Social Media

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Safety on Social Media and Other Platforms


Social media can be a great place to connect with friends, family, celebrities, and organizations and stay informed about what is going on. However, some content on social media, like GIFs and videos, can be potentially harmful to people with reflex epilepsies and photosensitivities, including people living with photosensitive epilepsy, sunflower syndrome, and migraines.

For about 3% of people with epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities or visual patterns can trigger seizures. Some GIFs and videos with strobe effects on social media platforms have been known to cause seizures in people living with photosensitivity.

How to Disable Video Autoplay

It is possible on most social media and some website browsers to turn off or disable the video autoplay feature. Taking this step on the tools you use can help limit your risk of exposure to potentially seizure- and headache-inducing content.

Instagram does not currently have an option to toggle off autoplay. However some tech blogs suggest that changing account settings to "Use Less Data" will slow the load time and prevent video loading. To change this setting:

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile page
  2. Tap the three lines at the top right and then ‘Settings’
  3. Go to Account > Cellular Data Use
  4. Turn on ‘Use Less Data’

Social Media Campaigns

From time to time, the Epilepsy Foundation launches social media campaigns around specific topics. We invite you to engage throughout these campaigns by commenting and sharing information with your friends and followers.

May 2016 - Introducing

We’re excited to launch the new in partnership with epilepsy advocate and actor Greg Grunberg. The site will raise awareness about seizures, offer first aid information, and address misconceptions about the condition. Our thanks to Sunovion Pharmaceuticals for their sponsorship and support of the new #TalkAboutIt site.

November 2015 - National Epilepsy Awareness Month

#DareTo Go the Distance - focusing on helping people with epilepsy know all their treatment and therapy options as they strive to become seizure-free.

#DareTo Be Seizure Smart - harnessing the strength of our community and social media to improve seizure recognition and first aid awareness

August 2015 - #BackToSchool

During this campaign, we're sharing videos that answer important questions kids, teens, college students, and parents might have while getting ready to go back to school.

December 2014 - #EpilepsyAndFamily

During this campaign, we talked about epilepsy and the impact it can have on the entire family.

November 2014 - #DareTo Launch

We used the first 10 days of 2014's National Epilepsy Awareness Month to launch a new year-long education and awareness campaign -- #DareTo. We are boldly working to break down barriers that are stopping people with epilepsy from reaching their fullest potential -- and we are daring the general public to help us, too.

August 2014 - #BackToSchool

During this campaign, we talked about safety and tools to help you have a great year at school while managing your epilepsy and seizures.

Reviewed By: 
Sarah Kaider
Sunday, December 15, 2019