WASHINGTON — The Epilepsy Foundation announced Monday that it has filed a formal criminal complaint with law enforcement after it says the organization’s Twitter feed was hacked.
The foundation says a series of attacks were “designed to trigger seizure(s)” and involved using the foundation’s Twitter account and hashtags to post GIFs and videos that had seizure inducing strobe lights and flashing lights. The organization says the hack happened during National Epilepsy Awareness Month, when the largest number of people with epilepsy and seizures are likely to follow and look at the foundation’s social media accounts.
Allison Nichol, the foundation’s director of legal advocacy said in a statement, “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 …the foundation is fully cooperating with law enforcement and intends to utilize all available avenues to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable.”
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, about 3 percent of people with epilepsy have have seizures triggered by exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities, and the CDC says they estimate that there are about 3.4 million people affected by epilepsy in the United States.