Google Assistant Comment Ignorer April 18, 2021 12:10 AM   Subscribe

Google Assistant screen reader skips to the About Metafilter section at the bottom of a thread, after reading the text of the original post.

It skips the comments.

I thought I would try the lofi version of the site, to see if that works, but I can't find it.

Does this happen with other screen reader software on Android?
posted by asok to Bugs at 12:10 AM (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'm putting this here in case it's related: Reader View in Firefox often does the same thing, skipping comments entirely. The weird thing is that this doesn't happen in all posts: sometimes comments show but the OP text doesn't. And sometimes both parts display.

Examples
- both parts display
- OP text but no comments (here Reader also doesn't like the inline youtube stuff)
- comments but no OP text

Does the screen reader act similarly on these posts?
posted by trig at 12:54 AM on April 18


When logged in, https://www.metafilter.com/contribute/customize.cfm#profile let's you change what theme you see in the "Pick a Theme" section. There's classic and plain there. I'm not sure if plain is actually any simpler markup than classic, instead of just a plainer set of CSS.

Sadly, it seems that theme picker is set by onclick handlers on images without title or alt text. There's a span with the title of each theme below the image you need to click to pick which theme to use.
posted by skynxnex at 9:01 AM on April 18


The URL for LoFi MetaFilter is:

https://www.metafilter.com/lofi.mefi
posted by Kattullus at 9:22 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


The URL for LoFi MetaFilter is: https://www.metafilter.com/lofi.mefi

This link only works if you're logged in, for some reason. I don't know why (or if that would be a problem).
posted by dng at 1:50 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing this is something about the order of HTML elements. If you press TAB in Firefox to cycle through the hyperlinks in the document, it goes through the post tags, then the share links, then the footer, the comment box and the top menu and only comes to the links in the comments last of all.
posted by automatronic at 7:24 PM on April 18


Incidentally, InstaPaper does the same thing, which I find infuriating since it would be a nice way to grab longer AskMe threads for reading on a ereader.

I'm guessing that the InstaPaper algorithm assumes that for most use cases the comments sections are trash and filters them out.
posted by JDHarper at 7:54 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Thanks Kattullus. Lofi seems to only extend to the home page, when I open a thread the URL drops the lofi bit.

Plain theme has the same issue as described in the OP, as does Modern Dark, so I am guessing that is the same across the board.

trig, all of those threads you linked are treated the same way by Google Assistant, and give the same result as described in the OP.

Does anyone know of a screen reader that successfully reads Metafilter threads?

Once that is settled, can we have one which assigns random accents and voices to the usernames, then remembers which it has assigned. Purely for SCIENCE! reasons.
posted by asok at 1:48 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I've noticed similar behavior using Safari's Reader, but it only shows the post. Maybe it's related?
posted by chinesefood at 2:01 PM on April 19


Once that is settled, can we have one which assigns random accents and voices to the usernames

Dibs on Brian Blessed.
posted by jquinby at 12:30 PM on April 20


I started a conversation last week with goodnewsfortheinsane/mods about adding more accessibility to MeFi - I’d love to be part of the process. Hopefully it will take off.
posted by bendy at 8:04 PM on April 20


Does anyone know of a screen reader that successfully reads Metafilter threads?

Alensin might be a good person to ask.
posted by trig at 2:49 PM on April 21


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