Status Plugin alt text request

A while ago, I asked that the Status Plugin generate alt text for its thumbnails to comply with ADA and disabled accessiblity laws. Nothing was done. The number of lawsuits against website owners is increasing for accessibility. I think given the automatic nature of the Status plugin, and the fact that the thumbnails are not locally hosted, alt text which is global in nature, e.g., “thumbnail generated from link, click for source” would at least provide a colorable defense. Please address this with urgency!

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    That would be great. I’m getting antsy since I just heard of another website getting sued – a non-profit organization’s website, no less – by slimy shakedown artists looking for an excuse to sue (not over Status plugin as far as I know but lack of alt text is probably the most mentioned accessibility deficiencies). As mentioned, even alt text with a global message would be an improvement.

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Please note that this is urgent. There are literally hundreds of letters, possibly thousands, that have very recently been mailed to website admins by a particular notorious law firm demanding money and threatening lawsuits. They are using WCAG 2.0 AA standards as basis for the lawsuit. If a website gets sued because of no alt text in status plugin posts, you guys going to be a cross-defendant. I am an attorney and I’m seeing these shakedown letters happen this first hand.

  • Michael Bissett
    • Recruit

    Hey @wadams92101,

    Not dismissing the urgency, just stating facts, sir. :slight_smile:

    Going on that article, it does say:

    Every image must have an alt attribute.

    And given that we’re talking about images, that would look to seal the deal on that point. What those alt tags contain would be up to what’s been inserted by the webmaster, but still, they need to be there.

    Kind Regards,

    Michael

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Thanks Michael. I appreciate that you guys are on it. Just want to make sure given that I brought this issue up to WPMUDev a year or so ago and nothing got done. I think that given that the Status plugin automatically generates thumbnails that are essentially links to the main article, that perhaps a global alt text would suffice, letting the reader know to its a link to the main article and that image is hosted at the main article. Everyone connected with this is at risk of one of these costly lawsuits – they are quite predatory.

  • Jude
    • DEV MAN

    Hi again wadams92101

    I have gone ahead and made a quick fix for you, while alternatives may take a while to implement this one uses your original suggestion, namely

    e.g., “thumbnail generated from link, click for source” would at least provide a colorable defense.

    Simply copy paste and replace this file

    /wp-content/plugins/quick-status/lib/class_wdqs_admin_pages.php

    with the one Im attaching

    Hope that helps

    Cheers

    Jude

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Sorry, didn’t see this response until just now, over a year later. Is this quick fix still valid or has it been superseded new plugin updates? Also, do you think the thumbnail images would qualify as decorative such that alt=”” would work? I think the plugin used to generate these but it doesn’t seem to do so anymore. What is the thinking there?

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Thank you. So what about the second part of my question: “Also, do you think the thumbnail images would qualify as decorative such that alt=”” would work? I think the plugin used to generate these but it doesn’t seem to do so anymore. What is the thinking there?”

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Yes, take a look at the html for excerpt and thumbnail generated by the plugin. There is no alt attribute. WCAG 2.0 says that all images must have alt text but if the image is merely “decorative” it can be an empty alt attribute, e.g., alt=”” Is a thumbnail generated in an excerpt considered “decorative”? If so, that could maybe used in the plugin to make it comply.

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Thanks Alex. I know accessibility isn’t the sexiest or most profitable venture but, jeez, this thread started more than two years ago and it can’t be that hard to update the software to generate alt text for it’s thumbnails, either by grabbing it from the original image, or, and in particular, empty quotes denoting decorative images (if that qualifies).

  • Alex Stine
    • System Administrator

    Hello wadams92101

    Hope you’re well!

    I truly understand where you’re coming from. It definitely means something to me as I am pretty much blind in both eyes and rely on screen readers for my code development and testing.

    The problem is there is no way to detect in the plugin what type of image it is. Is it a decorative image or an image that might need some alt text. Because of this, I’ve added an empty alt=”” attribute to all <img> tags in the plugin. Please find it attached to this reply.

    Hope it helps.

    Thanks,

    Alex :smiley:

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Thanks Alex. I think there is a reasonable argument to be made that the quick post thumbnails are decorative. Anyway, because I have the plugin individually activated on multiple sites in a multi-site network. Rather than deactivate each of them individually to install this, then reactivate them each, if the modification is in a single file, can you tell me which file and I’ll just replace that file. Will this becoming out as a new version?

    BTW, I did find some discussion in WP stackexchange – don’t know if it’s helpful: https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/238621/how-to-write-alt-tag-in-image-for-wordpress-code

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Hi Alex, First I tried to just install the modified class_wdqs_admin_pages.php file but that did not generate the empty alt=””. So then I tried to install the the plugin per your link in this thread using the WP uploader but it kept giving the error message that it was not a valid plugin. I think that is because your link was a status folder within a 383901_status-1.8.4 folder within another 383901_status-1.8.4?

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    OK, got it installed by getting my Filezilla working. It wouldn’t install via the WP uploader because the plugin was 3 levels into the zip. Also, simply replacing the class_wdqs_admin_pages.php file did not do the trick. But it’s working now. Can we see this, or something that pulls the alt text from the original image in a version update?

  • Alex Stine
    • System Administrator

    Hello wadams92101

    Hope you’re well and sorry for the late reply.

    I realize now that I did mess up the zip folders a bit, sorry for the confusion there. I’m attaching a brand new copy. Could you please upload the entire plugin via FTP to your wp-content/plugins directory? There are a few files I modified.

    Please let me know how it goes.

    Thanks,

    Alex :smiley:

  • wadams92101
    • The Crimson Coder

    Hello, I’m attorney defending website accessibility lawsuits while trying to improve accessibility of my own sites. Missing alt tags are always the first thing these litigants look for. So, even though we’ve dealt with this, I’ve read some more and I think the status plugin should generate a global alt tag other than alt=” “. I found the following comment in a discussion board (stackexchange) that I think is the most correct:

    HTML5 (Candidate Recommendation) contains the section “Requirements for providing text to act as an alternative for images”, which includes the case “A link or button containing nothing but an image”:

    When an a element that is a hyperlink, or a button element, has no text content but contains one or more images, include text in the alt attribute(s) that together convey the purpose of the link or button.

    (HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives (Working Draft) has almost the same text.)

    So the alt content should not describe the image, but the target of the link.

    Techniques for WCAG 2.0 (Working Draft) contains the technique “H30: Providing link text that describes the purpose of a link for anchor elements”:

    When an image is the only content of a link, the text alternative for the image describes the unique function of the link.

    So this particular technique (which is informative, not normative!) agrees

    So based on this line of reasoning, I don’t think empty alt tags, which are appropriate for decorative images like backgrounds, are correct for thumbnail images that link to a source article. So my updated feature request is that the status plugin generate an alt tag for all thumbnail images like the following: alt="image link to source article"

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