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How to get the trickster voice on TikTok

2023-03-19 06:19:53

How to get the trickster voice on TikTok

So you want to use the trickster voice effect on TikTok? But maybe you've never used it or it's not showing up for you. Here's the good news: We can probably fix that.

How to get the trickster voice on TikTok(图1)

First things first. The first thing to try is to just...pull up your effects as you create a TikTok. And look for it there. But if you're reading this post that means you probably don't have it available. Here are some ways to troubleshoot.

Now first, let's say you want to use the trickster voice as a text-to-speech narrator. It's pretty simple. All you have to do is create a TikTok, then write out text using the normal text tool. Click the little face speaking, then scroll over to the trickster voice effect. It looks like this.

There's the text to voice icon. Credit: Screenshot: TikTok
There's the trickster voice effect icon. Credit: Screenshot: TikTok

Now lots of folks have posted online saying they haven't access to trickster and other voice effects. If you find yourself in that boat, the internet has come up with some solutions to fix it.

User samxnthx_(Opens in a new tab) walked people through the process of fixing the issue(Opens in a new tab) if they have an iPhone. They said to go to settings on your phone, go to storage, scroll down, then offload TikTok. Now a key point: Save any drafts of TikToks you want to post before this because it will delete your drafts. They said to wait about a half hour, download TikTok again, log in, and you should be all set with voice effects. Basically, this seems to be a hard reset to get the latest voice effects.

If you're having issues with the effect on Android, unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a good fix yet. But just hold out and usually these things get fixed with time.

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  • White House protesters were tear gassed because Trump wanted to create photo op

    White House protesters were tear gassed because Trump wanted to create photo op

    Protesters peacefully exercising their First Amendment right outside the White House were tear gassed on Monday. Why? So that Donald Trump — a former reality TV star — could have a made-for-TV moment of violence as he spoke to the nation. Oh, and so he could walk across the street and hold a bible in front of a church.


    The scene unfolded outside the White House shortly after 6:30 p.m. ET on Monday. What had been a peaceful protest in Lafayette Park descended into chaos as police officers turned violent and deployed tear gas and flash-bangs. A short time later Trump spoke to the nation(Opens in a new tab) from the Rose Garden, where he threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would allow him to use(Opens in a new tab) the U.S. military to stop riots and protests across the country.

    After speaking to the country — flash-bangs audible in the background — Trump and a few others, including Attorney General Bill Barr, walked across the street to take this photo in front of St. John's Church as he held the bible. A small fire was set(Opens in a new tab) at the historic church on Sunday evening amid widespread unrest in the city.

    Let me repeat: police took violent action against peaceful protesters so the President could stage a photo op. It has since been reported that Barr was the one who personally ordered law enforcement officials to push the protesters back.

    Demonstrators kneel in front of law enforcement during a protest in downtown Washington, DC. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Protests have broken out in dozens of cities across the country this week following the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes in Minneapolis. While many protests have been peaceful, some have turned violent and led to looting and destruction. Thousands of people have been arrested.

    While the President invoked George Floyd's name as an opportunity to visit the church, the scene that unfolded to get there was disturbing to those peacefully protesting and people watching from home.

    As the president was speaking, his son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted this now-deleted explanation for his father's bizarre decision to do all of this outside:

    Donald Trump Jr. tweet bunker Credit: Mashable screenshot

    Don Jr. is referring to the fact that Trump was taken to a secure bunker(Opens in a new tab) on Friday as angry protests took place outside the White House.

    So what did this hasty decision to crack down on protesters for show result in? Well the photos from outside the church seem to have had the opposite of the desired effect — making him look ghoulish and stiff.

    US President Donald Trump holds up a bible in front of St John's Episcopal church after walking across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump was due to make a televised address to the nation on Monday after days of anti-racism protests against police brutality that have erupted into violence. The White House announced that the president would make remarks imminently after he has been criticized for not publicly addressing in the crisis in recent days. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) / ALTERNATE CROP (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) Credit: AFP via Getty Images
    US President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside of St John's Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump was due to make a televised address to the nation on Monday after days of anti-racism protests against police brutality that have erupted into violence. The White House announced that the president would make remarks imminently after he has been criticized for not publicly addressing in the crisis in recent days. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) Credit: AFP via Getty Images

    If you'd like to help support protesters fighting for justice for George Floyd, here is a helpful resource.

    UPDATE: June 2, 2020, 4:15 p.m. EDT The Washington Post reports(Opens in a new tab) that Attorney General Bill Barr was the one who "personally ordered law enforcement officials" to push back protesters before Trump's speech on Monday.

  • Seth Rogen has a blunt method of tackling All Lives Matter commenters on Instagram

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    "If this is a remotely controversial statement to you, feel free to unfollow me."


    That was the caption Seth Rogen shared to his 8.5 million Instagram followers on Monday beneath an image of the Black Lives Matter(Opens in a new tab) slogan.

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    At the time of writing, his latest Instagram post supporting the Black Lives Matter movement has over 350,000 likes. It also has close to 50,000 comments. And while many of them are supportive, a number of people decided to take issue with the sentiment Rogen shared.

    SEE ALSO: How to demand justice for George Floyd and support Minneapolis protesters

    As you can probably guess from his responses, he wasn't all that bothered.

    Credit: instagram/sethrogen
    Credit: instagram/sethrogen

    The widely-criticised(Opens in a new tab) phrase "All Lives Matter" has been around for years, and it's often used to belittle discussion of racial injustice, especially after high-profile acts of police brutality, in response to people saying the phrase "Black Lives Matter." (Here's why people should stop saying it, explained nine different ways(Opens in a new tab)).

    Billie Eilish wasn't letting it slide last weekend, though, and now neither is Rogen.

    Credit: instagram/sethrogen/mashable composite

    The actor's responses have since gone viral on Twitter.

    It's a blunt way of responding, but it's an effective one at calling out those commenters.

    You can get educated on what it means to be anti-racist here, and find additional ways to demand justice for George Floyd and support protests here.

  • Grindr has removed its controversial ethnicity filters

    Grindr has removed its controversial ethnicity filters

    The killing of George Floyd by police officers has spurred not only protests across the United States, but also — often embarrassing — responses from brands.


    The queer dating app Grindr offered its own statement on Twitter(Opens in a new tab) and Instagram(Opens in a new tab) on Monday, coinciding with the first day of Pride Month. They will take action including not only donating to both BLM(Opens in a new tab) and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute(Opens in a new tab), but also by removing their ethnicity filters for their next app release:

    "We will continue to fight racism on Grindr," the statement said, "both through dialogue with our community and zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform."

    A Grindr spokesperson told Mashable that racism has no place in their community. "To help do our part, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from the Grindr app. Once the filter is removed, users will no longer be able to filter profiles by ethnicity," they said. "We thank all of those that have provided feedback. We listened and we will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech on our platform."

    Grindr launched in 2009 and has long had ethnicity filters(Opens in a new tab). Ethnicity filters on Grindr and other dating apps have proven to be controversial, with some claiming they were okay(Opens in a new tab) to use and many(Opens in a new tab) saying(Opens in a new tab) they're(Opens in a new tab) not(Opens in a new tab). In 2018 the app introduced their "Kindr Grindr"(Opens in a new tab) campaign in attempts to "encourage kindness," but the filters remained.

    This decision to remove the filters comes after days of protests across the nation in response to killing of George Floyd, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

    A Grindr spokesperson did not clarify why Grindr chose to remove the filters now, as opposed to in previous cases of police brutality against black people.

    As of now, the app's Help Center will walk you through how to use its various filters(Opens in a new tab). While the change may be reflected in the app on Monday, users may have to update to the most current version of the app for the change to show up.

  • The 49ers, Kaepernicks last NFL team, criticized for Blackout Tuesday post

    The 49ers, Kaepernicks last NFL team, criticized for Blackout Tuesday post

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    Folks were obviously pretty quick to point out the hypocrisy.

    Kaepernick, when he was in the NFL, started a high-profile peaceful protest against police brutality and the oppression of black people in America. He took a knee during the national anthem, which enraged certain subsets of Americans — most notably the president of the United States.

    Now the nation is embroiled in massive, widespread anti-racism protests after police in Minneapolis killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Blackout Tuesday, an initiative started by the music industry, involved people posting black squares on social media. The initiative immediately led to controversy over whether it was really useful. (Mashable has a guide here on how you can make an actually help, if you choose to participate.)

    SEE ALSO: How to demand justice for George Floyd and support Minneapolis protesters

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  • 11 racial justice documentaries to further your education

    11 racial justice documentaries to further your education

    As nationwide protests continue in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, the Black Lives Matter movement remains as important as ever and an invaluable resource to those in and outside of the Black community.


    For non-Black people, this is a time to listen, learn, donate, and activate. One way to do that is by seeking out the many films and series about civil unrest and racial inequality. 2020's protests and curfews are not new; they are the latest boiling over of systemic issues that date back to this country's creation and beyond.

    In order to make change, we must first understand how we got here. Here are 11 racial justice documentaries you can stream right now to learn more.

    1. LA ’92(Opens in a new tab)

    Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s 2017 documentary would be chilling enough without its 2020 context. It recounts the stories of Rodney King, who was brutally beaten by police officers, and Latasha Harlins, a teenager who was fatally shot in a convenience store. King’s attackers were found not guilty despite damning video evidence, and in the days after, fires, riots, and looting ravaged Los Angeles. The film frames the 1992 unrest with footage of the 1965 Watts riots, highlighting the disturbing parallels.

    Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

    2. 13th(Opens in a new tab)

    Ava DuVernay's searing documentary traces the origins of the prison system to the institution of slavery, which remains legal in the United States as punishment for a crime. The 13th amendment led to slavery's modern manifestation, in which Black Americans are imprisoned disproportionately, often for minor offenses.

    Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab) or YouTube(Opens in a new tab)

    3. 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets(Opens in a new tab)

    Marc Silver’s 2015 documentary recounts the 2012 death of teenager Jordan Davis, who was shot multiple times in a parking lot while listening to music with friends. His attacker was found guilty of first-degree murder, but only after a mistrial and extensive media coverage, which the film follows along with Davis’ friends, family, and trial proceedings.

    Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

    4. I Am Not Your Negro(Opens in a new tab)

    From the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter to representation in Hollywood, I Am Not Your Negro examines the modern Black experience in America through the last writings of James Baldwin and his correspondences with Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers.

    Where to watch: Amazon(Opens in a new tab)

    5. Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland(Opens in a new tab)

    When 28-year-old Sandra Bland was arrested for a traffic violation and subsequently found hanged in her jail cell days later, a two-year legal ordeal began. Filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner document the family’s battle with law enforcement while sharing Bland’s own video blogs and history of activism. Though her death was ruled a suicide, it remains surrounded by questions and the undeniable fact that it can’t be undone.

    Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

    6. Baltimore Rising(Opens in a new tab)

    The Wire’s Sonja Sohn documents protests and unrest in Baltimore after Freddie Gray died due to injuries sustained after an arrest. While the six officers who arrested Gray await a verdict, the eyes of the nation fall on Baltimore, where lines of division become clearer than ever.

    Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

    7. Whose Streets?(Opens in a new tab)

    Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis direct this 2017 documentary about the death of Michael Brown and subsequent uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. The officer who shot Brown was not indicted, and eventually cleared of all charges and ruled to have been acting in self defense.

    Where to watch: Hulu(Opens in a new tab)

    8. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality(Opens in a new tab)

    Director Peter Kunhardt spotlights Alabama attorney Bryan Stevenson (also the subject of Warner Bros.’ Just Mercy, streaming for free(Opens in a new tab) for the month of June), who has made it his life’s mission to highlight and combat racial inequality in the U.S. justice system. Stevenson regularly advocates for clients who are socially or economically disadvantaged or already unfairly affected by incarceration. In interviews, he himself outlines the United States’ history of racist legal inequality and his own efforts to challenge it.

    Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

    9. Time: The Kalief Browder Story(Opens in a new tab)

    This six-episode docuseries recounts how 16-year-old Kalief Browder was accused of stealing a backpack, but went on to spend three years in prison because his family couldn’t afford his bail and the system had no place for him. Browder spent two of his three years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime, and died by suicide two years after his release. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of the incarceration, from the system to the witness to Rikers itself to what life looked like for Browder after his release.

    Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

    10. Teach Us All(Opens in a new tab)

    Decades after the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, Sonia Lowman’s documentary covers how segregation, though illegal, persists in the American school system through demographic inequality, specifically in Little Rock, New York City, and Los Angeles.

    Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

    11. (Opens in a new tab)Strong Island(Opens in a new tab)

    Strong Island is director Yance Ford's examination of his own family and the murder of his brother William. William Ford was unarmed when he was shot by a white employee at an auto shop and dead before even reaching a hospital. His shooter was not indicted, and Ford's film examines the family's ongoing pain over 20 years after justice failed William.

    Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

  • Wyatt Cenacs police-focused Problem Areas is now streaming for free on YouTube

    Wyatt Cenacs police-focused Problem Areas is now streaming for free on YouTube

    The first season of the HBO show Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas is now available to watch for free on YouTube(Opens in a new tab).


    While Cenac brings a healthy dose of his comedic talents to this show, it's still a very serious series talking about very serious topics. The ten-episode season primarily tackles policing in America, from murders of people of color by law enforcement officers, to the infrastructures that facilitate these oft-repeated heartbreaking and rage-inducing instances of police brutality and abuse of power.

    As people are coming together to voice their dissent against countless injustices perpetrated by police forces of the United States and police forces around the world, Problem Areas is a great source of information about the realities of what's going on.

    Cenac talks to all kinds of sources across this poignant season of television, from community activists to politicians to police themselves. It gives a well-rounded look not only at specific issues like the murder of Philando Castile by a police officer in Minnesota, but also shows how these different perspectives feed into the conversations around these broader topics.

    The first episode of the show is a great entry point into the conversation, beginning with conversations around the murder of Castile and how police are trained.

    This is a moment in history where information and context are paramount to understanding these huge demonstrations and the systems that these demonstrators are up against. For those privileged enough to not experience these issues firsthand, or to feel like they don't need to give it their attention, this show may be a great, easily digestible starting point.

    You cannot watch Problem Areas and feel like you can ignore what's going on in the world. It begins with a list of headlines about police murdering black people for absolutely no reason other than a false perception of threat. Cenac points out that these things keep happening over and over and over.

    That first episode aired over two years ago. To see that we're still seeing this time and time again, that people continue to fear for their lives and lose their lives to police officers, that the streets are packed with people right now who won't let the police get away with their abuses, is to understand how these discussions about and illumination of these detrimental systems is still so important.

    The cliché would be to say that Problem Areas is more relevant than ever. The sad thing is it's not. It was just as relevant at the time it first aired. Its points were relevant long before it ever aired, long before Cenac was born. It continues to be relevant and will likely continue to be relevant long after we're all dead, unless the systems in place are ripped out from their roots and replaced with something else entirely that doesn't rely on violence, oppression, and racism to impact its communities.

  • How to blur peoples faces in protest photos — and why you should do it

    How to blur peoples faces in protest photos — and why you should do it

    With mass protests taking place across the United States and abroad, social media safety is more important than ever.


    Enormous crowds of people are gathering in cities around the country to protest racism and police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last week. Photos and videos of these protests serve the very important purpose of documenting these actions as well as exposing police mistreatment of protestors. Posting them publicly, however, comes with its own risks.

    For the safety of those involved, if you're going to take photos at protests, you should consider blurring or pixelating the faces of those protesting before sharing them with the world.

    Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make this happen.

    Why you should blur photos

    In a word: Retaliation. It's no secret that the federal government likes to surveil anti-racism protests through social media. The Intercept(Opens in a new tab) and Vice(Opens in a new tab) both reported on government monitoring of protest movements through social media after the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, respectively.

    Buzzfeed News(Opens in a new tab) reported Tuesday that the DEA has been granted authority to collect intelligence on protestors during this current wave of uprisings, too. This is all to say that anyone who shows up to a protest and has their face photographed is at risk of being tracked down by authorities if they feel so inclined.

    Since the entire point of these protests is to end the unjust treatment of minorities by police, and end systemic racism more generally, it stands to reason that you should do what you can to protect those you photograph. You can still demonstrate the enormity of the moment without putting people exercising their First Amendment rights in harm's way.

    How to blur photos

    The good news is this isn't so tough to do on your own, even if you aren't a Photoshop wizard. A cursory Google search reveals plenty of free websites that can do it automatically or give you the tools to do it manually in a hurry. Facepixelizer(Opens in a new tab) is just one I found that seems to work pretty well. Encrypted messaging app Signal is also adding a blur tool.

    The fine folks over at Motherboard(Opens in a new tab) recommended Image Scrubber(Opens in a new tab), developed by Everest Pipkin, for covering up faces in protest photos. Image Scrubber is great because, aside from letting you easily and manually blur out faces on either a computer or a phone, it scrubs metadata from photos, too. Photos you take contain hidden data such as the date, time, and potentially even location in which they were snapped. It's possible(Opens in a new tab) for someone to get that information if they really want it.

    Load a photo into Image Scrubber and the first thing it does is list this data in plain text form. It also gives you the option to nuke it from your scrubbed photo. To test it out, I put a photo of my family's cat Max into the tool. Here is Max staring blankly into the distance, generally unaware of the world around him, as usual.

    Max, unscrubbed. Credit: barb perry

    After about two seconds of painting over Max's face with Image Scrubber's Microsoft Paint-like tools, the cat can no longer be recognized. It doesn't look professional, but it doesn't have to.

    Max, scrubbed. Credit: alex perry / mashable

    It only takes a few seconds to rid a photo of valuable metadata and blur out a face. Given the intensity of police response to these protests after less than a week, it can't hurt to do this with any photos you plan on sharing on your social feeds.

    Even if everyone at a protest is acting well within their rights, they can still face retaliation. We've seen peaceful protestors get tear gassed(Opens in a new tab) for the sake of a presidential photo op just this week. It can't hurt to go the extra mile to protect strangers you photograph.

  • The Iraqi man who threw his shoes at George W. Bush is a Twitter hero for todays protesters

    The Iraqi man who threw his shoes at George W. Bush is a Twitter hero for todays protesters

    "Hope you know you're an actual icon and we love you," wrote Twitter user @StreaamLightsup to Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi. "This video is my daily dose of serotonin."


    The video was one many Americans know on sight — when al-Zaidi threw his shoes at former President Bush in 2008.

    @StreaamLightsup's tweet is just one of many praising al-Zaidi, who often issues charming responses of support. He's using the platform, where he has more than 56,000 followers, to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the protesters calling out police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

    The shoeing incident(Opens in a new tab), as it's referred to on Wikipedia, occurred at a press conference at Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's palace. The Iraq War had dragged on for five years at that point and ravaged the country. As al-Zaidi later explained in an op-ed in The Guardian(Opens in a new tab), his duties as a journalist required him to report on daily tragedies. He would enter ruined homes, hear the screams of orphans — and he pledged to seek vengeance.

