When Image Description is Removed - Leave Empty Alt Tag


In regard to Web Accessibility (according to WCAG and Section 508) it would be nice if deleting an image description would still leave an empty/null alt tag on the image. Currently if you delete an image description it deletes the alt tag entirely and this causes accessibility errors when conducting audits.

Images used for presentation purposes should not have a description but they still should have an empty alt tag so WCAG audits do not show errors. Some websites have to pass these compliance tests regardless of whether it actually impacts the end user in a negative way.

Also, I know this is way off Surreal’s focus, but for a long term vision, maybe think about connecting APIs for web standards, SEO, accessibility and broken links. This would add a lot of value to Surreal. Or maybe something as simple as linking out to third-party checkers.


Empty attributes are removed as part of the cleanup process.

I’m not sure leaving an empty alt attribute in place qualifies as accessible, even if it does suppress the validator. Validators aren’t perfect, after all, and it really boils down to how a user with an assistive device will interpret the content. Does an empty alt attribute add any assistive value to a screen reader, for example?

I do agree, however, that we should focus on encouraging users — especially clients — to add proper descriptions and avoid this sort of thing altogether :slight_smile: