Government told to confront tech giants about videos that trigger epileptic fits

23 September 2021, 11:34

A computer user
Laptop User Stock. Picture: PA

Epilepsy charity recently warned about ‘deliberate, hate-filled’ flashing images shared on social media.

The Government is being pushed by an MP to confront social media giants about potentially fatal videos designed to trigger epileptic fits.

Clare Pelham, chief executive of the Epilepsy Society, recently warned that epilepsy sufferers are “regularly” targeted on social media with flashing images, describing them as “deliberate, hate-filled crimes”.

Last week, she told the Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) that the charity has been forced to recruit a person dedicated to finding and reporting posts intended to cause fits.

In response to further evidence given to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, chair Julian Knight has written to new Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries urging the Government to take immediate action and not wait for it to be included in the Online Safety Bill.

Julian Knight
Julian Knight wrote to the Digital Secretary saying Government should not wait the Online Safety Bill to address the issue (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

“Sending a video designed to trigger an epileptic fit, carrying the potential to be fatal, is completely unacceptable,” Mr Knight said.

“The main platforms should not allow this to happen and and should be ordered to investigate a technical solution to ensure that people with epilepsy do not risk their health simply by opening a message online.

“We urge Secretary of State Nadine Dorries to hold social media companies to account on this matter – it should not have to await consideration in the Online Safety Bill.”

More than half a million people in the UK have epilepsy – around one in 100 people – according to the charity.

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Social media

Facebook owner Meta updates privacy policy

The Queen with her corgis

‘PJ the corgi’ Platinum Jubilee emoji unveiled on royal Twitter account

Tesla and SpaceX chief executive officer Elon Musk

Shares jump as Elon Musk revises Twitter financing plan

A child using a laptop

New digital platform launched to boost online safety lessons for children

Glastonbury Festival 2019

EE expects Glastonbury data usage to double at this year’s festival

Ford geofencing technology

Ford trials geofencing tech to automatically control vehicle speed

The Duomo in Milan on Google Street View

Google Street View’s ‘time travel’ feature comes to smartphones


Facebook and Instagram to reveal more on how ads target users

Mark Zuckerberg

Washington sues Mark Zuckerberg over Cambridge Analytica privacy breach

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones

More powerful cameras key to smartphone success, says Google manager

An underwater drone on a ship deck

Underwater drone carries out first-ever offshore wind farm inspection

Child uses laptop

Create watchdog to protect children online, charity says

Technology Stock

Dark web ‘scramble’ over Buffalo attack amid fears of post-pandemic attacks

Technology stock

Twitter users told to be wary of scam messages about verified accounts

Computer virus stock

Scientists create tool to kill cyber attacks in ‘less than a second’

Attorney General Suella Braverman

International law should be applied to cyberspace, Attorney General to say