    When he saw his opportunity to do so that day, he took it.

    "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog," al-Zaidi yelled as he threw the first show. "This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq," he added as he threw the second.

    Al-Zaidi spent nine months(Opens in a new tab) in jail for the act, where he said he was tortured. In his Guardian essay, al-Zaidi explained that he threw the shoe to defend his country. "When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people," al-Zaidi wrote.

    In the piece, al-Zaidi denied being a hero — but over a decade after "the shoe," his legacy as a hero has blossomed on social media. "Dude who threw the shoe at George W. Bush has done more for the betterment of America than most of its politicians and a huge segment of its actual populace," wrote another user on Twitter, @thankfulreact69(Opens in a new tab). "Absolute king shit."

    It's a sentiment many on social media share, especially after al-Zaidi publicly threw his support towards the current protests. Additionally, al-Zaidi has dedicated his freedom watch to Floyd.

    "We stand in solidarity with these protest[ers] because they are oppressed," said al-Zaidi in an interview with Mashable. He said he'd been aware of the protests since George Floyd's death, and knew they would escalate. "We in Iraq have suffered from American power and authority since the occupation of the US military in 2003 so all the support, sympathy, and solidarity with them."

    Not only are police inciting violence(Opens in a new tab) on peaceful protesters, but they're also targeting journalists(Opens in a new tab). As a journalist himself, al-Zaidi said he stands in solidarity with them, and that the police are violating their rights.

    He also said he knew from the beginning of Trump's presidency that he was spiteful of journalists. "Who[ever] hates journalists hates the truth," he said. "And Trump is the most untruthful person, so he is hostile to journalists because they convey the truth and he wants… the journalists to convey his lies."

    SEE ALSO: Facebook engineer resigns in protest of Zuckerberg's bankrupt morality

    Al-Zaidi pointed out that when protests erupted in Iraq(Opens in a new tab) last year, it didn't get nearly the same attention as the current U.S. protests. "In Iraq seven months ago we had demonstrations and more than 700 demonstrators were martyred by the Iraqi police without the world moving," he said.

    Regardless, al-Zaidi isn't hesitant to show his solidarity with demonstrators in the US and around the world. In fact, he sees his fame as a responsibility to do so. "Since people listen to your words," he said, "you must [show] solidarity with the people and the oppressed wherever they are. When there were demonstrations in America, solidarity with them [is] everywhere in the world."

    Al-Zaidi's advice to young protestors and activists is to keep peaceful demonstrations. "The peaceful weapon does not belong to the arrogant, dictatorial, and oppressive states of freedom," he said. "Instead, it has weapons, prisons, police, and media."

    Peaceful "weapons," al-Zaidi continued, are the best and longest-lasting weapons. "The authorities do not possess and do not want" these peaceful methods, he said, "so keep the peace as much as possible until your revolution triumphs."

  • K-pop fans are flooding QAnon hashtags with memes and fancams

    K-pop fans are flooding QAnon hashtags with memes and fancams

    K-pop stans are legion and cannot be stopped.


    Just about a week after overwhelming a Dallas police "snitch" app with memes and fancams, K-pop fans are now flooding QAnon hashtags with fancams, videos, and memes. It's beautiful.

    After the hacker group Anonymous called for spamming QAnon hashtags, K-pop stans rushed in to do their part.

    If you don't know anything about K-pop — Korean pop bands — just know they have massive amounts of fans who hold the power to make literally everything go viral. The most notable band is BTS, whom you must have heard of.

    But, in the wake of mass protests against racism and police brutality, those fans have channeled their power for good. They've done the nearly unthinkable: stopped tweeting about their faves to ensure Black Lives Matter hashtags rose to the top of trending. And again, they also spammed a Dallas police department app aimed at identifying protesters with such force that it took down the app.

    And if you don't know anything about QAnon. Well, bless your good fortune. But basically, it's a very (Opens in a new tab)powerful, pro-Trump(Opens in a new tab), absolutely bonkers, winding conspiracy theory — the seeds of which were planted by a Reddit user nicknamed Q — that the president is actually in control of a plan to up-end the so-called "deep state" and expose(Opens in a new tab) countless powerful pedophiles.

    If you search common QAnon hashtags on Twitter, like #qanon and #WWG1WGA — which stands for "where we go one, we go all" — there is some typical conspiracy nonsense but also lots and lots of K-pop stuff.

    It just goes to show you: QAnon might be a powerful online conspiracy, but K-pop stans are a powerful online force with the ability to overwhelm conversations and change the dialogue.

    Of course in the wrong hands, this sort of power can be really dangerous, considering it's the sort of tactic employed by Russian bots(Opens in a new tab) during the 2016 election cycle.

  • These moments from CNNs Sesame Street town hall on racism will give you hope

    These moments from CNNs Sesame Street town hall on racism will give you hope

    On Saturday morning, CNN hosted a joint town hall for kids and families with Sesame Street, called Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism(Opens in a new tab).


    Racism and police brutality are difficult subjects to broach with adults, let alone children. But given the global protests, these issues are — and should be — impossible to ignore. This goes for children, who see what's going on either through media or their parents. In order to adequately explain these complex issues, it's necessary to talk about them even if it's uncomfortable.

    But how do you talk to children about something as ugly as racism without ruining their innocence? Guests like Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?(Opens in a new tab), fielded questions like these from children, parents, and Sesame Street characters. Here are some of the highlights:

    Children may be wondering why people are out in the streets at all. Elmo's dad Louie explained that it's an effort to end racism:

    Eight-year-old Xavier said that his nana marched in the 1960s, and asked why we still need to "do this again and again." A lot of us adults wonder the same thing. Sesame Street cast members Roscoe Orman (as Gordon Robinson) and Sonia Manzano (as Maria) discussed the importance of protesting:

    Keedron Bryant, the 12-year-old who went viral for his powerful song "I Just Want to Live,"(Opens in a new tab) visited Sesame Street to discuss the song:

    Some moments of the special were heartbreaking, like 9-year-old Saniya asking what to do when she encountered racism:

    The finale was especially touching. CNN hosts Van Jones and Erica Hill along with Sesame Street characters pledged to do better. "We can do better, we must do better, we will do better," Jones, Hill, Big Bird, and Elmo said in union:

    The town hall didn't dive deep into these issues; there's only so much that can be said in an hour. Hopefully, though, there will be more town halls like this one — and more importantly, hopefully this encourages parents to have these difficult conversations with their children.

