Buzzfeed and Metro have printed about the latest in a long line of subtitle errors, after the BBC mistakenly used the word ‘rape’ instead of rain during its weather forecast earlier this week. This wasn’t some sick joke, but a technological error.
The articles cover a number of similar past mistakes. Whilst sometimes these typos can be amusing, there is a serious issue too: deaf people rely on subtitling technology to receive information.
With live programmes, such as the weather forecast, we know it is difficult and errors occur. Nobody really thought that the weatherman was talking about rape at Glastonbury, after all. But more can and should be done when it comes to programmes that are filmed well in advance. Ian Noon, Head of Policy and Research at NDCS, has blogged more about this on Limping Chicken.
This is a frequent problem and one that creates yet another barrier for deaf people. Ofcom has started to look into this, but broadcasters must take responsibility for ensuring their work accessible to all.