Last week, journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who suffers from epilepsy, said a Twitter user tweeted a strobe-like image at him with the intent to induce a seizure. It worked, he claims. Now he says he’s working with law enforcement and Twitter to unmask the user’s identity.
Twitter agreed to an expedited order in our effort to locate the user who intentionally caused me to have a seizure. https://t.co/FOb0DGnyyw
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 20, 2016
A Twitter spokesman told me the company doesn’t comment on individual accounts or confirm investigations. The company has mechanisms by which authorities can request nonpublic information through a valid legal process such as a subpoena or court order. Twitter also releases transparency reports twice a year that show how many information requests it gets and how many it complies with.
Eichenwald’s case raises some interesting legal questions in terms of potential criminal liability. Can tweets be seen as literal weapons?