Random articles


  • Fans of girl group Twice can now visit their own digital world on Roblox

    Fans of girl group Twice can now visit their own digital world on Roblox

    Fans of South Korean girl group Twice have a new digital hang out in Roblox. In celebration of their new EP Ready to Be, which drops on Friday, the group has collaborated with the global gaming platform to create "Twice Square."

    The design takes strong inspiration from the group's "Yes or Yes" music video,(Opens in a new tab) replicating entire sections of the video's set, right down to the popcorn machine. Fans can collect plushies and buy Twice-inspired digital clothing and accessories. I snagged myself a white and pink sweat set, purple crown, and Twice light stick. Emotes inspired by the group's dance moves are also available.

    According to Billboard(Opens in a new tab), Twice members themselves will be making appearances in Twice Square, and a part of the map called "Twice Pier" has yet to open. (Its grand opening is slated for March 24, member Mina's birthday.)

    Credit: Roblox

    Visitors can write and pin notes for the Twice members, play an escape room mini game called "Set Me Free" (named after the group's forthcoming single), and try their hand at a trivia challenge. I tried the trivia game this morning and found it surprisingly difficult. Your avatar has to run its little butt between different colored answer squares in a matter of seconds. Even if you know the answer, it can be hard to get to the right square in time.

    Roblox is calling Twice Square its "first-ever persistent fan hub,"(Opens in a new tab) which just means that the world will be around for an extended period of time.

    Roblox previously collaborated with South Korean group NCT 127 on a temporary world and concert, and the gaming platform also hosted a Spotify activation called "K-Park" featuring artists Sunmi and Stray Kids.


  • The people have spoken: Vaxed and waxed is the summer 2021 motto

    The people have spoken: Vaxed and waxed is the summer 2021 motto

    Every summer needs a motto, and summer 2021's has officially arrived.


    In 2019 we said "Hot Girl Summer," in 2020 we said "stay home, wear masks, and social distance," and in 2021 — as fully vaccinated people plan to emerge from quarantine to safely reconnect with friends, family members, and beloved pre-coronavirus activities this summer — we're all but screaming "vaxed and waxed" from the rooftops.

    That's right, people. It's only April, but "vaxed and waxed" has already emerged as *the* saying of the summer. People are tweeting the phrase, sharing the news with group chats, and adding the disclaimer to their dating app bios to let everyone know that not only are they fully vaccinated and ready to have a "Shot Girl Summer," but they're also waxed and ready to return to the dating scene.

    Some may also associate "vaxed and waxed" with the "Snatched! Vaxed! or Waxed!" Saturday Night Live cold open from March 2021, which featured Maya Rudolph playing the host of a pandemic game show in which contestants tried to guess if spring breakers were — wait for it — snatched, vaxed, or waxed.

    Is "vaxed and waxed" a ridiculous, thirsty, slightly annoying saying? Certainly. But we've all been through a lot, and we're excited to be vaccinated and get back out there. So we can have this unhinged motto as a treat, don't you think?

    From adding rhymes like "ready to relax" to making saxophone jokes, here's an inspiring display of people celebrating their new vaxed and waxed statuses.

    If you're vaxed, waxed, or both, congrats. But please stay safe this summer, because the coronavirus still very much exists.

  • Samsungs making wellness weird with Watch 4 update

    Samsungs making wellness weird with Watch 4 update

    All eyes might be on Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, but the tech giant hasn’t forgotten about folks who wear its signature smartwatch every day.


    Samsung announced Monday that a new wellness-centric software update for the Galaxy Watch 4 will roll out on Feb. 9, the same day as the Galaxy Unpacked event where the company is expected to reveal the Galaxy S22 line of phones. There are a few new features to…unpack, but first up is the fact that Chris Hemsworth apparently has a fitness service called Centr(Opens in a new tab) that Galaxy Watch 4 owners will get a 30-day free trial to as part of this rollout.

    As for internal Watch 4 features, Samsung is adding the ability to set interval targets for runners and cyclists. In other words, people who favor that sort of exercise will be able to pre-set duration, distance, and the number of sets they plan on doing during a workout for more granular tracking. 

    That’s nice and convenient, but the real meat of the update is a new way to improve your sleep habits. The watch will study your sleep for seven days, ask you to complete a couple of surveys, and then assign you a sort of sleep personality type from a lineup of eight animals. They are as follows:

    • Unconcerned Lion

    • Sensitive Hedgehog

    • Nervous Penguin

    • Sun Averse Mole

    • Cautious Deer

    • Easygoing Walrus

    • Alligator on the Hunt

    • Exhausted Shark

    Once the Galaxy Watch 4 uses its sorting hat to give you a name that sounds like a Metal Gear Solid villain, it’ll kick off a wellness program that lasts several weeks and features things like meditations and checklists that should hopefully improve your sleep quality. 

    Beyond that, Samsung is bringing streaming via YouTube Music and Google Assistant features to Galaxy Watch 4 via separate updates “in the coming months.” There will also be new watch face colors and fonts, and new watch strap colors like cream and burgundy in case you aren’t happy with how your Galaxy Watch 4 looks. The straps will be sold separately, starting in late February.

    I don’t have a Galaxy Watch 4, but I gotta admit, having a watch give me a silly animal name based on my sleep habits is appealing. Personally, I like to think I’m an Unconcerned Lion, but in reality, I’m probably a Sensitive Hedgehog. Folks with Galaxy Watches will be able to find out for themselves in the very near future.

  • How to stay anonymous on LinkedIn

    How to stay anonymous on LinkedIn

    Yes, you can be anonymous on LinkedIn. Also, if you didn't know, other users may be able to see when you viewed their profile. Kinda creepy, right?


    But going anonymous is a perfect feature for checking out other profiles who may have reached out to you. Using this feature, LinkedIn won't let them know that you viewed them. And if anyone finds your profile while you're browsing LinkedIn as anonymous, they won't be able to see your profile picture or other personal information.

    SEE ALSO: The best Dyson vacuums: A guide to the latest versions of stick, ball, and handheld cleaners

    However, if you browse in private mode you also won't be able to see who has viewed your profile, unless you upgrade to Premium(Opens in a new tab).

