Automatic cRaptions Are Not Captions!
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Automatic cRaptions Are Not Captions!

Okay, little VidCon update: I officially have a room,
time, and date for my workshop. My workshop will be on Friday, July 24th,
from 3:30pm to 4:30pm at Room 205. And the workshop is called Lights, Camera,
Caption. Credit to my boyfriend for thinking of that.
[clap] If you were planning on coming to my closed
captioning workshop, that’s all the info that you need to know. Write it down and if
you haven’t registered for VidCon yet, go do that. Now that that is settled, I am now doing little
videos to help prep me for what I want to talk about in my workshop. Starting with this one. So as you know, and if you haven’t known,
I’ve been e-mailing, tweeting, and sometimes handwriting letters to a plethora of YouTubers
telling them and asking them that they need to closed caption their videos. Sometimes, I’ll leave a comment under their
video telling them or asking them to closed caption their videos. Like when Ashley Mardell announced her little
project, I asked her to closed caption her video. When Veronica made a video about skincare,
I asked her to closed caption her video because these are important videos that have information.
Not just comedic videos. And sometimes after I leave a comment under
a video, I get a comment from either the creator themselves or the viewer, er, a viewer, telling
me that I should, or that there should be a CC button between this and that on the video
and that should give me the captions. As if I haven’t tried that before already
before I left a comment. but I don’t get fussy with it, I just say
something like, “Well, you know, I’m a Deaf vlogger that advocates
for better closed captioning or some closed captioning, at all, on YouTube and there’s
a big possibility I’ve already checked to see if there’s closed captioning before I
left this comment. And even if I wasn’t a vlogger, there’s still
a chance I checked for the captioning before I left this comment. There’s no closed captioning on this video,
I promise.” And this is actually something that happened
recently, and the person replied with, “I’m just trying to help, I thought this would
be better than nothing” When somebody leaves me, or anybody else this
comment, and it’s happened before from even bigger YouTubers, I think, if I try to help somebody I do try
to make sure and check my possible answers a little bit before I actually insert my answer
and give it to them. So, I check to make sure that I’m a little
bit right before I give it and if I’m not sure, then I’ll leave a note that says, “I’m
not 100% sure, so you know, maybe look it up yourself as well.” So, I know that when so and so tells me, or
anybody else to click that button and it’ll just automatically give it to me, I know that
this person has not actually looked at the stuff themselves. And that’s when I say, “Automatic cRaptions
are not captions.” Automatic closed “cRaptioning” is not closed
captioning, and that’s when I just ask politely, and I ask, “Have you actually looked at these things
yourself?” Because, if you had, you would know that it’s
completely nonsensical and it won’t help me at all. “Well, I just thought it was better than nothing.” “Okay, but answer my question. Have you
actually tried it, yourself? Have you muted the video? Just mute the video. Read the automatic “cRaptions” and let me
know if you understand what this video’s about.” And then I never got a reply. In fact, I think
the person actually deleted the entire comment thread which is a little disappointing because
I’m not trying to argue. I just want to – instead of me just saying, “Those aren’t captions.” I am trying to get people to look at them. Pretend you’re me, mute the video or lower
the volume significantly, and look at it and you will see, you will have an actual experience
that tells you – That’s not working. Now, sometimes people will take screenshots
of the automatic cRaptions and post about it and then they laugh at it and laugh at
how ridiculous it all sounds. Sometimes, automatic cRaptions are really
funny. I’ll give that. They’re funny. There’s nothing wrong with laughing at ridiculous
captions. But instead of just giggling at the ridiculousness
of terrible automatic cRaptions, I’m thinking, “Why don’t we just think about this a
little bit more and think about those who need actual closed captioning and just think
about how this does not help.” And just like I’m going to do in my workshop,
I’m going to show you some examples of automatic cRaptions. And I’m going to give you videos, or examples
from videos of people that are going to VidCon. Featured creators just like me. And that means I can show you almost every
single creator – at least one video per creator – but then that would just make this way too
long. Let’s start with the oh-so-popular Grace
[Helbig] who I think is a very nice person and can be hilarious; however, her stuff is
not captioned. Here’s an example from her “What’s Up
My Butt Challenge”. “well I I’m here and I remembered me out
I am today” “where playing a game that is based on a
