London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Rishi Sunak alt text tweet criticised for misusing accessibility feature

Rishi Sunak alt text tweet criticised for misusing accessibility feature

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been criticised for misusing alt text on social media - weeks after big brands were called out for doing it.

His official Twitter account posted a four-picture photo grid showing cabinet members having a meeting.

The alt text fields - which are supposed to describe what's in the images for blind users - simply read: "We're growing the economy".

Number 10 said it "aims to ensure" images are "as accessible as possible".

Just two weeks ago, companies like McDonald's were criticised for posting the "click here" meme, which used alt text to hide jokes.

The accessibility feature works with screen readers and is supposed to describe image elements like what people are wearing, their surroundings, and any text that appears.

When photos in the tweet from Rishi Sunak's account are clicked, each expands to reveal a list of things the government says it has done.

But because this information is not included in the alt text, anyone using a screen reader will not know what it says.

The government's received backlash for not fully describing the images.



The RNIB responded by tweeting a video demonstrating what the images would sound like to blind people using a screen reader - the phrase "we're growing the economy" repeated four times.

Becky Brynolf, who's head of social media at the charity, tells Newsbeat she felt "a bit of disappointment" when she saw the tweet.

"I think that everyone should be able to access the same information. It's a basic human right access, and it's everybody's responsibility," she says.

"I think it is especially important to highlight when our own government is maybe misusing features and just let them know where they can improve."

RNIB social media lead Becky Brynolf says alt text can be a way of saying "we want you here" to users who rely on it


Becky says it's especially bad from Rishi Sunak because the government published guidance for public bodies to make their websites and apps accessible in 2018.

"I know that the guidance doesn't specifically reference social media," she says.

"But I think it's reasonable to expect that communications teams of a key public figure such as the prime minister also makes their social media posts accessible."

In a statement, Number 10 said: "We use a broad range of methods and channels to communicate with the public and aim to ensure that they are as accessible as possible.

"That includes using alternative text on our social channels."

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate
Rishi Sunak Apologizes for Leaving D-Day Commemoration Early
UK Woman Sentenced After Causing Fatal Crash While Sending Selfies
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Assaulted in Central Copenhagen
UN to Add Israel to Human Rights Blacklist
×