Trump supporter 'sent strobe tweet that gave epileptic journalist seizure'


An arrest has been made in the case of a journalist that suffered a seizure after receiving a flashing GIF Dallas-based journalist, Kurt Eichenwald tweeted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had arrested the man that send the seizure-inducing GIF.

John Rayne Rivello was arrested at his home in Salisbury, Maryland on federal charges of cyberstalking which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, The New York Times reported. He has been charged with cyberstalking from the December 15 incident.

Rivello's Twitter account allegedly included direct messages to other users about Eichenwald, that said statements such as, "I hope this sends him into a seizure", "Spammed this at (victim) let's see if he dies", and "I know he has epilepsy", stated in the allegations on the affidavit that had been unsealed on Friday.

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

Since the attack, Eichenwald said, 40 more accounts have sent him strobe lights. Soon after the appearance, Eichenwald, who suffers from epilepsy, received a number of Twitter messages that were created to induce a seizure, and one of those messages achieved its goal.

Rivello's icloud account contained a screenshot of Mr Eichenwald's Wikipedia page which had been doctored to show a fake obituary with the date of death listed as 16 December 2016 - the day after the strobe image was sent.

That evening, Eichenwald received a tweet from pseudo-anonymous Twitter user jew_goldstein that contained a strobing image and the words: "You deserve a seizure". Lieberman says they have not ruled out any additional action against the individual responsible for for sending the tweet, including the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit. "Stop sending them", Eichenwald tweeted Friday. It's what's called epileptogenic-something that triggers seizures. It landed face down on the bathroom floor.

Lieberman said that this tweet wasn't an effort to curb free speech, equating it to sending an envelope of Anthrax spores or a bomb to someone.

But they warned that photo-sensitivity and its relation to epilepsy is not very well understood. The flashing tweet gave the journalist a seizure.

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