Twitter will hand over data on the user who sent a seizure-inducing tweet to a journalist

Someone tweeted a seizure-inducing animation at a Vanity Fair editor with epilepsy

Twitter will hand over data on the user who sent a seizure-inducing tweet to a journalist

So, sending an image to someone via a public messaging platform where heated public conversations and images are a staple of communicating, is being labeled as a "physical assault" and may result in criminal charges and civil suits?

Granted, it was a pretty d-move on the troll who sent it, but if a person has epilepsy so severe that they don't have time to look away from an image that might produce an epileptic seizure while staring at it, shouldn't they consider wearing special PSE polarized lenses or simply turn images off in their browser for that particular messaging platform, so they don't accidentally see something that can trigger an epileptic seizure? I've seen advertisements on all the major web portals that could give a person seizures without a doubt. I'm wondering just how far down the rabbit hole this particular claim will go...


What? You mean take responsibility for their own safety? That sounds like victim blaming to me!


Although, if the guy did it with the intent of causing a seizure then yeah, I think that can at least go on trial for assault.

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If there was intent then there is certainly a crime commited (and by the tweet it seems there was. It was not by mistake). If the whole process went though a legal procedure then handing out the data at this point actually makes sense. It is a kind of assault for sure.

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I think this would be an interesting topic to discuss for the Level 1 News show.

It would be interesting to learn more about the genesis of the Tweet-storm that led up to this. From what I have been able to find out about it, is that the exchange began over whether Hillary Clinton had seizures or not. Since the opposite troll's account has since been terminated, I haven't been able to see the entire exchange so far.

This lawsuit might just bring into public discussion the wide-spread implementation of auto-playing videos on social-media platforms, news sites and other websites (which have fast become the bane of the internet) along with animated images. What responsibility does Twitter own by hosting videos/images that auto-play by default? Shouldn't it be their legal responsibility to protect their users from physically harmful images/videos? Interesting questions to be answered...

Even Twitter itself, was taken to task last year as it posted advertisements on its platform which may have caused people to suffer photo-sensitive epileptic seizures:
Epilepsy charity criticises Twitter for flashing ads

These types of lawsuits might also eventually spill over into the video game arena, which is going to open up a whole family-size can of worms.

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That would be the logical solution.

That is an interesting question. Generally autoplay is a very bad aesthetic choice anyway. Only invasive ads are using it.
Enforcing autoplay to be off on browsers or websites unless chosen otherwise will give protection from seizures and probably also improve the quality of the browsing.

Games already have precautions and certain types of warnings against intense imagery when present. Also they cannot be enforced to you by mistake. You have to run the game. I cannot imagine any issue with that. What kind of worms are you thinking about?

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This reeks of 4chan to me.

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Entirely premeditated. They knew he had a condition and acted on it to generate a medical response, quite likely.

Would he get in trouble IRL for it if he busted out several strobe lights and surprised the journalist?

If yes then absolutely.

In some ways like this, we need to not differentiate between online and real life.

The games industry all ready has checks for this in the approval process for games, and on top of that there are warnings in every game anyway. If it dies spill over itnwill be for naught or total BS and politics will step in to protect the innocent helpless self harming individuals who seek out flashing images to call foul.

I think criminal charges are a little overboard, and makes little sense to me. People should try and take responsibility for their own safety in the best way that they can.

At the same time, sending things you know that will possibly mess with someone physically is terrible, but i dont believe punishable by pushing charges. That is a slippery slope, and who knows where else that kind of thing would go.

I deliberately cherry picked and cut short the quote.

So breaking someone's leg in the street as a random act if intentional violence is okay? Terrible but not legally punishable?

Since you deliberately cut off what i said and didnt care to look at context, ill explain here.

I'm talking about the internet, and social media in general. This is not real life we are talking about, it is the internet. Things should be handled differently.

But it crosses that line between purely digital and physical harm.

Granted the dude should have been far more careful about it. That is just wreckless self endangerment. I am do find it hard to see his plight but at the same time this was a directed attack with the intention of committing physical harm on another person. In that regard to me this is absolutely punishable by law.

No different than attacking someone in the street with the same stunt and a flashlight rigged to do this.

To put the meme spin on it this is Chuck Norris's round house kick over the internet.

Justa quick edit. I did read your post, I know what you are getting at. It was deliberate to take thebharm part in and leave the internet out as in this case the internet was only the method of deliverance. Like sending toxins through the post. Not the mail services fault and still causes damage. In this case sure itnis the internet but then outcome is the same.

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Thats true. That was a massive dick move

I guess the question here is where do we draw the line? anonymity seems to have stripped people of common sense, then things like these happen. Do we go after them with criminal charges? setting a precedent to tell people to cool it when it comes to harming others and possibly opening the door to harsh censorship later on? ( my tinfoil hat has attatched itself to my skull at this point)

Or do we just let it go, for the same kinds of people to catch on and seek out others who have photosensitive issues to get attacked regularly?

Makes my brain hurt.

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I look at it like this. Twitter is an open dialogue, like a town square or cocktail party. You can't expect to shout racial slurs in the middle of town then call out people for listening. Similarly you can't run up to someone you know is epileptic and shine a strobe light at them without expecting repercussions. I had a teacher back in high school who used to say "Your right to punch me ends at the start of my nose".

In any place where there is an implicit expectation of privacy, like email for example, it's totally different. It's against federal law to open another persons mail, and police need warrants to do it too. For email and SMS message the same should very much apply.

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It is not that complex...Here there is no issue of privacy or where you draw the line. It is very clear cut. This is not some random troll just insulting someone. The line are already drown in our legal systems. A deliberate act that causes physical harm to another that is not self-defense is assault.

If all that are claimed are true then

1) the act is known to be taken place.
2) it was done to physically hurt another individual and actually could cause physical harm.
3) It was deliberate and with full knowledge of what could happen.
4) The process for identifying the person that made the tweet was started by the victim
5) The victim followed all legal procedures to find the person´s identity to protect himself and any data got have been taken through legal means. It is not a random search without evidence of wrong doing.

It does not not open any issue of censorship or extra surveillance. The law already forbids such action no matter the medium. If i make a death threat towards somebody i will have the same consequences either if i tell him face to face, i send him a e-mail or if i just call him on the phone.


Exactly, it would be hard to prove that he knew about his condition and wasn't just randomly trolling.

Good I hope the little 14 year old cunt gets assblasted.

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