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Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald filing charges against Twitter user who caused him to have a seizure

Newsweek senior writer Kurt Eichenwald (Charles Eshelman/Getty Images)

Newsweek senior writer Kurt Eichenwald announced Friday afternoon via Twitter that he is taking a hiatus from the social networking site following a bizarre appearance on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Thursday evening.

After the contentious conversation with Carlson, Eichenwald fired off dozens of since-deleted tweets, most of which were incoherent, in response to the interview. And one alt-right Twitter user, allegedly aware of the Newsweek reporter's epilepsy, sent him a flashing gif with the words "You deserve a seizure for your posts."

The troll's account has since been suspended, but not before it caused Eichenwald to have a seizure, the writer's wife claimed.

Early Friday afternoon, Eichenwald returned to his Twitter account to announce that he is working with his lawyers and law enforcement to identify and charge the anonymous social media user who attacked him.

In October, Eichenwald recounted a similar experience he had, though the episode at the time did not result in a seizure, when he was attacked on Twitter by a pro-Donald Trump account after he wrote about the potential for major conflicts of interest in the Trump White House:

In his tweet, which has since been deleted, Mike made mention of my seizures and included a small video. It contained images of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has been identified by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate symbol. I was carrying my iPad, looking at the still image on the video and, without thinking, touched the PLAY button.

The video was some sort of strobe light, with flashing circles and images of Pepe flying toward the screen. It’s what’s called epileptogenic—something that triggers seizures. Fortunately, since I was standing, I simply dropped my iPad to the ground the second I realized what Mike had done. It landed face down on the bathroom floor.

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