There was a point where I naïvely assumed that I would never have to experience a chaotic or hijacked Twitter Space, but I soon realised that I thought wrong. K-pop stans had been given speaker access and decided to blast some audio or a song into the Space, making it a nightmare for me, as a deaf user, to process what was going on. It’s one thing concentrating on one speaker normally in a Twitter Space (especially if automatic captions aren’t available), and it’s another attempting to comprehend what’s being said over the sounds of some loud and distorted pop music.
But deaf and neurodivergent users can, at last, rejoice, as Twitter Spaces has now given hosts the ability to mute select speakers, as well as speakers as a whole, leaving just the host able to speak. It sure is a useful option, eliminating the risk of ‘crosstalk’ which can make conversations difficult. It’s not known, however, if muted speakers will be able to ‘unmute’ themselves, or whether that power lies only with the host.
But in addition to hosts being able to mute for themselves, an ideal scenario would be one where listeners could do the same, perhaps for their own individual experience. Logistically, that’ll probably come with some challenges, but I’d be quite open to the idea of muting the background noise from Speaker A so I can hear Speaker B, without affecting the listening experience for everyone else tuning in.
The team at Twitter previously said
that Spaces would launch for all users in April, and yet on the last date of the month, there’s no indication that the feature has been made available to everyone.
Whenever that day comes, it must be accessible to disabled users.