The rapidly flashing images from Kanye West's new video for "All of the Lights" are reportedly so intense that they may trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, according to the U.K. Press Association.
The threat of seizure is so great that the video has already been banned from being broadcast on television in the U.K., and the epilepsy advocacy group Epilepsy Action is currently working to get it removed from YouTube as well.
Epileptics most vulnerable are those with photosensitive epilepsy, the form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or regular moving patterns.
Epilepsy Action asked experts at Cambridge Research Systems to run the "All of the Lights" video through a special device called the Harding Flash and Pattern Analyzer, which is software specifically used to test media for its threat to people with photosensitive epilepsy. The experts found that the images in the video flashed at a rate high enough to cause a significant risk for epileptics.
Since the video has already been viewed by more than 5 million people online, advocates with Epilepsy Action are concerned that many epileptics may have already been affected. They have also contacted Kanye West's agent, asking the artist to at least label the video with a warning about the risk.
The video for "All of the Lights" isn't the first instance of a major media production causing epileptic seizures. An animated segment of a film promoting the 2012 London Olympics had to be removed from the Olympics' website after calls saying that it had triggered seizures. Certain episodes of "Pokémon" aired in Japan have also been found to provoke seizures in some viewers with no prior history of seizures.
Roughly 5 percent of the more than 50 million people who suffer from epilepsy worldwide have 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," said Aimee Gee, PR and campaigns manager at Epilepsy Action.