Flashing content that can trigger seizures

Per Axbom
2 min readSep 25, 2022


Someone recommended the conference World Ethical Data Forum to me. While the event looks interesting, that is not what caught my attention. Their website showcases one of the most dangerous displays of flashing content I’ve seen in a while, putting people with photosensitive epilepsy at risk. Something many people aren’t aware they have.

To my students I often say that this is one of the easiest recommendations in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to get right. Just don’t make content that flashes really fast.

Guideline 2.3 Seizures and Physical Reactions: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures or physical reactions.

Some organisations didn’t get the memo yet.

I’m certain you’ve come across warnings about seizures when watching films. Here is an example:

Message: “Warning: This video has been identified by Epilepsy Action to potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.”

These warnings can be worded differently but the idea is clear: If you are in the risk group, you have been warned. Hopefully you’ve had time to see the warning. Hopefully you are old enough to read it. Hopefully you are aware you are in the risk group.

I always wonder why many films unnecessarily have this type of content when they are obviously aware of the potential harm.

On a website there is rarely a warning

What World Ethical Data Forum does is play an extremely busy video when entering the website, at the top of the page, with no way of stopping, pausing or slowing it. And no warning. Click a link to the website and you’re at risk.

Read the rest of this story on axbom.com



Per Axbom

Making tech safe and compassionate through design, coaching and teaching. Independent consultant. Co-host of UX Podcast. Primary publication: axbom.com