User-Contributed Subtitles on Youtube

Gah. Remember just the other week? When I was nattering on about how nice it is that people can add subtitles on Youtube? This allows people to, like, watch stuff in other languages, like this Spanish translation of this Swedish-language Bergman obscurity that some kind soul just contributed?

Well, since Youtube is Google, I should have been prepared to be disappointed, and today I got this email:

“Community contributions” is Google speak for “user-contributed subtitles”.

I find it completely risible that they’re using the apparent fact that only 0.001% channels use this feature as a reason to discontinue the service: But of course! Who needs to have subtitles on PewDiePie or Jake Paul or whatever? But where it’s useful, it’s very useful, like when Spanish people want to watch a Bergman movie from 1950.

And… it’s not a feature that you have to enable on your channel, so if you’re getting spam and abuse via subtitles (!), then you can just switch it off? Right?


Man. Well, Google can do what they want to do; it’s their web site. But, like…


There’s a petition to make Google change their minds.

One thought on “User-Contributed Subtitles on Youtube”

  1. SUBTITLES are absolutely vital, and not just for translations. My hearing is OK, but I watch everything with subtitles all the time, 24/7. Movies, news, everything. As a native English speaker I learned long ago that so much can be missed, especially with different accents, and my enjoyment is abruptly curtailed if I miss anything in the dialogue. As for getting Google to change their mind — good luck with that. Mega-corporations do not change their “minds” unless their bottom line is directly affected.
    Witness the current antitrust hearings on Capitol Hill.

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