Twitter takes down flashing ads after they were criticised by epilepsy charity.
Twitter has come under fire after posting two video ads that featured bright flashing colours, which could have put epilepsy sufferers at risk of a seizure.
The videos were posted to Vine and it wasn’t long before Twitter users began realising the potential risk.
UK charity Epilepsy Action brought the issue to the attention of Twitter in a tweet: “Your #DiscoveryMusic Vines are massively dangerous to people with photosensitive epilepsy. Please take them offline now.”
Twitter removed the videos on Friday morning.
Around one in 3,500 people in the UK has photosensitive epilepsy, according to Epilepsy Action. Seizures can be triggered by flashing lights and bold patterns.
An episode of Japanese cartoon Pokemon was famously blamed for triggering convulsions in 1997.
Epilepsy Action’s deputy chief executive, Simon Wigglesworth, said: “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.”
The Advertising Standards Authority told the BBC that “marketing communications”, even those uploaded on a company’s own website, should not include “visual effects or techniques that are likely to adversely affect members of the public with photosensitive epilepsy”.
It said both online and broadcast adverts in the UK had to adhere to rules made by the Committees of Advertising Practice.
Twitter’s flashing Vine videos were online for 18 hours before the company removed them.
Epilepsy Action said it was “pleased” that Twitter had replied to its messages and removed the posts.
Rachel Bremer, Twitter’s international communications director, thanked the charity for highlighting the issue.
“We appreciate your feedback,” she said on Twitter.