challenge that exist on you to call but” “what’s in my mouth challenge” Now I know she’s done a What’s In My Mouth
Challenge video, I’m pretty sure, but if somebody has not watched that video or doesn’t
know who Grace is, and “What’s Up My Butt Challenge” was the first video somebody
saw, this makes no sense whatsoever. And Grace not captioning her videos always
kind of makes me giggle. I find it a little bit ironic – Is that how you use this word in this situation?
Let me continue. On page 71 in her book “The Art of Pretending
to Be A Grown Up,” and I’ve reviewed this and I’ve mentioned it in that video – When she was younger, she did a few internships
at MTV transcribing videos for My Super Sweet 16. So she transcribed for an MTV show, why don’t
you – or find somebody to transcribe your videos? And when you look at the automatic cRaptions
on her video… There’s a Tumblr that actually transcribes
every single video and the Tumblr person and I have been trying to contact Grace on Twitter,
tried to find an e-mail just, you know, offering to send these transcripts so all Grace needs
to do is upload them. The work’s already done. She just needs
to upload them because we don’t know the login to her account. So that’s gonna take some work. And then we have Smosh who is a duo on YouTube
that has 20 million subscribers. That’s all I know. Btut Caption Action 2 has been trying to get
me to do a video, a separate video, on Smosh because Smosh is premiering a movie at VidCon
the day before my workshop, unfortunately, and.. 20 million subscribers and you don’t
caption your videos. So from “The Murder Party” “woman so the mail on the mailman okay male
woman just sounds weird hear anyone” [MOUTHS: WHAT THE FUCK?]>From “Worst Sex Ever: Behind the Scenes” “i think is in doubt about a future together
because the fans are fickle ass” 1 – that’s not how you compliment your fans. 2 – I don’t know what that’s actually
trying to say. I don’t know what the audio says, but “because the fans are fickle ass”
does not sound like something I would want to say or want my video to say. So while I don’t know if I can get Smosh
to caption their movie before VidCon, uhm… Hopefully, it – Hopefully, with some work, I can get Smosh
to caption their videos eventually. And then we have AmazingPhil “I Destroyed
My House” “one second caveman for dinosaurs you can
make a bet” That’s like the very first line in that
video and, uhm, I – I don’t understand. And then I decided to mention this guy because
he has mentioned almost every time he does a YouNow that the closed captioning on YouNow
– or, I’m sorry – the automatic closed cRaptioning – on YouNow is completely nonsensical and
it’s awful But this guy does not closed caption his videos
at all and that is Nathan aka TheThirdPew. I am a big fan of Nathan. I’ve been a fan of Nathan since the
Sam Pepper callout video. And I think a lot of people would enjoy his
channel, but it’s not accessible. Here’s an example. With his newest video “Do YouTubers Have
Responsibility?” “follow-up as long as a crazy today girl
is going be quite heated acre lot eyes even” Nathan, I know you look at the automatic closed
cRaptioning on your YouNow. Can you please look at it on your own videos? This is why it’s so important for YouTubers
to caption their videos and while it can be a tedious process depending on how long your
videos are – I know. I did a 22 minute video that took
four days. But if I, the Deaf vlogger, can do it, hearing
people, you can do it. And if you don’t have times, there’s many,
many options. If you’ve got the money, you can pay to
have them done for a very affordable price. You can get volunteers on Amara to do it. There’s a thing on some YouTube channels
that lets people contribute closed captioning. Or you can just simply ask people to e-mail
transcripts which is what I’m doing for people who are subtitling my videos into Spanish
or Portuguese or any other language that is not English. I mean, this time, I’m showing you the proof.
I’m showing you examples of this nonsensical automatic closed cRaptioning. If you mute these videos and then you watch
them with those on, you can’t understand the videos. Automatic cRaptions are not better than nothing.
They’re really not and that is proof. Yes, it may get some words right. It may get
an entire sentence right, but when 95% of the video makes no sense, they’re not better
than nothing. So my plan now is, of course, to keep working
on my workshop and to do the workshop. I’ve given you the info of when, where it
is. Friday, July 24th. 3:30-4:30pm at Room 205. So come see me and… Not only that, but I’m going to keep trying
to e-mail, tweet, uh I think I’m going to try to handwrite a letter to every single
featured creator – even if I’ve already done it – It’s easy to delete an e-mail. It’s also
easy to throw away a letter, but you do have to open up a handwritten letter and look at
it, so it’s a little harder to miss than an e-mail. Like I said in other videos related to my
workshop, if you’ve got ideas on what I can talk about in my workshop, feel free to
leave ‘em in the comments. I have a loose outline right now. I’ve just got work to do. So yeah, I will see you in my next video.
Bye. Subtitles by the community


