Back in December, John Rivello tweeted a picture to Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald with the text “you deserve a seizure for your posts.”
The image, a GIF of flashing lights, triggered an epileptic seizure in Eichenwald that lasted about 8 minutes. Rivello was arrested and charged with cyberstalking and, on Monday, his charges increased to assault with a deadly weapon.
Deadly weapon? Really?
Sounds ridiculous but there was a clear intention of harm and the possibility of death.
Bottom line, GIFs aren’t the enemy
As technology and consumption habits continue to change, take time to consider the implications and liability.
Virtual reality, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence. It’s all fun and games until, well, a joke turns into an epileptic seizure.
PS: While we’re on the subject, there’s a GIF at the bottom of this email.