Reddit has begun testing a new “Official” label that will make it much simpler to identify authentic accounts. Since the new label will be visible across the entire sitewide, specific users won’t need to be verified by the moderators of each individual subreddit.
In a post by a Reddit rep, “Starting today, we’re beginning early testing of placing a visual indicator on certain profiles to provide proof of authenticity, reduce impersonation, and increase transparency across the platform. This is currently only available to a *very* small (double-digit) number of profiles belonging to organizations with whom we already have existing relationships, and who are interested in engaging with Redditors and communities on our platform.”
The “Official” labels are currently visible only on the iOS and Android apps for Reddit. The Reddit rep stated, “As we review the experiment’s results, we’ll iterate, which will involve rolling it out to additional platforms. Additionally, being classified as “Official” “does not unlock any special privileges or protections.”
In a recent post, Reddit made accessibility updates to its iOS and Android apps to make them more compatible with screen readers. The company offered the following timeline for which areas of the app will be compatible with screen readers, stating that “prominent surfaces” in the apps will be “compatible with your device’s screen reader” starting in August. Furthermore, Reddit assures that accessibility enhancements will be “continuously incorporated in future product updates and releases.”
Considering the official applications lacked the accessibility capabilities that some users need, accessibility advocates played a significant role in the protests against Reddit’s API pricing that resulted in the shutdown of some third-party apps. The company has achieved some progress: last month, it announced accessibility changes for moderators, and this week, it welcomed mods to a new Accessibility Feedback Group. Additionally, it exempted select accessibility-focused apps from the API price.
However, it appears that Reddit still needs to improve its communication. The moderation staff was unaware of the timetable of the features disclosed on Wednesday until they were announced, according to MostlyBlindGamer, a mod of r/Blind (which met with Reddit to discuss accessibility in June).
MostlyBlindGamer also mentioned that they had submitted the form for the Accessibility Feedback Group but had not heard back in response to Wednesday’s Reddit post. The company intends to choose participants next week, according to a Reddit representative.