What we are seeking:
That the Bill specifically protects people with photosensitive epilepsy from the malicious dissemination of flashing images and videos that are intended to provoke a seizure. As such, the definition of “harmful content” needs to be expanded to include the dissemination of material which is itself designed to cause direct harm.
From the outset, we would like to acknowledge that this is thankfully not an issue which has appeared to be overly prevalent in Ireland however, we feel it is important to address this within the context of the above bill which aims to make our online environment safer. We welcome that the Oireachtas Committee on Media are currently reviewing our points on this matter however we have made all members of the Oireachtas aware of this issue. Our concerns come from situations which have arisen in other countries whereby people with epilepsy have been deliberately targeted with flashing images or videos on social media to try and induce a seizure. The possible impact that this could have on that person cannot be underestimated. Seizures can be life threatening in cases so this bill must acknowledge the serious nature of targeting a person with photosensitive content to help ensure that this issue does not rear its head in Ireland and that a person with photosensitive epilepsy is safe online.