Twitter disables APNG motion picture format to protect photosensitive epilepsy patients

During last month’s epilepsy awareness month, a number of ulterior Twitter accounts launched graphic attacks on the social platform that could induce photosensitive epilepsy. The Unbearable Epilepsy Prevention Foundation has filed legal lawsuits against multiple accounts. In response, Twitter decided to remove support for some image formats. However, a recent LYNG vulnerability led some people to add multiple animated images to their tweets and use file formats to bypass Twitter’s autoplay protection.

Twitter disables APNG motion picture format to protect photosensitive epilepsy patients

(Screenshot via Yahoo Finance)

“This bug, discovered recently, allows users to add multiple APNG motion shots to their tweets and bypass existing security mechanisms or impact app and device performance,” the Twitter support team tweeted.

The good news is that Twitter closed the loophole today, and the platform no longer allows APNG-format images to be embedded in the tweet. But the images, which have been released so far, will not be cleaned up, and the future Twitter team will consider a better solution.

Twitter disables APNG motion picture format to protect photosensitive epilepsy patients

It’s important to note that users can still add animated images when they post Twitter, but the format is limited to GIFs. Since most people use GIF-based editing tools, disabling APNG format support is not very impactful.

To compensate for this loss, Twitter says it is working to provide alternative text added to the GIF, making it easier for users of screen-reading to navigate the Internet.

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