- General FAQ
- What is Transcribers of Reddit?
- Who even needs a transcription?
- Why do you do this?
- How did this get started?
- Why don’t you just use an OCR bot?
- I love this! How can I support you?
- I hate this! How can I hide transcriptions?
- What happens after a post is transcribed? How can people find transcribed posts?
- What is Grafeas Group?
- I want a particular post transcribed. How can I get a volunteer to help me?
- I’m a moderator of a subreddit. How can we partner with you?
- Do you transcribe sheet music?
- How do you choose your partners and posts?
- Getting Started: Potential Volunteer FAQ
- Volunteer FAQ
Welcome to /r/TranscribersOfReddit!
What is Transcribers of Reddit?
- /r/TranscribersOfReddit (ToR) is a subreddit dedicated to organizing volunteers to write transcriptions of image, audio, and video posts to other subreddits. Our volunteers turn currently inaccessible content - content that can’t be enjoyed by some portion of the population - into an accessible format in the comments of the post.
Who even needs a transcription?
- Lots of people! Here are some examples:
- Blind or visually impaired people who use screen readers to browse the internet. A screen reader can’t “read” the text of an image, even if that image is just a picture of regular text, but it can read a comment.
- Deaf or hard of hearing people who need captions to enjoy audio or video
- People with bad internet connections who can’t load an image, but want to know what everyone is talking about
- People who find it hard to read small, blurry, or oddly formatted text
- ...and many more!
Why do you do this?
- We are passionate about creating an accessible environment for people to enjoy Reddit. Reddit does not offer the capability of adding alt text (descriptions which can be added on to an image) to content, which would make it accessible to some of the above groups. And even if it did, not everybody adds alt text when they have that option. We also have volunteers who just enjoy typing, find this fun, or want to hang out with our community!
How did this get started?
- Way back in the ancient internet days of 2017, /u/itsthejoker and /u/captcoe would regularly (independently) transcribe pictures of 4chan threads in /r/DnDGreentext and create a comment so that users wouldn’t need to pan around the image to read it. They found each other’s comments, and one day while swapping scary transcription stories, the idea was hatched for a subreddit that would help even more people take content from Reddit posts and transcribe it into the comments for easier reading.
Why don’t you just use an OCR bot?
- Optical character recognition (OCR) is a technology that “reads” images of text and converts it into plain text. We love OCR, but it’s a developing technology and isn’t at the point yet where it can replace a human transcriber. We have our very own bot /u/transcribot based on ocr.space, one of the best OCR programs available, to take a first attempt at transcribing a post. However, a quick look at transcribot’s comment history will show you that it gets a lot wrong! It still needs to be reviewed, edited, and formatted by a human. Besides, OCR can’t describe an image without text, and it doesn’t understand context that might make the text in an image more understandable.
I love this! How can I support you?
- You can make a tax-deductible donation towards paying our upkeep fees (such as hosting and the OCR program) by visiting the Donations/Tip Jar link in the sidebar. You can also get involved yourself by becoming a volunteer! If you’re interested in coding and development, our bots are open-sourced on GitHub so feel free to check out the code and open issues to see if there’s anything you want to help with!
I hate this! How can I hide transcriptions?
- On desktop, you can use Reddit Enhancement Suite (RES) to automatically hide comments with transcriptions. Read up on how to do this here. Unfortunately RES doesn’t work on mobile, but you can long-press on a comment to hide it and any replies.
What happens after a post is transcribed? How can people find transcribed posts?
- When a post is completed, it goes to live in /r/ToR_Archive, which hosts every transcribed post through our project! There is also a browser extension that pulls transcriptions to the top of comment sections.
What is Grafeas Group?
- Grafeas Group Ltd. is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that runs ToR. Grafeas handles the financial aspects of running this project and would be the umbrella over any other projects we get the opportunity to expand to in the future. ToR came first, but we quickly realized that this isn’t like any other subreddit, and we needed an organization to manage it.
I want a particular post transcribed. How can I get a volunteer to help me?
- You can make a post over in our sister subreddit, /r/DescriptionPlease.
I’m a moderator of a subreddit. How can we partner with you?
- Send us a modmail right here! We’d love to chat!
Do you transcribe sheet music?
- If you’re looking for music transcription, you’ll want to head over to /r/transcribe.
