INTERNET

Why Netflix Lets You Subtitle All Your Shows In Comic Sans

It's the most mocked font on the Internet, but in reality it's one of the more readable fonts out there

INTERNET
Mar 03, 2017 at 11:25 AM ET

There are a lot of things people hate on the Internet, and one of them is the Comic Sans typeface. It’s considered visually displeasing and several memes have been made to poke fun of it, including one with a picture of a cute kitten in the prairie captioned, “every time you use comic sans, a kitten loses a testicle.”

While Comic Sans might appear to be childish or too informal — definitely don’t use it in a resume — it’s considered to be very helpful to people with dyslexia, which is why Netflix’s font change feature needs a bit more attention. The dyslexic community believes it’s one of the more readable fonts that’s widely available, according to the UK-based website Dyslexic.

Freelance writer Juan Buis recently shared a screen grab of the feature on Twitter, which shows how users can change the font style, size, color and shadow options of subtitles by going into “Subtitle Appearance” under account settings.

Netflix did not comment on Comic Sans being specifically available for users with dyslexia, but it said that it’s definitely not a new feature.

“Having a selectable casual font option for subtitles is actually an FCC requirement, and something we implemented several years ago,” a Netflix spokesperson told Vocativ.

The Federal Communications Commission made it a requirement for programing on live TV and on the Internet to enhance closed captions in order to make them more accessible to a variety of needs in 2014 with the  Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  The act required TV programming and content on streaming sites such as Netflix to allow users to change the color, opacity, font family and shadow.

So if you’re one in 10 Americans with dyslexia, you can take advantage of this tool. Otherwise, you can still mess around and maybe make some great Comic Sans memes.