YouTubers Are Lying To You | Rikki Poynter
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Famous YouTubers Colleen Ballinger and James Charles both made announcements saying that they were going to caption their videos.

Colleen Ballinger, who has a deaf brother, mentioned this in a video about her brother, his deafness, and his cochlear implant. The video in itself was a bit on the exploitative side, but hearing the announcement that she would be closed captioning her videos from here on out was a great thing. Captions happened for a little while, and then after one or two months, captions were no longer found.

I had since tried to contact Colleen Ballinger via Twitter, and even wrote a letter to her brother, Chris Ballinger, who does caption in an attempt to have a message relayed. It was a last resort. As of a few days ago, the video catalog was updated with captions, but only up to two months ago.

In February, James Charles wrote a tweet on Twitter saying that he was going to closed caption his videos from there on and out, and that he was sorry he didn’t do it sooner. The story ended about the same way it did with Colleen Ballinger. Videos were closed captioned for a few months only for there to be none for the last few months.

This is a situation that has occurred with not only these two, but other YouTubers such as Jackie Aina and Good Mythical Morning (who have brought them back again, thank you!). Amy Landino is another YouTuber who had captioned for a long time, but hasn’t in the last few months. This is a serious situation because closed captions are an important accessibility tool, and when you lie to your deaf audience about using them, you’re using them for your own benefit and eventually telling them that they and their accessibility needs to not matter.

YouTubers, stop using accessibility for your own personal gain only to no longer due them after a few months. YouTubers, please stop lying to your deaf audience, and to anyone else who needs them.

Video Description: A young, white woman sitting in a chair in her bedroom. She has dark brown hair which is down and wavy. She is wearing neutral makeup with black winged eyeliner and a pink lip.

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Rikki Poynter is a 27-year- old deaf vlogger on YouTube. She makes content about deaf awareness, accessibility/closed captioning awareness, mental health, feminism, and more. Since making her first deaf related video on October 1st, 2014, Rikki has been on the Huffington Post, Mic News, Upworthy, ABC News, BBC Newsbeat, BBC Ouch, BBC See Hear, and other news outlets in various countries. Also, she has been working on her new closed captioning campaign, Lights, Camera, Caption!, to try to get more YouTubers to closed caption their videos. After hopefully one day taking over YouTube, she wants to work on the rest of the Internet.

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