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Epilepsy Action Warns Of Fears Over Latest Kanye West Video

February 23, 2011

The latest video from hip hop star Kanye West could cause epileptic seizures, experts have warned.

Those with photosensitive epilepsy should avoid the video for All of the Lights, which features singer Rihanna.

Epilepsy Action said the extensive use of flashing images could trigger seizures in some people, and there is no warning at the start of the video to alert them to the risks. The video has received almost five million hits on file sharing website YouTube.

In 2007, Epilepsy Action received calls from people who had suffered fits after seeing animated footage promoting the 2012 Olympics in London. It was removed from the organisers’ website and the video was re-edited.

The charity asked Cambridge Research Systems to run the All of the Lights video through a piece of kit called the Harding Flash and Pattern Analyser. Experts found it contained flashes at a rate high enough to trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

Around 5% of the 456,000 people in the UK with epilepsy have this form, making them vulnerable to flashing and flickering lights.

According to Ofcom regulations, the video should not be broadcast on UK television but there are no such rules governing online.

A spokeswoman for Epilepsy Action said the charity had contacted Kanye West’s agent, YouTube and other online sources to ask that they take the video down. Representatives have also written to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt asking about any plans to regulate online videos.

Aimee Gee, PR and campaigns manager at Epilepsy Action, said: “We are deeply concerned that this video may be harmful to some people with photosensitive epilepsy.

“We are doing all we can to warn people who may be affected not to watch it. It has already received millions of hits on YouTube so we feel it is unfortunately very likely that people may have already been affected.”

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