visual verification (CAPTCHA). Spam is always ignored.
- Extreme use of prophanity is unacceptable. Comments deemed to contain certain curse words or an excessive amount of cursing going beyond a “reasonable” community standard will be rejected outright.
- Use of this blog to personally abuse or attack a third party is totally unacceptable. All comments meeting this description will be rejected outright.
- This is a family safe blog. All comments of an explicit adult nature will be rejected.
This comment policy is going to be strictly enforced from now on. Such enforcement is currently on a “I know it when I see it” basis. Constructive comments should not be in any danger of violating this policy, so you can bet on having your comment approved if you keep this in mind. Please feel free to read The Blogger’s Guide to Comment Etiquette for some great ideas on how best to compose and post comments that are acceptable on most blogs. Blind Access Journal has a diverse readership among both the blind and the sighted. Let’s all continue to make certain it remains a welcoming place for everyone.