    So how do you do you go full anonymous mode on LinkedIn? Follow these steps.

    1. Log in to your LinkedIn profile

    2. Find where it says "Me" at the very top and click the dropdown arrow

    Find "Me" at the top of the page Credit: linkedin

    3. Select "Settings & Privacy" under "Account"

    Select "Settings and privacy" in the dropdown menu Credit: linkedin

    4. In the menu on the left, select "Visibility"

    Select "Visibility" on the left Credit: linkedin

    These settings will allow you to have control over who can see your profile and personal info.

    5. Select "Profile viewing options"

    After clicking "Visibility" in the menu on the left, select your LinkedIn profile viewing options Credit: linkedin

    6. At the bottom, select "Private Mode"

    LinkedIn "Private Mode" setting Credit: linkedin

    You'll now only be seen as an "Anonymous LinkedIn Member." View other profiles without them knowing you viewed them. Your profile, along with your contact info, won't be visible to others.

    You can also select "Private Mode" in your "Story viewing options," which lets you view LinkedIn members' stories anonymously.

    There are plenty of other privacy settings you can adjust to limit your LinkedIn visibility without going completely anonymous. Choose who can see your connections, who can see your last name and email address, whether approved apps and partners can display information from your profile, and more.

    Obviously, visibility (and more specifically, discoverability) is a large part of being active on LinkedIn and networking with other professionals, but for those moments you want to be less visible, LinkedIn allows you to be.

  • 16 best tweets of the week, including Thicken Nugget, male fridge, and Pentagon Subway

    16 best tweets of the week, including Thicken Nugget, male fridge, and Pentagon Subway

    Look out: June is almost done. We're through another week in summertime, which seem to pass faster than weeks in other seasons but...oh well.


    We celebrate the week's end in a particular way around here: We collect good tweets. It's nice to have a laugh or two as the weekend kicks off. And this was an especially good week for funny tweets, thankfully.

    So, please, enjoy the 16 best tweets of the week.

    1. His head would absolutely blast off into outer space

    2. Thicken. Nugget.

    3. Every man has lived like this. Every last one.

    4. Beautiful observation

    5. What a beautiful few months we had, though

    6. ...It was only a kiss, right?

    7. From this point forward, I will be calling a hole a shovel's creation

    8. And what an important quest, to boot

    9. Frankly Fives Out must happen

    10. Oh no, oh no, no, no what do you do?

    11. Some things are just more important than developing a crush

    12. Good for this stepdad. Very wholesome.

    13. A beautiful tribute to a father

    14. I...I need this to happen

    15. Obligatory dril tweet

    16. And finally, this

  • New emoji for 2021 could include beans, orcs, and a melty face

    New emoji for 2021 could include beans, orcs, and a melty face

    Few things can bring fans of disco balls, pregnant people, and high fantasy enthusiasts together. Leave it to the emoji industrial complex to cross all those streams at once.


    Emojipedia(Opens in a new tab) took a look at the latest batch of potential emoji. They aren't finalized, so they could be changed or cut entirely by the Unicode Consortium before the September approval date, and they may look different on different platforms. But there are some good ones possibly on the way. Let's get to it.

    The new emoji we could be seeing in 2021. Credit: emojipedia

    The generic emoji smiley face has some new looks, such as a salute and a frankly kind of disturbing melting variant. As always, there are more hand gestures, such as firmly pointing, shaking hands, and even heart hands. A royalty emoji with a jeweled crown is joined by "Pregnant Man" and "Pregnant Person," added to "recognize that pregnancy is possible for some transgender men and non-binary people," per Emojipedia.

    Just like all other human-based emoji, they're available in several skin tones.

    It gets weirder the further down the list you go. I'm not quite sure why we need emoji for a bird's nest, water spilling out of a glass, a skeleton viewed through an X-ray, or beans, but someone will find those useful. The same goes for an orc emoji, which I personally hope makes the cut. You can never have too many orcs, even if the emoji is technically called "Troll." This isn't the place to get semantic about fantasy creatures so I'll let that slide.

    Again, some of these probably won't see the light of day and that will be disappointing. But cross your fingers and hope for the best, especially for the melting guy.

  • Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 13

    Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 13

    Quordle solutions don't always just click into place. Sometimes they clunk, into place. Sometimes, like today, they slowly creep into place. That's not a bad thing, but it does add a certain difficulty.


    If it's a little too challenging today, you've come to the right place for hints. There aren't just hints here, but the whole Quordle solution. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and there it is. But are you sure you need all four answers? Maybe you just need a strategy guide. Either way, scroll down, and you'll get what you need.

    What is Quordle?

    Quordle is a five-letter word guessing game similar to Wordle, except each guess applies letters to four words at the same time. You get nine guesses instead of six to correctly guess all four words. It looks like playing four Wordle games at the same time, and that is essentially what it is. But it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.

    Is Quordle harder than Wordle?

    Yes, though not diabolically so.

    Where did Quordle come from?

    Amid the Wordle boom of late 2021 and early 2022, when everyone was learning to love free, in-browser, once-a-day word guessing games, creator Freddie Meyer says he took inspiration from one of the first big Wordle variations, Dordle — the one where you essentially play two Wordles at once. He took things up a notch, and released Quordle on January 30(Opens in a new tab). Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian(Opens in a new tab) six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue(Opens in a new tab) from Patreon, where dedicated Quordle fans can donate to keep their favorite puzzle game running. 

    How is Quordle pronounced?

    “Kwordle.” It should rhyme with “Wordle,” and definitely should not be pronounced exactly like "curdle.”

    Is Quordle strategy different from Wordle?

    Yes and no.

    Your starting strategy should be the same as with Wordle. In fact, if you have a favorite Wordle opening word, there’s no reason to change that here. We suggest something rich in vowels, featuring common letters like C, R, and N. But you do you.

    After your first guess, however, you’ll notice things getting out of control if you play Quordle exactly like Wordle.

    What should I do in Quordle that I don’t do in Wordle?

    Solving a Wordle puzzle can famously come down to a series of single letter-change variations. If you’ve narrowed it down to “-IGHT,” you could guess “MIGHT” “NIGHT” “LIGHT” and “SIGHT” and one of those will probably be the solution — though this is also a famous way to end up losing in Wordle, particularly if you play on “hard mode.” In Quordle, however, this sort of single-letter winnowing is a deadly trap, and it hints at the important strategic difference between Wordle and Quordle: In Quordle, you can't afford to waste guesses unless you're eliminating as many letters as possible at all times. 

