In 2016, a troll intentionally tweeted a rapidly flashing GIF at essayist Kurt Eichenwald, who’s a known epileptic, to cause a seizure. It shockingly worked, showing how social media life can be weaponized and used to cause real mischief. Presently, the Epilepsy Foundation has uncovered that it endured a progression of comparable assaults on the stage.
The association, which has just documented conventional criminal complaints, said the aggressors purposely referenced it and utilized its hashtags in tweets with flashing or strobing light pictures. Far and away more terrible, it occurred during the National Epilepsy Awareness Month in November when more individuals with epilepsy were likely checking its feed.
Epilepsy Foundation chief medical and innovation officer Jacqueline French, M.D. said there aren’t many individuals experiencing photosensitive epilepsy, however, that assaults could have a genuine effect. “Many are not even aware they have photosensitivity until they have a seizure,” the doctor said. The association’s executive of legal advocacy, Allison Nichol, additionally clarified how grievous the assaults were, seeing as Twitter is one of the biggest virtual spots where individuals can gather on the web.
“These attacks are no different than a person carrying a strobe light into a convention of people with epilepsy and seizures, with the intention of inducing seizures and thereby causing significant harm to the participants,” Nichol said. “The fact that these attacks came during National Epilepsy Awareness Month only highlights their reprehensible nature.”
Twitter revealed to CNET that it is focused on making the stage feel more secure and that the site can keep media from autoplaying on clients’ timelines. The company also promised to put accounts “dedicated to causing offline harm” on permanent suspension. “We’re exploring additional options to help protect the people on Twitter from this type of abuse,” the spokesperson added.