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Arrest after GIF sent on Twitter causes a seizure in journalist

Arrest after GIF sent on Twitter causes a seizure in journalist

A Maryland man has been arrested on a federal cyberstalking charge of sending a Dallas-based magazine reporter an image on Twitter meant to trigger an epileptic seizure.

A Maryland man was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and charged with cyberstalking Friday after sending a tweet to a Texas journalist meant to induce a seizure.

Prosecutors say evidence found in a search warrant executed on Rivello's Twitter account showed direct messages regarding both the act and the victim, and noting an awareness Eichenwald has epilepsy.

It's believed Eichenwald was targeted for his criticism of then-President-elect Donald Trump.

"More than 40 ppl sent strobes once they found out they could trigger seizures", he continued.

In October, Eichenwald wrote that one of Trump's supporters with the Twitter handle "Mike's Deplorable AF" sent him a tweet that included a seizure-inducing video. Vocativ spoke with a lawyer, Keith Lee, who said that it may seem odd, but a criminal case for assault could be made against @jew_goldstein - even if Eichenwald did not have a seizure after all.




It is his understanding that the man arrested was responsible for sending a strobe light.gif to Eichenwald over twitter and that.gif caused Eichenwald to suffer a seizure on December 15, 2016 at around 10:15 PM CST. It's what's called epileptogenic-something that triggers seizures. Additional information will be released later Friday, she said.

Eichenwald stated that the images had triggered an epileptic seizure, and he hoped to investigate and identify whoever sent it to him.

Steven Lieberman, Eichenwald's attorney, compared the online attack to someone sending a bomb or anthrax in the mail. And about a decade ago, hackers descended on an epilepsy-support message board with flashing animations and triggered headaches and seizures in some users.

"It wasn't the content of the communication that was meant to persuade somebody or make them feel badly about themselves", Lieberman told Newsweek.

In an interview with Good Morning America, Eichenwald said other Twitter users followed suit, sending him strobing GIFs. Eichenwald dropped the case because he said he had figured out, without the court's help, who had sent him the tweet.

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