    Guessing a completely random word that you already know isn't the solution, just to eliminate three or four possible letters you haven’t tried yet, is thought of as a desperate, latch-ditch move in Wordle. In Quordle, however, it's a normal part of the player's strategic toolset.

    Is there a way to get the answer faster?

    In my experience Quordle can be a slow game, sometimes dragging out longer than it would take to play Wordle four times. But a sort of blunt-force guessing approach can speed things up. The following strategy also works with Wordle if you only want the solution, and don’t care about having the fewest possible guesses:

    Try starting with a series of words that puts all the vowels (including Y) on the board, along with some other common letters. We've had good luck with the three words: “NOTES,” “ACRID,” and “LUMPY.” YouTuber DougMansLand(Opens in a new tab) suggests four words: “CANOE,” “SKIRT,” “PLUMB,” and “FUDGY.”

    Most of the alphabet is now eliminated, and you’ll only have the ability to make one or two wrong guesses if you use this strategy. But in most cases you’ll have all the information you need to guess the remaining words without any wrong guesses.

    If strategy isn't helping, and you're still stumped, here are some hints:

    A semi-useful hint about today’s puzzle

    Synonyms for all four words are in the following very strange sentence (in no particular order):

    I’m decorating a vacation rental, so I need to know the cost of the brownish green colored wooden plank and the two intertwined ropes. 

    Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?

    One word contains a letter that occurs twice.

    Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?


    What do today’s Quordle words start with?

    W, O, P, and O.

    Any other hints before revealing the answer?

    One word is probably going to be unfamiliar, because it's rarely seen in normal use without the suffix -ing.

    What are the answers for today’s Quordle?

    Are you sure you want to know?

    There’s still time to turn back.

    OK, you asked for it. The answers are:

    1. WOVEN

    2. OLIVE

    3. PLANK

    4. OUTGO

  • BTS gives $1 million to Black Lives Matter and the BTS Army wants to match it

    BTS gives $1 million to Black Lives Matter and the BTS Army wants to match it

    We're all living through a difficult moment right now, and plenty of people are failing to meet it. Not BTS, though.


    The K-pop sensation and their record label, Big Hit Entertainment, have donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter(Opens in a new tab). A rep for the label confirmed the donation to Variety(Opens in a new tab) on Friday but had nothing else to say; BTS had already released a statement earlier in the week taking a firm stand in the name of peace.

    "We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together," the tweet reads in English, with Korean text (which translates(Opens in a new tab) to an almost identical statement) situated just above it. The tweet caps off with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag(Opens in a new tab).

    The BTS donation is one of many to have come from celebrities and public figures as protests have sprung up in the days since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd. The 46-year-old black man died when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, while three other officers looked on and, at times, helped to "restrain" Floyd.

    The utter injustice of Floyd's death, coupled with the video shot by an onlooker that captures every excruciating moment, has prompted what feels to many like a reckoning in the United States around racial inequality and police violence. Protests have sprung up all around the country, and the world as a whole, as people voice their demand for tangible change.

    The reach of the protests and the message they carry is reflected in charitable gestures like this one from BTS. But for the pop stars with one of the most wholesome fan communities on the internet, that support goes further.

    K-pop fans in general have stepped up in the midst of the protests, and the often racist responses that have proliferated on social media. In recent days, K-pop fans have taken action online in a variety of ways.

    SEE ALSO: How to find a protest near you to seek justice for George Floyd

    They've pulled back from boosting their faves (and related hashtags) to leave room for more relevant hashtags. They've also spammed police efforts on social media to hunt down protesters and filled QAnon hashtags with meme and fancam posts aimed at drowning out the racism and preposterous conspiracy theorizing.

    As you might imagine, BTS fans – known as the BTS Army – were on board with the group's decision to donate. In fact, fans launched their own effort to match the group's donation. (You can read more about that campaign right here(Opens in a new tab).)

  • How to add and easily switch between accounts on TikTok

    How to add and easily switch between accounts on TikTok

    Are you a Super Influencer who has multiple TikTok accounts? Or perhaps you're a creator who likes to keep multiple accounts for different kinds of content? Or maybe you let a friend sign into their account on your phone and now you need to be able to switch back?


    Whatever the reason, you're here because you need to switch from one TikTok account to another and you don't know how. Rest assured, there are a couple ways to do this using the "Switch account" page. They're both simple and should only take you seconds.

    If you want to add an account to your TikTok app that you'd like to be able to switch to, you'll see that option on the "Switch account" page, and we'll show you how to do that, as well.

    Adding and switching accounts

    1. Navigate to your profile page and tap your username at the top of the page.

    The dropdown menu will show you "Switch account page" displaying accounts you can switch between. If you'd like to add another TikTok account, this is where you can do that as well.

    Tap your username at the top to go to the "switch account" page. Credit: andy moser / tiktok

    2. Select the account you want to switch to.

    The red check notes which account you are currently logged into.

    Tap the TikTok account you want to switch to, or tap "Add account" to add another account. Credit: andy moser / tiktok

    3. If you want to add an account, you'll see that option at the bottom of the dropdown menu. Just tap "Add account" to create a new TikTok profile.

    After adding a new account, it will appear on this menu.

    Method 2

    1. Navigate to your profile page and click the menu button in the top right corner.

    The menu button looks like three horizontal bars in the top right corner of the screen Credit: andy moser / tiktok

    2. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the menu until you see the "Switch account" button.

    "Switch account" under "Login" at the bottom of the settings menu Credit: andy moser / tiktok

    3. Tap "Switch account" and make sure the account you want to switch to has the red checkmark next to it. The app will then switch you over to that account.

    4. To add an account, tap "Add account" at the bottom and sign in.

    Tap the TikTok account you want to switch to, or tap "Add account" to add another account. Credit: andy moser / tiktok

    That's it! A few easy steps and you're done.

    Now go manage those TikTok accounts, TikTok legend.

  • The 2022 Paralympics viewing experience will be the most accessible yet. Heres what that means.

    The 2022 Paralympics viewing experience will be the most accessible yet. Heres what that means.

