The Epilepsy Foundation which is a US charity said that someone used twitter to target people with Epilepsy and Twitter.
According to the US charity. The Epilepsy Foundation’s own Twitter handle and hashtags were used to target to target people by posting gifs and videos or flashing and strobing lights. According to the charity, this was deliberately done during the National Epilepsy Awareness month when the most people with epilepsy were likely to use the charity’s twitter handle and hashtags.
The foundation said that it has launched an investigation into the matter filing formal criminal complaints with authorities.
The chief medical innovation officer of the Epilepsy Foundation and professor of Neurology at NYU Langone Health’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Jacqueline French said:
Flashing lights at certain intensities or certain visual patterns can trigger seizures in those with photosensitive epilepsy,
While the population of those with photosensitive epilepsy is small, the impact can be quite serious. Many are not even aware they have photo-sensitivity until they have a seizure.
The legal advocate for the foundation, Allison Nichol said:
Twitter is one of the largest places of public gathering that exists today,
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.
The fact that these attacks came during National Epilepsy Awareness Month only highlights their reprehensible nature.
The foundation is fully cooperating with law enforcement and intends to utilise all available avenues to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable.
These attacks especially make those people susceptible that have photo-sensitive epilepsy that means that flashing lights such as this can trigger seizures and cause harm.
The people working for foundations like this including the Epilepsy Society in UK, always push for regulations to be put in place for TV programs and even social media companies to display warnings for this type of content.
Clare Pelham, the Cheif Executive of the Epilepsy Society was noted saying:
When it comes to deliberately targeting people with epilepsy with the intention of causing a seizure, we need to call that behaviour what it is - a pre-meditated and pre-planned intention to assault,” said chief executive Clare Pelham said.
The government must bring this behaviour within the reach of the criminal law.
However, the Epilepsy Society did say that newer smartphones although are less likely to cause such seizures compared to old lower refresh rate screen but they however can cause them in some cases.
According to the World Health Organization, Epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder in the world and can happen to anyone of any age or race. It is estimated that around 3.4 million people in the US alone are affected by Epilepsy.