How do you choose your partners and posts?
- We choose our partners many ways - some reach out to us and ask to join the project, and others are suggested by a member of our community and we reach out to their mods. Once a subreddit is added as one of our partners, our trusty bot /u/transcribersofreddit selects posts that reach a certain upvote threshold within a set amount of time after being posted. That upvote threshold is individual to the partner sub based on their activity levels. This helps us estimate which posts will get the most attention, and therefore which would be the most useful to be transcribed.
Getting Started: Potential Volunteer FAQ
Why should I volunteer? What do I get?
- Internet points and the satisfaction that you helped make Reddit a more accessible place! You get a flair here in /r/TranscribersOfReddit that shows how many transcriptions you have completed, and you get a new flair color when you reach a new milestone like 50, 100, or 250 posts. Your transcriptions may also get you karma and awards, but that part’s not guaranteed.
How can I get started?
Follow the instructions below. You can also check out our other resources for getting started, like our Getting Started (video) tutorial, our Step by Step (text-based) tutorial and Transcription Checklist.
Find a post to transcribe! Pick a post in our queue with the flair
unclaimed.Comment “claim” to claim the post as your own.
Accept the Code of Conduct. On your first claim, our bot will automatically respond to you with a copy of our Code of Conduct. Read it carefully and then reply “I accept”.
Double-check the rules! Make sure the post you claimed doesn’t break the rules of the partner subreddit. For example, some subreddits ban personal information (PI) such as names or profile pictures in a post, but a rule-breaking post may find its way into the queue. If that happens, don’t transcribe it - report the post on our partner subreddit and on ToR, and then comment “unclaim.” Then you can go find a new post!
Time to work! Use the format guides to transcribe the content of the post. If you ever need advice, ask the mods or experienced transcribers in our Discord. NOTE: These templates have been tested using Reddit on PC and the official mobile app. They may not look the same on a third-party platform.
Let the world know you’ve finished your masterpiece! Put your transcribed work of art into the annals of history as a top-level comment on the partner post (i.e. the one in our partner subreddit, not the one in ToR). Once you’re done, come back to the ToR post and comment “done”. The post will be moved to /r/ToR_Archive and your user flair will update.
Get some feedback. After you complete your first post, a mod will be automatically summoned to give you feedback.
What’s up with all the Γ?
- Γ, or ‘gamma’, is the uppercase version of the first letter in the Greek word "γραφέας", which means “scribe.” The number before your Γ (ex. 1 Γ) represents how many transcriptions you have completed.
Help! I read all of the instructions but I’m still confused!
Don’t worry! There are plenty of ways you can get some help or advice.
Send us a modmail and a mod will come help you out.
We highly recommend joining our Discord, where there are always mods and experienced transcribers around to lend a hand.
What should I do with typos?
- Leave them as they are! We want to transcribe things exactly as we see them - we aren’t editors, we’re just copying from one medium to another. Doing any sort of change, even for the better, affects the message and delivery of the original content.
How should I respond to critical comments?
- Sometimes our work is met by less-than-friendly comments, usually when someone doesn’t understand the purpose of our project. You are never required or expected to respond to rude comments, but if you do want to, then our Code of Conduct asks that you maintain professionalism. Don’t resort to rude or snarky comments back. We have an in-depth guide to responding to criticism, including a sample response, here.
Can I transcribe posts that aren’t in the queue?
- We prefer that you don’t do this. We only work in subreddits where the mods have given us permission, because we know the community wants us there. Our mods work hard to keep good relationships with our partners. If you do really want to transcribe a post that isn’t in our queue - whether with a partner subreddit or one that doesn’t work with us - we ask that you do not use our official footer.
What if a post is removed on the partner subreddit, or breaks the partner’s rules?
- When in doubt, report! If the post is removed, you can report it on the ToR side. If it breaks the rules of the partner subreddit, you should report both on the partner sub and on ToR. Do not transcribe a post that breaks the rules - this will result in a warning from our moderators, and you may be banned by that partner’s mods. If you claim a post and then realize you can’t complete it for any reason, you can comment “unclaim” on the ToR post.
I’m not new, but I need help with a particular post!
- The best place to get help is from our Discord! There are always mods and experienced transcribers around to lend a hand. You can also send us a modmail and a mod will get back to you.