For currently unknown reasons, several internet griefers decided to screw with epileptics last weekend by posting flashing and multicolored images in a support forum run by the nonprofit Epilepsy Foundation. About three percent of epileptics are photosensitive, which means that the flashing lights and colors can trigger migraines or seizures. Way to go, assholes.
Monitors of the Epilepsy Foundation's board responded quickly and managed to take down all the offending posts about 12 hours after the attacks began. Though the foundation reports that nobody was killed by the prank, a handful of people were adversely effected. It's like Snow Crash with fewer katanas and more 15-year-old kids who need to be pummeled in the face. Where's Hiro when we need him?
RyAnne Fultz, a 33-year-old IT worker in Ohio, clicked on a forum post that caused her screen to suddenly be overtaken by a pattern of various colored squares flashing rapidly. The assault made her "lock up," she said.
"I don't fall over and convulse, but it hurts," she told Wired. "I was on the phone when it happened, but I couldn't move and couldn't speak."
Very circumstantial evidence points to Anonymous, the infamous hacker clan with a grudge against the Church of Scientology. But, even with my limited knowledge of the hacking world, they don't sound like the right culprit to me. Though various members of Anonymous are pricks, they're also sanctimonious pricks. I've never head of them doing anything without loudly attaching a cause to it first. [Wired]