The recent “Click here” trend on Platform X, formerly known as Twitter, involves users posting images with a simple instruction to click in the bottom left corner of the picture. Upon clicking, users are directed to a small text box labelled “ALT,” containing a description of the image. This trend has gained traction among a diverse range of users, from individuals to major corporations, political parties, and media outlets.

What is ALT text

ALT text, or alternative text, is a way to describe an image for those who cannot see it. This is especially helpful for people with visual impairments who use screen readers to navigate the internet.

Most modern devices, including smartphones, incorporate assistive features like on-screen narrator on Windows PC, TalkBack on Samsung smartphones, and VoiceOver on iPhones, which read aloud the text on the screen.

ALT text also serves the purpose of aiding search engines like Google and Bing in understanding the content of images, thus improving the relevance of search results.

Why is “Click here” trend facing criticism

Despite its beneficial purpose, the “Click here” trend has faced criticism for its misuse. Some users and organisations have employed it as a marketing tactic or for amusement, rather than providing meaningful image descriptions. This approach can cause confusion and frustration for individuals with visual impairments, undermining the accessibility of the platform.

Importance of ALT text

Notably, some companies have used the trend to raise awareness about the importance of ALT text. For example, Specsavers, a UK-based optical retail chain, shared an image with a clear description explaining the purpose of the “Click here” instruction. They emphasised the significance of ALT text as a vital tool for enhancing internet accessibility and discouraged its trivialisation as a mere joke or marketing gimmick.

While the “Click Here” trend might seem like a joke, it highlights the importance of ALT text for accessibility. Users should be encouraged to use ALT text properly to make X (formerly Twitter) a more inclusive platform.

First Published: Apr 01 2024 | 1:06 PM IST

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