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Twitter Takes Heat From Epilepsy Charity For Flashing Vine Ads

Twitter Takes Heat From Epilepsy Charity For Flashing Vine Ads
[Photo: Flickr user thematthewknot]

Looks like Twitter may have to rethink the ad strategy for its #DiscoverMusic campaign: The social media platform was chided by U.K. charity Epilepsy Action on Friday for its use of flashing Vine ads.

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The looping videos, which were taken down by Twitter this morning, showed a series of flashing colors for six seconds, which the charity pointed out could trigger seizures in people suffering from epilepsy.

Epilepsy Action exec Simon Wigglesworth explained to the BBC the danger of such ads, particularly to those who have not yet been diagnosed:

“Eighty seven people are diagnosed with epilepsy every day and that first seizure can often come out of nowhere… For a huge corporation like Twitter to take that risk was irresponsible.”

Other folks on Twitter agreed with the charity’s assessment:

The BBC reports that one in every 3,500 people in the U.K. has photosensitive epilepsy. The Advertising Standards Authority–the U.K.’s ad regulator–told the BBC that advertising should never use elements that may negatively impact people with photosensitive epilepsy.

The real issue, it seems, is Twitter’s autoplay feature, which the company just rolled out last month. If you don’t disable it, the app will automatically play any video that shows up in your feed, be it a Vine, GIF, or native video.

[via The Guardian]

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