    The Winter 2022 Paralympics in Beijing are set to be the "most inclusive(Opens in a new tab)" viewing experience in the Games' history, featuring enhanced tools for viewing live sports and engaging with Paralympic content online. And with the Games being aired in coveted primetime slots(Opens in a new tab), the accessibility of these events is especially important. But what does that entail for the viewers themselves?


    NBC, the official broadcaster of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the U.S., announced that it was enhancing its accessible viewing options in response to the success of the historic Tokyo Games in 2020, which featured the first full closed-captioning service for all digital live streams. This year's Games will now include 120 hours of television content, including three hours of primetime coverage, and even more changes to both its live and digital content.

    SEE ALSO: Channel 4 announces a Paralympics coverage team made up of only people with disabilities

    In line with international standards for web accessibility, the expanded Paralympic coverage includes upgrades to the NBC website, like enhanced contrast, increased compatibility with screen readers, and keyboard-only navigation (especially helpful for those with mobility concerns). These enhancements build on the official International Paralympic Committee (IPC)'s own goal of greater digital accessibility, especially for its video-based online content. 

    And live broadcasts offer even more changes that promote accessibility. One of the biggest additions to 2022 Paralympic viewers, first deployed during the Tokyo Summer Games last year, are expanded closed captions for both live primetime broadcasts and digital live streams through the NBC app and Paralympic website, making all sporting events navigable for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    For people who are blind or have low vision, NBC has added audio description services to all of its Paralympic coverage. The services, in which broadcast audio is "interspersed with skilled voices describing Olympic and Paralympic scenes and context" according to NBC, have been automatically added to the events, including the opening and closing ceremonies scheduled to air on NBC's USA Network. When scrolling through videos and event highlights found on the NBC website and app, look for "(AD)" after the event title, or find "with audio description" in the video's summary. For cable television, audio descriptions can be turned on through your TV's Secondary Audio Program (SAP) settings, which can usually be found under "Audio" or "Closed Captions" in the Settings menu.

    You can also find a list of all events with audio descriptions, as well as access audio-described replays, here(Opens in a new tab)

    The NBC Sports app also includes accessibility descriptions on video highlights and previous coverage. Credit: Screenshot / NBC

    Beyond the live viewing experience offered on NBC, the official Paralympic website (Opens in a new tab)— which doesn't air live broadcasts but offers other features like event schedules, medal counts, replays, and featured video content about the Games — has integrated a fleet of accessible features into its user experience. 

    Using a built-in widget (the small blue circle in the upper right corner of the page), page visitors can change the website's text size, screen contrast, and color, and even switch the page font to two different typefaces that are easier for people with dyslexia to read. You can pause all automatic-playing animations, highlight all clickable links, and make other text format changes, like line spacing, all in one place. The widget also includes a built-in screen reader with adjustable speeds, as well as reading guides and highlighting tools for those who have cognitive or visual disabilities. 

    The immense variety of digital tools added in order to expand an already impressive international event for athletes with disabilities is especially important for former competitors. 

    "When I participated in the Olympic Games… the world then was not fixed at all. It was not accessible to people with wheelchairs," reflected Yossi Wengier, an early Paralympic swimmer and medalist. "The problem now is for people with the kinds of disabilities that make the Internet killer, like blind people or people with cognitive [disabilities]. And I'm not only talking about sports, I'm thinking about everything... There are 1.2 billion(Opens in a new tab) disabled people around the world," Wengier explains. For the last 10 years, Wengier has worked with activists in the disability movement and tech companies, including those behind the Paralympic's tech features, to advocate for expanded digital accessibility. Seeing the amount of accessible online tools made available during the Tokyo and Beijing Paralympic Games made him emotional. "That is the future," he said.

    According to UserWay(Opens in a new tab), the digital tech company behind the Paralympic Games' integrated accessibility widget, the website is setting a standard for accessible user design — a fact that shouldn't come as a surprise for an event predicated on advancing the representation of athletes (and people) with disabilities. "When the Paralympics say they're the most accessible ever, it's partially because the technology is the most advanced ever," explained Lionel Wolberger, chief operating officer of UserWay. "One in five people have a disability that needs assistance or remediation... clearly the Paralympics organization took it upon themselves to really make this a priority."

    The official Paralympic site lets visitors customize the page to their own needs. Credit: International Paralympic Committee / UserWay
    The top-used accessibility tools from the UserWay widget include increased text size, the screen reader, contrast settings, text spacing, and the option to pause automatic animations on the site. Credit: UserWay

    UserWay's human-side widget(Opens in a new tab) allows any site visitor to customize the page to their own needs without the need of third-party tech or browser add-ons, and, with its intense accessibility, the website can act as a bridge for viewers with disabilities to find more Paralympic content, athletes, and accessibility resources elsewhere. The possibilities for customization, and engagement, are really endless.

    The widget's site features are also paired with original IPC content made explicitly for viewers with disabilities, like athlete interviews with onscreen sign language interpreters and sport highlights with audio descriptions. 

    Wolberger says that the IPC — along with commitments from major players like NBC — is a model for how other organizations can promote representation and access. And he says there needs to be active engagement from viewers and visitors of the Paralympic and NBC sites in order to encourage companies, sponsors, and institutions like these to continue expanding these kinds of accessibility offerings. "Awareness is a big driver across our industry," Wolberger explains. It's a conversation that keeps picking up momentum every year, according to UserWay — not only because it's an important cause, but because many now have zero tolerance for companies and organizations that refuse to make their work accessible.

    The additions to the 2022 Games are not only beneficial to athletes and viewers with disabilities, they can also help just about everyone who uses the site, streaming services, or live broadcasts, Wolberger says. Closed captioning is useful for anyone with audio or visual processing concerns and people with ADHD, or even just those who need to multitask while following along with their favorite athletes. And tools like slower screen readers or fonts that aid those with dyslexia can make navigating busy websites more manageable for all of us. It's in everyone's favor to continue advocating for more accessible features on major sites like these, and across the internet.

    While the 2022 Paralympic Games gets ready to display the awe-inspiring talent of hundreds of athletes with disabilities, what's just as important is that the communities being represented on the slope and the screen are able to engage with the Games in easy, accessible ways. With primetime coverage and new features, it seems like the 2022 Games are just the beginning of this expanded access.

    The 2022 Paralympic Games can be watched on NBC, Peacock(Opens in a new tab), USA Network, the Olympic Channel, in a new tab), and the NBC Sports App(Opens in a new tab).