Adult Website Pornhub Sued Over Closed Captions

January 27, 2020

A New York man is suing Pornhub over the lack of closed captioning on videos.

Yaroslav Suris, who is deaf according to the court document, has filed a class action suit against the adult website operators on behalf of himself and others who are deaf or hard of hearing. The complaint states that the website has videos without closed captions, or with limited closed captions, and thus violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in regards to equal access to the goods and services of public accommodations.

"Defendant provides goods and services to the public through its Websites," the claim states. "However, due to barriers that make it difficult for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to use the Websites, the Plaintiff, and other deaf and hard of hearing individuals cannot understand the audio portion of videos on the Websites."

Captions present the audio portion of a video in text, synchronized with the video. "Closed" captions can be turned on and off. To optimize accessibility, captions should include not only the dialogue, but also text descriptions of background music or other sounds in order to provide the same level of information one would get from hearing the audio.

Creating accessible videos can drastically broaden their reach and usability. To learn more, read Checklist for Creating Accessible Videos.

In addition to Title III of the ADA, the complaint claims the lack of sufficient closed captioning violates the New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL), the New York State Civil Rights Laws, and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL).

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