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Bruce, Caroline

LJ Cause for Concern

It was pointed out to me by the lovely kittytech, and I
subsequently confirmed it, that the audio captcha system no longer
exists with LJ when it comes to creating new journals. For those of you
who do not know, captcha is that question where a form will ask you to
type the characters you see on the screen, and then they give you some
fuzzy-looking and distorted characters to type in. Audio captcha is when
they let you listen to some distorted characters, usually with a fair
bit of ambient noise, and enter those characters instead. It's not a
perfect solution for the blind, and it's not a solution at all for the
deafblind, but it's still half a step better than no solution at all.
One disability advocate likens the situation to what African-Americans
faced in the sixties, where they were not allowed to enter restaurants
and so on. I strongly and vehemently oppose this analogy, as it (a) is
not accurate, since nobody is going to throw a person off of LJ for
being blind, and (b)uses a hideous example of human cruelty that
resulted in violence, irreversible damage to innocent people, and the
shedding of innocent blood to depict a situation that is merely
inconvenient for a blind person and requires that they employ sighted
assistance to gain entry. They are not in fear of being thrown off, spat
at, treated as lesser beings once in, tortured or murdered. However, the
inaccuracy of that analogy aside, LJ's removal of the audio captcha
option is most certainly a step backwards, and I feel strongly that this
important feature should be put back. I do not know why it was removed.
It could be something as simple as an oversight, it could be a
logistical problem, it could be someone at LJ thinking that it wasn't
important enough to maintain. I don't know. Regardless, I would like to
urge people to contact LJ, and
politely let them know that this issue is important to you and that you
would like to see this feature reinstated. Remember that the person
reading your message, in all likelihood, had nothing to do with the
problem, and will be much more inclined to help if you're polite and
friendly about it. It is quite possible to stress the importance of the
feature without getting abusive. Thanks, everyone, for reading this. I
see thatkittytech has beaten me to this, but I'll post what
I've written anyway.

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