RyAnne Fultz, a 33-year-old woman who suffers from pattern-sensitive epilepsy, says she clicked on a forum post with a legitimate-sounding title on Sunday. Her browser window resized to fill her screen, which was then taken over by a pattern of squares rapidly flashing in different colors.Link
Fultz says she "locked up."
"I don't fall over and convulse, but it hurts," says Fultz, an IT worker in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. "I was on the phone when it happened, and I couldn't move and couldn't speak."
After about 10 seconds, Fultz's 11-year-old son came over and drew her gaze away from the computer, then killed the browser process, she says.
"Everyone who logged on, it affected to some extent, whether by causing headaches or seizures," says Browen Mead, a 24-year-old epilepsy patient in Maine who says she suffered a daylong migraine after examining several of the offending posts. She'd lingered too long on the pages trying to determine who was responsible.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.