Elon Musk to keep Twitter light mode after backlash over X’s accessibility

Joel Loynds
Elon Musk pointing at X/Twitter logo

Elon Musk’s casual mention of removing light mode has been the focus of some users’ attention, as it could have spelled disaster for accessibility on X/Twitter.

Owner of Twitter, Elon Musk mentioned this week that he was planning to remove light mode from the app due to aesthetic purposes. This, however, brought up a lot of backlash from a key demographic on Twitter.

While Musk and X/Twitter now plan to keep light mode, they will be eliminating ‘dim mode’ instead.

Light mode, while not pleasing to look at during a late-night session of doom scrolling, has a reason for still being around. The various options allow for those either hard of sight, blind, or dyslexic users of Twitter to make better use of the app and website. This could be through screen readers, or for those hard of sight, being able to make out the screen thanks to the high contrast.

X rebranding continues as Musk sought to cull light mode

We spoke to W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, which provides guidelines for the entire web to utilize. While they couldn’t comment on a specific website or app, they did say that for general design purposes, it was best to provide as many options as possible:

“To meet the diverse needs of people with disabilities, websites and apps need to support people using text and background colors that work for their vision.

“Some studies show that light background with dark text is better for many users without visual disabilities. The [users] need customization.”

We also approached the UK Association for Accessible Formats, to which Roger Firman, the chair of the UKAAF responded. He said:

“If this means that all a partially sighted user might see is purely black, then it would seem difficult for them to distinguish foreground and background i.e. no color contrast.”

Firman also mentioned that Twitter used to have a team that handled these matters, but believes it could have been phased out in the layoffs.

Twitter cancels plans for removing light mode as accessibility put at risk

The X Logo on a black backgroudn with a pattern around it

We did try to approach Twitter for comment but had nothing at the time of writing. However, it appears since the appointment of CEO Linda Yaccarino, the poop emoji response has been removed.

On Twitter, the response to Musk’s further plans for the rebranding of Twitter was not met with a totally positive response. One user, who is paying for Twitter Blue, pointed out to Musk that dark mode could worsen astigmatism in some users. Others pointed out that dark mode can cause havoc with dyslexia.

A post on Uxcel explains that dark mode can make it harder for those with dyslexia could find it hard to decode words due to how the brain processes things.

While the plans to remove light mode have been canceled, the ongoing rebrand of Twitter to X remains ever-divisive.

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