  • Grace Stella

    Thank you for making these videos. Because of you I have started to close caption my videos. I know it doesn't mean much, because people don't usually watch my videos, but I hope it will help someone! Your videos are amazing, you're gonna do great at Vidcon!!!

  • Ducks Can Fly Ducks Can Fly

    Captioning videos can take a long ass time. just for the average 5 minute youtube weekly videos. Let alone 12m19s

    Hiring someone to CC is also expensive.

    I do CC the videos I edit for the youtuber that I work for. he/she/it has 2,000 videos (has 5 channels). Exactly 5 minutes each video. going back to CC all 2000 videos is impossible as I have to CC his DAILY videos. some days 3 videos.

    I am not condoning not CC'ing, just want to tell you the point of view from the other side. I would love to CC 2,000 videos but it won't happen.

  • Sienna

    so if I wanted to say, caption videos with 2-4 people in them, should I put the person talking's name in a box like this:
    [Matt] The Back-down!
    [Patt] Shut up Matt.

  • JuntosTogetherVlogs

    I have a spanish and english channel and both of them have cc videos. I still have a few to go but I am getting there 🙂 Thanks for always motivating us to improve 🙂

  • Sierra J.

    Automatic closed captioning is even used as a joke! People will say "lmao omg turn on the closed captioning, it's hilarious." That should show people how unreliable auto cc is. A video can be about how to get heatless curls and the auto cc will be like "armidillo cappa sword infinite mother kitty kitty"

  • tender comrade 2

    I think there was a song made about how bad it is, putting auto cc on a video, saying the words and putting them through the auto cc again, they did this a few times. It was quite funny, but they shouldn't be for comedic value, they should be to help deaf people, it's a shame that more videos aren't cc'd. I think this is the video:

  • Kirra Gregson

    Woah, I can't believe they said that and even deleted the comment thread. What is the tumblr account that transcripts videos?

  • Taliewarlie

    also i don't know if this is just me having messed up my settings or anything, but has anyone else's closed captions become super hard to read recently? Like they are far more transparent and harder to discern from the stuff moving behind them

  • Fallsocks

    It always baffles me when people use the "oh it's better than nothing…" line, like do they realize that "better than nothing" mentality almost never applies to necessary accommodations??? If someone has asthma and needs an inhaler, would you hand them a rubber duck and say "oh well you can squeeze air out of it so I figured it was better than nothing…"? Would you tell someone in a wheelchair "Sorry we don't have a ramp or an elevator, but there's still stairs so that's better than nothing"? I hope not.

    If I can't actually use that thing, then it might as well be nothing. Why doesn't that ever occur to these people?

  • L. Storck

    Happy you hear CCAC shouting for Quality Captioining. Go Rikki! Join us, all welcome. #CaptiontheWorld

  • ashleyelizabeth

    Ikr! I'm idek but I go to hearing specialists and basically I can barely hear out of one ear but the other ear that I can hear out of 'provides' me distorted noise so I have to lipread. I go to a small Catholic School with all hearing kids and sometimes my homeroom teacher bothers not to turn on captions even though they are autimated. She is well aware of my problems but since I am starting 8th grade in august, I am going to graduate because I want to be confirmed (basically when u are in 8th grade u are confirming your catholicism). I am going to learn ASL starting this summer and hopefully I will be able to go to a deaf school for 9th grade. Is that enough time to learn it? About a year and 1 month/2 months.(ik u aren't fluent in asl but maybe one of ur friends that u visited knew?) But going back to the captions… I also leave comments on youtubers videos to caption their videos. I am going to make a tutorial because my favorite youtuber besides u ;).. doesn't know how she said. But lol my religion teacher shaved part of his beard so I can lipread😂👍 atleast I think. There are some great people in this world… so I was also wondering if u could make make a video answering this question "Why do some deaf people hate hearing people? "

