The microblogging service Twitter has blocked on its platform the publication of animated PNG files (APNG). This decision was made after an attack on the Epilepsy Foundation Twitter account was performed using animated images that could cause epilepsy attacks in sensitive people. Twitter found an error that allowed users to bypass autorun settings and allow multiple animated images to be placed in a single message using the APNG file format.
Twitter says they are trying to ensure the safe operation of the service for all users. APNG files were “funny” but did not take into account the automatic playback settings.
Therefore, the administration of the service decided to remove the ability to add such files to tweets. This was done for the safety of people with sensitivity to moving and blinking images, including those with epilepsy.
Publications with already added APNG images will not be deleted from the platform, but in the future, it will be possible to work only with GIF animations. According to Yahoo, Twitter found that APNG files were not used in the targeted attack on the Epilepsy Foundation, but an identified error would allow such attacks in the future.
Attacks on the Epilepsy Foundation Twitter account last month, which was called the National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Attackers used the hashtags of the Epilepsy Foundation and the ability to publish animated images on the microblogging service to publish images with flickering light effects.
It is unclear how many people might have suffered as a result of such an attack, but the Epilepsy Foundation said they were cooperating with law enforcement agencies and filed criminal complaints against accounts that were believed to have been implicated in the attack.
Source: The Verge