Why You Should Join the #WithCaptions Movement

February 9, 2015 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: January 26, 2021


Thanks to a recent Upworthy article, Twitter has been buzzing with the #WithCaptions hashtag. The article, titled “Pretty Much A No-Brainer. So Why Do So Many People WITH Brains Forget To Add This To Their Videos?” is a rallying cry to the vlogging community: add captions to your videos so that deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers can enjoy them to the fullest.

But Upworthy didn’t start the captioning campaign, it only amplified it.

The #WithCaptions hashtag began on December 29, 2014, when the YouTube channel for Glide, a video messaging app, published this video:

The video features prominent YouTube content creators speaking or signing the message that adding subtitles makes your content more accessible. Hard of hearing vlogger Rikki Poynter reminds us that it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

“YouTube has made it really easy for creators to add closed captioning to their videos. And if you add them, we’ll definitely like, comment, share, and subscribe!” – Rikki Poynter

Rikki is a prominent voice in deaf awareness, with over 18K subscribers on her YouTube channel. She shares her experience as a hard of hearing YouTuber and reveals some shocking things people have said to her via the wry video “ Sh*t Hearing People Say.” Here’s the excerpt about captioning:

Rikki Poynter Speaking About Captioning On Her YouTube Channel

[Hearing person:] “Why do you need subtitles for this? You’ve already seen it.”

[Rikki:] “Well, in that case, we’ll just mute it while you’re watching it. Let’s see how well you understand it then.”

The need for captions probably just hasn’t occurred to most hearing vloggers. But as the #WithCaptions campaign raises awareness, conscientious content creators are taking action. After he saw Rikki’s video, YouTube star Tyler Oakely promptly added CC to his videos, saying “I want to make my little community here on YouTube more inclusive.”

If you want to hop onto the #WithCaptions bandwagon and add captions to your YouTube videos, you can get started here. You can even create a linked account. Then all you have to do is sign in with your YouTube account, submit the videos you want to add captions to, and we’ll post the captions directly back to your YouTube video when they’re done!

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