  • Ash Shaffer

    They should turn on captions, like come on a fan/viewer is telling you that they want to enjoy your video and your saying "sorry, i would like you to enjoy my video with all the wrong information because im too lazy to take the effort and turn on the captions"

  • prince funny

    I agree, i tried auto closed captions for some of my videos and it was horrible
    My first two videos i captioned myself, they are much better now
    I will do more in the future, and start to caption my upcoming videos

  • Dimple Duchess

    I'm so glad I started following and subscribing to you. I want to make sure my channel is accessible and I've started CC any video I have with audio/voice overlay/doesn't have my own subtitles already <3 You're doin' good stuff!

  • DeafViewer

    In addition to the options Rikki presents here, more options for captioning can be found on the Info for Web TV Producers page at And Caption Action 2 can be found on Facebook at

  • Emily K

    sometimes I hit the cc button just to give it a shot cause I'm so desperate to understand what they're saying but it's pointless every time lol

  • Jim Willis

    Right on Rikki – the auto cRaption version is horrible. I try to CC all my youtube videos. The other thing about online that drives me nuts is non captioned commercial TV sites that do not caption their videos.

  • Angela Is here

    I asked youtuber ellosteph in a fan letter to caption her letter. Since then she hasn't. It's been maybe four months. She has used auto captions.

  • Michelle Fitch

    You should suggest that everyone that isn't HOH to watch the youtubers that they follow on auto craptions for 1 week and see how much they understand as a challenge to see how they feel right @Rikki Poynter Maybe suffering like that will make them understand!  If I did youtube and someone as nice as you asked me to do that for you I would take your suggestion right away!  So you can count on if I ever become a youtuber I will be understandable to you!  I feel terrible that no one seems to care how you feel, it really pisses me off!  If anything now a days someone will make fun of your suggestion like that Manny MUA and Jen Gerard story, watching gerard hate videos and calling people ugly and putting it on snapchat.  People have no compassion now a days!  I don't support people that aren't willing to lift a finger…I think I'm going to go into my word program and type up and save a comment about CCing and save it and just start suggesting it for you in the comments, it will be simple cuz I can copy and paste it!  XOXO

  • Donna

    I don't want to make videos /at least not proper ones until I am able to make proper captions. But I don't have a laptop /my pwn computer to use right now .

  • SommerWinter

    Hey Rikki, it's hard getting the word out but I want you to know it IS working. I captioned my first ever video today, inspired by your channel. (The video is about those weird unwanted comments women get about their makeup, e.g. "You don't need to wear makeup" so I think you'll enjoy it)

  • Lifae

    The automatic captions are hilarious sometimes XD
    I have some trouble understanding some of the youtubers who talk very quickly though, because English is not my native language, so I'm always happy when they have proper captions. And even though I'm a hearing person, if people talk very quickly in a different language, the automatic captions are totally not helpful.

    I plan on blogging some time in my own language, and when I do, I'll be adding captions. You made me see how important they are.

  • Samantha La Breche

    Yes, thank your for this video. I had arguments with so many teachers in school because they would assign youtube videos to watch and I couldn't understand the automatic CC. My sister doesn't get it either, so frustrating.

  • GrymCosplei

    Thanks to your videos, I started captioning mine. Luckily these tutorials are mostly voice-overs, so I have it pretty easy. Write out a script, record the voice-over, paste said script and set timings. It takes 5 minutes. I feel really awful for not doing it before, but happy that you taught me better than that! Thank you!

  • Riley james

    I dont even understand why youtube has put cc auto captions as an option.. It just seems like auto cc caption software creators had this going through their heads at the time of release: Audio says "Hi my name is Riley and I love scrabble" cc says "Hay you why no radiator fools milk" Creators of this option are like… yeeeeah that works! headdeskheaddeskheaddesk Ive emailed an easy tutorial I created for captioning to some of my favorite vloggers with no response and no attempt at correcting the captions available. Im not deaf, I have Auditory Prosessing Disorder, I still use captions because of this disorder. I can hear perfectly, just Imagine there being a blender in between your ears, mouth and brain. Thanks for making this video @Rikki Poynter !

