Microblogging site Twitter is banning animated PNG (APNG) image file formats from its platform as there was an attack on Epilepsy Foundation’s account to send seizure-inducing similar animated images to epileptic and photo-sensitive individuals.
The company found a bug that lets people add multiple animated PNG images to a tweet and bypasses Twitter’s autoplay protections. Here’s what the company says in a tweet from the Twitter Accessibility handle:
We want everyone to have a safe experience on Twitter. APNGs were fun, but they don’t respect autoplay settings, so we’re removing the ability to add them to Tweets. This is for the safety of people with sensitivity to motion and flashing imagery, including those with epilepsy.
However, users can still add animated images to their tweets but only GIF image formats. As per Yahoo finance, Twitter clarified, APNG files weren’t used for exploiting the Epilepsy Foundation account but could be used in the future for the same.
Epilepsy Foundation’s Twitter account was attacked last month with trolls and hashtags. It’s not clear how many people may have been affected by this though the foundation has filed criminal complaints against accounts that they believed to have been involved.
Moreover, the company is working on to add alt-text to GIFs for making them more accessible to people depending on screen readers.