EnlargeAurich Lawson
reader comments 35
Share this story
For the second time this year, someone has apparently used Twitter to attack journalist Kurt Eichenwald by exploiting his epilepsy.
In October, he revealed in Newsweek that a Trump supporter had attempted to induce a seizure via Twitter with an epileptogenic cartoon.

Fortunately for Eichenwald, he was able to drop his iPad face-down in time.
Yesterday, someone evidently tried again.

According to a series of tweets from Eichenwald’s account, they succeeded this time.

Last night, for the second time, a deplorable aware I have epilepsy tweeted a strobe at me with the message “you deserve a seizure’ on it…
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 16, 2016

…it worked.

This is not going to happen again. My wife is terrified.
I am…disgusted.

All I will be tweeting for the next few days are…
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 16, 2016

Eichenwald says he’s determined to have the attacker—who used the handle @jew_goldstein and the pseudonym (((Ari Goldstein)))—identified via subpoena and mentions both criminal and civil law as ways of bringing them to justice.
During an epileptic seizure, certain brain cells called excitatory neurons start firing over and over again, something that other neurons usually prevent from happening.

Different types of epilepsy manifest differently; not everyone suffers from the “tonic-clonic” or “grand mal” seizure in which one loses consciousness and muscles start jerking. What type of epilepsy you have depends upon which region of your brain undergoes seizures.
Only some of those forms of epilepsy are photosensitive.

But for about three percent of unlucky individuals with epilepsy—Eichenwald presumably being one—strobing lights have the potential to trigger serious seizures.

The condition is more prevalent during youth, and not all flashing lights will reliably cause a seizure.

But flashing-lights-as-a-trigger have seeped into the public consciousness.

There was the infamous “banned” Pokémon cartoon, and Epileptogenesis was believed to be a problem for WipEout HD in 2008.
Around that same time, trolls with malicious intent started attacking the Epilepsy Foundation’s Web forums. Writing for Wired, Kevin Poulsen called it “possibly the first computer attack to inflict physical harm” and fingered Anonymous as the most likely culprits.

Leave a Reply