  • Elliness

    I hear you on this.  I have just started to use the closed caption feature to watch videos myself as sometimes I am in a position where I cannot have the volume up so it helps to be able to follow what is going on by reading it in print.  I have been amazed at some automatic closed captioning.  Since you asked me to closed caption my videos I have made a concerted effort to do so.  Admittedly it takes a little bit more time to edit a video now but I'd like to think that my viewers appreciate my efforts.  🙂

  • Alyssa Burns

    Preach ! I have tried many times, watching people's videos with no sound and only the captions, and the video ends up not making any sense at all.

  • ReineDeLaSeine14

    Auto-craptions are horrifying. I've noticed the text size of captions got smaller, even user-created ones.

  • Lauramcfly29

    YESSS. All the time. For school, I usually get homeworks in which I need to write essays about certain videos, and that's really a problem. And I used to think it was sad that I couldn't understand what people were saying in videos that were made for entertainment… I even have to ask for help in order to write transcripts before, but I'm starting to post those transcripts in the comments (if it helps deaf or HoH people). At least in the States and Europe people are more deaf aware than they are in my country, it's an awful thing in Latin America. 🙁

  • thisisroxaroo

    So I used the youtube thing to CC one of my videos and it… was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. The timings aren't 100% and I might go back to perfect it later but it was really easy. I'm going to have to go back and do some more captioning.

  • Abigail de Niverville

    I'm a hearing person, but the other day I was in a very noisy room watching youtube, so I decided to put on the automatic CC so I didn't have to crank the volume too high in my headphones.  I was amazed at how impossible it was to understand the video!  I had no idea the auto CC was that BAD.  I've only just begun doing videos, but I plan on captioning them all (so far only 1 has captions).
    Thank you for making this video and spreading awareness!

  • Wajd Tohme

    yes automatic captions are a joke, but, and i hate to say this, they are "better than nothing" especially with Youtubers who are clear spoken like MKBHD for instance, so what really annoys me is when aYoutuber goes out of their way to DISABLE AUTO-CAPTIONS. like seriously what the fuck people? at least fuckin keep the auto captions if youre too lazy to caption them.

  • Rain Collins

    This made me wonder, how do the automatic craptions even work? The voice recognition seems worse than any of the tech Apple or Google has now. Has YouTube just left that system to rot, because I'm sure it could easily be improved to, you know, actually work – not that it's a substitute for actual transcribed captions, but I don't understand why it's so bad.

    As for the funny aspect of automatic craptions, it gets even funnier when English isn't your first language because it attempts to translate the nonsense. At least when the captions are transcribed, there's grammar 😛

  • erictainment

    its baffling that youtube still leaves that option for automatic closed "cRaptions" (good word for them). Yea it was funny at first for us hearing people to see how ridiculous it was and it wasnt like only a few people knew. Big youtubers like Rhett & Link made videos about how bad it was. they would do songs than sing it in te auto cRaption and then redo it so its even worse and that was like 2 years ago. it hasnt got any better.
    Dont know if Rhett & link caption theirs vids but ill bring it up in the comment next time i watch a Good Mythical Morning Episode.

  • Thunde223

    This is what Grace, Ian, Anthony, Phil, and Nathan has said in their videos.

    What's up my Butt Challenge
    Grace: Hi guys. I'm here with Harley Morenstein from Epic Meal Time. Today, we're playing a game that is based on a challenge exist on YouTube called, "What's in my mouth challenge?"

    The Murder Party
    Ian Hecox: That's a woman, so it is a mail woman.
    Anthony Padilla: MAILMAN! Okay, mail woman just sounds weird. Have you heard anyone say that? No, it's a mailman.

    Worst Sex Ever
    Ian: Have you guys thought about future together because the fans are fickle ass.

    I Destroyed My House
    Phil: One second. Caveman for dinosaurs, you can make a bed.

    Do YouTubers Have Responsibility?
    Nathan: HOAH! It's gonna get crazy today girl. It's gonna get crazy today girl. Alright, this is gonna be fun me and you.

  • Ashley Nation

    This happens way too many times! Every single teacher I have, thinks that every video that has a CC button on the video on YouTube is captioned automatically and correct. Even my current cosmetology teacher thinks that, but they just never can grasp that concept of the difference between the actual captions and the craptions. The craptions also have like the little waves and the actual captions do not. It's like they're so blind to notice the difference to those two!! So I totally feel your pain.

