Reddit makes it impossible for blind users to moderate the Blind subreddit
Reddit has been in some hot water with its users after announcing deeply shitty changes to their API which essentially killed 3rd party apps. As we moved closer to the date of the rollout of these changes, many people pointed out the glaringly poor accessibility for blind users on the main app, citing that pretty much they only way that they can use Reddit is through 3rd party apps that are about to be destroyed simply so that Reddit can collect more user data and sell more ads.
Well, the date has come and gone, and the apps have died. All the while, Reddit has done virtually nothing to fix accessibility, leaving the blind moderators of the r/Blind subreddit functionally unable to moderate their own community.
Reddit gave so little heads-up about their user-hostile changes that they themselves couldn't even fix up their own app to be up to par with what their users need to be able to use the app. 3rd party apps that have existed for nearly a decade provided a smoother and more accessible user experience than the main Reddit app. Now, that's gone, and people who previously had a community they could depend on are just up shit creek because of a tech bro CEO making hostile decisions and citing Elon Musk as his inspiration.
Accessibility in apps is not and should not be an afterthought.
Bonus: The moderators of the notable "Ask Me Anything" subreddit have announced that they will no longer facilitate celebrity AMAs, which they've been doing as volunteers for years.
Speaking of user hostile decisions and Elon Musk…
Elon has pulled the ripcord, only in this case, "pulling the ripcord" means "destroying your $40+ Billion purchase."
Over the weekend, Twitter started acting up for users. Tweets weren't loading and pages weren't working. Eventually, Elon clarified that you must now be logged in to a Twitter account to view anything on Twitter. But further: even when logged in, every user—paid users included—have a maximum number of tweets they can see per day.
He claims this is "temporary" and is due to a massive spike in data harvesting or some bullshit like that. It may instead be that they deployed an update to Twitter that made the site crash itself. Or it may be that their reduction in server capacity mixed with refusal to pay bills finally caught up to them. Or Musk is a fuckin moron. Or all of the above.
One thing is for certain: exactly zero times out of a trillion is "pay Elon Musk a monthly fee to view a limited number of Tweets per day" a winning strategy. If this lasts for any significant duration, Twitter will become a place where only the biggest Musk stans will be able to log in and read some posts from only the other biggest Musk stans.
Like I can't even begin to get at how dumb this is. All embedded tweets in articles? Gone. All links to notable announcements? Gone. Company or government update accounts? Gone. Using Twitter to get real-time updates on breaking news? Live Tweeting and reading along in a given fandom's hashtag? Nope, you hit your limit.
Not even mentioning ads! Companies pay money to display ads publicly on Twitter. Who will be able to see them????? Where's the money going to come from to sustain the site??????????? I'm so goddamn confused.
200 New Laws in Florida
As of July 1st, about two hundred new laws have gone into effect in Florida, as the sinking state's ultra-right-wing legislature and governor are doing everything they can to force their residents to live as directed by the state.
Among the bills is bill HB1069, which has been referred to by popular media as the "Don't Say Period Bill" due to the fact that it could prevent young girls from even having discussions about their periods in school before grade 6. The author of the bill said as much, despite the bill not explicitly stating it.
The law literally prevents teachers from asking or using preferred student pronouns, and explicitly says that pronouns are legally bound to biological sex, which it also strictly defines. It also prevents the inverse: teachers may not provide their preferred pronouns to students. This essentially destroys the notion of employing a trans person as a teacher.
Directly quoting the bill:
An employee or contractor of a public K-12 educational institution may not provide to a student his or her preferred personal title or pronouns if such preferred personal title or pronouns do not correspond to his or her sex.
A student may not be asked by an employee or contractor of a public K-12 educational institution to provide his or her preferred personal title or pronouns or be penalized or subjected to adverse or discriminatory treatment for not providing his or her preferred personal title or pronouns.
So America is going Very Healthy right now with really cool freedoms and is totally not an authoritarian wasteland where the state literally says "we define who you are."
The Supreme Court is dumb
Coming out swinging
I'm gonna level with you—I don't wanna write this section. Like, it just all sucks. Idk what to say really. The Supreme Court is fucking broken, never should have been the way it is to begin with, and is essentially unsalvageable. I've spent virtually my entire teenage and adult life watching the Republican party pull absolute bullshit through the courts and ultimately working to get an extreme majority on the Supreme Court to repeal rights.
There is no sugar coating it. Given enough time, they will come for you too. And if you're not the "they" that they're coming for, that means you're like me: a privileged, white man. And if you're that person and you're okay with them coming for everyone but you, well, you're probably not reading this newsletter, but also fuck you because that makes you a literal Nazi.
The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of allowing people to discriminate against gays in a court case that has been found to have a sham of a basis. A literal hypothetical case, brought to the court and funded by a group whose goals are to revert queer rights and put "Christian values" into schools and government.
The SCOTUS also killed student debt relief, because the suffering is the point.
Not too long from now, the Supreme Court will review a case which may allow violent domestic abusers to get their guns back in their hands. They've already stripped women of a fundamental right to bodily autonomy. Why not take it a step further and just loudly encourage being violent towards women?
Don't worry though! I've got it on good authority that Biden is very disappointed.
I'm sorry this installment is such a fuckin' bummer. Here's a picture of my dog.
On this day…
On this day in the year 1890, Idaho was admitted into the United States as the 43rd state.
We really fucked that one up.
Here's the weather
- The game development studio that made the recent Gollum game is disbanding after the game flopped just real hard
- A mass shooting in Baltimore has left 2 dead and dozens injured with no suspect
- National Geographic has laid off its only remaining staff writers
- Despite mass service interruptions and issues, the CEO of United flew his private jet while his customers were stuck on the tarmac, then was like "oh, sorry"
- Apple is now a $3 Trillion company
- Thousands of port workers in Canada are on strike after negotiations to renew an industry contract failed to work out
- Aspartame, a common artificial sweetener, may be a carcinogen according to the WHO
- Australia will begin offering treatments for depression and PTSD using psychedelic drugs after studies showed incredibly successful results
- We might have proof of octopuses dreaming – this should have been the headlining story now that I think about it. I'm much more interested in learning about octopus dream investigations.