TikTok has introduced a feature that will alert users with epilepsy of potentially dangerous photosensitive content. The feature will allow users to skip videos that could trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.
The app already warns creators if their uploads contain effects such as flashing lights or various patterns that could trigger seizures. Now, users will also be able to skip over such videos. TikTok still allows users to upload the videos, but they will be prefaced with a warning screen.
Users also have the option of using the “skip all” function to avoid seeing any videos that are deemed potential triggers.
The epilepsy foundation confirmed that the condition affects about 65 million worldwide.
Social media platforms including YouTube and Facebook have been challenged to give warnings for content with potential triggers, although the task has always been left with the video creators.
“While the population of those with photosensitive epilepsy is small, the impact can be quite serious,” says Laura Thrall, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation.
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“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.”
The foundation adds that it is important for people to be able to control waht they see, especially on social media. Video content that have flashing lights and colors can easily trigger seizures, especially in social media platforms like TikTok that use Algorithms to push content to users.