On social media such as Twitter, you’ll always see pictures that can trigger photosensitive seizures, including flashing GIFs. Stimulated by high contrast colors and flashing labels, it is easy to trigger discomfort in patients with photosensitive epilepsy. However, there are some vicious groups that attack specific targets by similar means. To that end, Jacqueline French, chief medical and innovation officer at the Epilepsy Prevention Foundation, called for action to stop the mafia.
(Screenshot via New Atlas)
Jacqueline French notes: “Light flashing in some intensity or visual way, or a seizure that results in a patient with luminescent epilepsy. Although this group of patients is small, the consequences can be quite severe. Many people don’t know they’re photosensitive until they’re experiencing it.”
Indignantly, in the first week of November, the Epilepsy Prevention Foundation’s Twitter account was targeted by a group of malicious attackers. Under the relevant hashtags published by the organization are filled with GIFs or videos with various flashing elements.
More than 30 separate Twitter accounts have been identified in a wave of malicious attacks during the National Epilepsy Awareness Month.
Although it is not clear how many people were victimized, the Epilepsy Prevention Foundation has formally initiated criminal proceedings. In order to trace the attackers involved in the operation, the Foundation has also actively cooperated with law enforcement agencies.
Allison Nichol, the group’s director of legal advocacy, said: “These attacks amount to a malicious purpose of putting people with epilepsy in a strobe-killing purpose, causing serious harm to others by inducing epilepsy.”
Given the fact that the attack took place during National Epilepsy Awareness Month, it highlights the reprehensible nature of the attackers. The Foundation is working with law enforcement and intends to use all available avenues to hold malicious attackers fully accountable.