  • Katelyn3666

    Just found your videos and I love how honest you are! I am HoH and I agree with you 100%. Even though I can hear, cc's help soooo much. Sometimes I watch videos and I will put on the cc ( even though I know they are not correct) just because something is better than nothing( there are no alternatives yet) and I put it together with what I can hear to get a better idea but it is still not the same. Thank you for captioning your videos so well and bring up this issue!

  • NiteOwl

    these days youtube has made a feature that allows fans to upload CC for languages if the person turns them on. all the creator needs to do is tick a box and their video is able to be closed captioned by viewers. while this is not a perfect idea it is better then what they had before. if you would like to know more i will link youtube help page on it

  • Carmenyoohoo

    If I was as big as some of these people are I would make a point of captioning my videos. It's just rude not to when you actually have regular viewers.

  • Tara

    I love me some captions I'm so used to them now I don't remember how I lived the first 14yrs of my life WITHOUT them. Sometimes when watching them on TV or dvd I get amused by shortcuts or alternatives in the wording because I can hear those few words an actor says that's different and I can tell you that word (or maybe three words ~ sometimes it is that little bit more) so I can actually get that like 100% accuracy as a result… but with automatic captioning? The every one right word out of 100 is just … it's AWFUL I'd rather just struggle to hear the YTer and/or just leave instead as a result. Automatic cRaptions are just AWFUL. In fact they probably shouldn't even be an option because ignorant (I don't mean that in a nasty way I mean it in a "just the truth" way) people probably go "Oh look the work is done for me" and go about their merry way.

  • Angel Rose

    I hate it when you're watching a movie or TV program and you put CC on but your friends groan or refuse to watch the movie with them on!

  • Ruby Landau-Pincus

    It's actually pretty amazing when the automatic captions get anything right at all, considering that it's a computer trying to make sense of the human voice. Maybe eventually the technology will improve enough to do really good transcriptions on its own (although I kind of doubt it because of accents and words that are run together and stuff), but until then, good closed captioning is so important for so many people that it's rude for youtubers to not take that bit of extra time or get someone else (especially the big youtubers who definitely have the money to hire someone to do it) to make their videos more accessible.

  • supamaxx01

    cRaptions! Wish I'd thought of that. I'm on a FB cochlear implant group and it amazes me how many post videos without captions. As if they don't know the difficulty of understanding speech, especially over computer speakers.

  • Senap

    I am not deaf – but I have an extremely hard time focusing, and I need captions to understand videos. It's not deafness, but I agree so much
    I have autism, which makes it, ugh

  • Oh My!

    I was introduced to closed captioning around the age of 16 and this feature changed how I follow along with the story line. I didn't realize I was missing most of the story without closed captioning and when I rewatch a childhood film, like Mary Poppins, where there is a lot of fast-singing and dialogue with unfamiliar phrases and words the closed captioning helps me clarify what the character is talking and singing about. Especially if a character has an accent. Example: "Chim Chim Cher-ree"

  • Brittany Silverton

    I know this video is a little old but the point is still there. I was watching some YouTube videos with one of my friends and he's deaf. This is the first time I ever used CC on YouTube at this point in this story. Anyways, I turned it on and I'm watching it and it's kinda funny but I look down at the CC and I see that about 80% of the words are wrong. So I spend about 5 minutes after realizing this apologizing to my friend (which kept making him laugh because we both knew it wasn't my fault) for not checking the CC before hand. I see this on TV a lot too. So when I watch anything I will keep the CC on and if it's completely off or something makes zero sense I will contact the website or TV station about it. I noticed some are getting better but not all. I wish people would take it more serious.

  • Evelyn Snyder

    I know this is an old video, I went and checked out Smosh and it looks like alot of their videos are captioned, at least the newer ones and some of the older ones.

  • Andrew Parsons

    Thank you everyone for translating the video to French and Brazilian Portuguese!

    Can we be more inclusive of other Deaf and disabled communities also affected by automatic craptions? Currently, YouTube also supports: Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Russian.

    Here the URL to help everyone else out:

    Do not forget to translate the description box and title as well as the captions so video rank in search engines.

    Deaf everywhere appreciate it!

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