TikTok adds a new feature for people with photosensitive epilepsy

TikTok is rolling out a new feature developed for people with photosensitive epilepsy. This feature warns users that there are elements that will trigger seizures in videos encountered while browsing on TikTok, with a “Skip All” option. Thanks to this feature, an epilepsy patient can hide all of the videos that will trigger their seizure. 

Let’s say a TikTok video has flashing lights or certain visual patterns. Until now, users could only see these items while watching the video. However, thanks to the new feature, TikTok will determine whether the videos are risky or not. In this way, the user will be prevented from seizures. 

TikTok’s new feature will work on demand so once a user learns that the video has elements to trigger the seizure, they can watch the video or have both this and such videos hidden. With this new feature, viewers who come across a photosensitive video will receive a notification inviting them to “Skip All” future photosensitive videos.

TikTok developers state that the feature can be used according to the preferences of the users. The feature, which is currently available in some locations, will be available to TikTok users around the world in the coming weeks.

“TikTok is working with a number of leading epilepsy organizations in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and South Korea, including the Epilepsy Foundation, Epilepsy Toronto, Epilepsy Society, Epilepsy Ireland, Korea Bureau for Epilepsy and the Japan Epilepsy Association, to spread the word about the new feature and bring awareness to epilepsy in general.”

According to reports, there are 65 million epilepsy patients worldwide, and social media is full of surprises for people suffering from this disease. TikTok is trying to make sure that these surprises disappear thanks to its new feature. Epilepsy associations say this kind of feature should be on all social media platforms because some trolls deliberately post seizure-triggering videos. In addition, social media phenomena are also asked to support this issue, but most of the phenomena around the world are not even aware of what epilepsy is.

“For people with photosensitive epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities or to certain visual patterns can trigger seizures. While the population of those with photosensitive epilepsy is small, the impact can be quite serious. It is great to see TikTok addressing this issue by making changes to their platform so that people in our epilepsy community can feel protected when viewing content on TikTok. We are proud to have worked with TikTok on this initiative and truly appreciate our continued collaboration.” – Laura Thrall, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation

Written by Maya Robertson

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