Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests man for allegedly sending seizure-causing Tweet to Dallas journalist

Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests man for allegedly sending seizure-causing Tweet to Dallas journalist

John Rivello was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at his Maryland home on Friday, according to Newsweek, where Eichenwald is a senior writer.

The incident occurred back in December, after Newsweek senior writer Kurt Eichenwald made an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Investigators found that Mr Rivello had sent messages to other Twitter users about Mr Eichenwald and a plan to attack him virtually, including one that read: "I hope this sends him into a seizure".

Reporter Kurt Eichenwald of Dallas, Texas, previously criticized then-President-elect Donald Trump. On Friday, Eichenwald said that more than 40 people sent him strobes once they found out that they could trigger seizures.

Eichenwald, who has contributed to Vanity Fair and Newsweek, has written openly about his epilepsy. The Justice Department said that after viewing the strobe image, the victim "immediately suffered a seizure".

"Last night, for the second time, a deplorable aware I have epilepsy tweeted a strobe at me with the message "you deserve a seizure" on it", he wrote.

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The seizure-inducing GIF Rivello sent, which contained flashing lights and bore the phrase "You deserve a seizure for your posts", was clearly meant to cause Eichenwald to seize.

In December, a Twitter user using the handle @jew_goldstein tweeted a strobe light.gif at Eichenwald who is an epileptic. Eichenwald said the images were created to trigger an epileptic seizure.

The next day, Eichenwald tweeted about the strobing message and said he would take legal action against the person who sent the tweet.

Despite warning that charges would be brought against anyone who sent similar tweets, Eichenwald has received several strobing GIFs. Fortunately, since I was standing, I simply dropped my iPad to the ground the second I realized what Mike had done.

'This electronic message was no different than a bomb sent in the mail or anthrax sent in an envelope, ' he said.

But they warned that photo-sensitivity and its relation to epilepsy is not very well understood. The Epilepsy Foundation estimates that certain visual patterns and flashing lights can trigger seizures in about 3% of people with epilepsy. 'It triggers a physical effect'.

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