In what’s thought to be the first decision of its kind, a Texas grand jury has decided that a GIF can be a deadly weapon.
On Friday, police arrested John Rayne Rivello, 29, of Salisbury, Maryland, for allegedly sending a seizure-inducing GIF via Twitter to an epileptic journalist. The target, Kurt Eichenwald, is a senior writer at Newsweek and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.
Eichenwald suffered a seizure when he viewed the flashing strobe image.
Rivello was charged in Texas on Monday with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The charge carries a hate-crime enhancement due to an alleged anti-Semitic bias associated with the crime.