A new wrinkle in the battle for internet civility has arrived in the form of a legal petition filed this week by reporter and avid Twitterer Kurt Eichenwald asking that Twitter disclose the identity of a Twitter user who sent him a strobe image that was intended to induce a seizure. Eichenwald has written extensively about his epilepsy, in addition to writing many negative things about President-elect Donald Trump, and once again a Trump supporter has proven to be deplorable by sending Eichenwald a message with the animated image and the words "You deserve a seizure for your posts."
Last week, in a Dallas County court in Texas, Eichenwald filed a petition to get Twitter to reveal the identity of the user who sent him the tweet, which in fact succeeded in causing him to have a serious seizure. This was also the second time such an image was tweeted at him, as CNet notes.
Eichenwald says he doesn't remember the incident and was bedridden for 24 hours after the seizure. "Your memory gets pretty obliterated," he said. "From what was described to me, this was a multicolored strobe that was going at a speed that was designed to cause a seizure and it succeeded."
As Newsweek reports, Twitter has agreed to an expedited order to help locate the user, who used the handle @jew_goldstein. Eichenwald is now intent on pursuing legal action against the user.
Eichenwald has remained on Twitter despite the bullying, though he took a brief break after the incident occurred last week. Nonetheless, the lynch mob mentality of the pro-Trump camp has continued, cheering on the person who induced Eichenwald's seizure.
Folks, if a blind man says things you don't like politically, it is not okay to direct him toward the edge of a cliff. Find some humanity.— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 20, 2016
A request: Would self-identified Christians please stop telling me they wish I had died from my seizure last week?— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 21, 2016
Eichenwald writes for Newsweek and longtime Trump foe Vanity Fair, and he's been specifically targeted by Trump fans after tweeting a joke in September about Trump being hospitalized in a mental institution in the '90s something he says was in response to conservatives' battle cries over Hillary Clinton's health, and was taken out of context.
Eichenwald appeared on Good Morning America today to help explain his case. He said on the program, "It is amazing to me that simply because I am a political reporter, and that I write about Donald Trump, that we have become so sick and twisted in this country that people think they have the right and obligation to inflict potentially very serious injury."
He says he intends to take the Twitterer, known in court so far as John Doe, to court over this personal injury, however he does not intend into sue Twitter itself.