The problem with a service throwing random clips at you is that you could be exposed to something that could harm your health. TikTok is today announcing that, after lobbying from epilepsy groups, it will take steps to prevent people seeing clips with flashing images that could potentially trigger a seizure. Users concerned can now opt to skip all videos that the system has determined has photosensitive content from inside the accessibility settings. In addition, the first time a user comes across a flashing clip, they’ll be given the option to skip it and filter them in the future.
This is, in part, due to TikTok’s work to clean up its platform in recent months and also in response to criticism it received earlier this summer. The so-called “Seizure Challenge” saw people imitating individuals having an epileptic seizure, while music by the artist JuiceWrld played in the background. This was all the more insensitive because the artist died, aged 21, from a seizure in December 2019. The challenge was decried by epilepsy advocates, with Epilepsy Today describing the meme as “insensitive” and “harmful.”