Twitter stops some photos from animating to guard these with epilepsy

Twitter has introduced that it’ll not enable Animated PNG (APNG) recordsdata to be posted by customers so that folks with sensitivity to movement and flashing imagery can really feel extra assured when utilizing the service.

The choice comes simply days after the Epilepsy Basis revealed that its Twitter account had been the goal of an assault that used flashing photos in a bid to set off seizures.

Publicity to flashing lights and specific visible patterns may cause seizures in about 3% of these with epilepsy, in accordance with the Epilepsy Basis. “Photosensitive epilepsy,” because it’s identified, is extra widespread amongst youngsters and adolescents.

The flexibility to configure Twitter to stop movies and GIFs from autoplaying permits these with photosensitive epilepsy to guard themselves from flashing media, whether or not it’s been tweeted innocently or as a part of a malicious act. However Twitter Assist stated this week that APNG recordsdata are in a position to bypass Twitter’s autoplay settings, so it’s stopping them from being included in future posts.

Twitter stated it had made the choice “for the security of individuals with sensitivity to movement and flashing imagery, together with these with epilepsy.”

APNG recordsdata which were posted previously will stay in place, and PNG recordsdata will proceed to be allowed.

As most individuals use GIFs to submit animated photos, Twitter’s transfer to stop APNG posts on its platform ought to trigger minimal disruption amongst its group.

The Epilepsy Basis stated final week that it had filed a proper legal criticism in reference to the assault on its Twitter account. It’s not clear if the flashing media directed at its account triggered any seizures amongst those that seen it.

‘We would like folks to really feel secure’

Responding to the incident, a Twitter spokesperson informed Digital Tendencies: “We would like folks to really feel secure on our service. We offer folks on Twitter with the choice of stopping media from autoplaying of their timelines, in addition to stop any GIFs from showing when somebody searches for ‘seizure’ in GIF search.”

It added that each time it finds an account that’s devoted to inflicting offline hurt, it’s completely suspended.

Flashing photos on Twitter have been identified to trigger seizures in these with photosensitive epilepsy. In a high-profile case in 2016, for instance, Maryland resident John Rayne Rivello was accused of utilizing the microblogging platform to ship a flashing picture to American journalist and creator Kurt Eichenwald, which had the impact of triggering a seizure. Rivello is because of seem in courtroom in January 2020 when he’ll reportedly plead responsible to aggravated assault.

Need to flip off autoplay for movies and GIFs in Twitter? Faucet in your profile image, then on Settings and privateness. Subsequent, faucet Information utilization after which Video autoplay. Lastly, choose By no means.

Up to date on December 27, 2019: Clarified that APNGs can not be posted, whereas these posted earlier than the ban will stay in place.

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