The new video, "Run", from R&B group Gnarls Barkley
(best known for their ultra-popular and painfully ubitquitous 2006 hit song "Crazy
") has been banned from MTV
for failing the Harding Test
, a set of criteria determining the likelihood of video material triggering seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy (PSE)
, approximately 1 in 6000 people*
. The video is now circulating online
. [Watch at your own risk. May cause seizures.]The HardingFPA Flash and Pattern Analyser
, as it's properly known, is a UK-developed computer hardware and software system that analyses video frame-by-frame to ensure that it does not contain [pdf 68k] flickering, patterns, flashes, fast cuts, or other sequences that are known triggers of epileptic seizures
. Check out a very unemotionally-narrated Flash screencap video demo of the Harding FPA.
Attentive MeFites will remember that a London 2012 Olympics logo promotion, which showed a "diver diving into a pool which had a multi-colour ripple effect"
, was re-edited after it was aired on television in 2007 and drew complaints after viewers suffered seizures
But despite passing the Harding Test, a Dolce & Gabbana television ad received a complaint
last summer to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority
by an epileptic viewer. The pass/fail system has a number of variables; for example, a cleared clip may surpass standards on flashing amplitude and frequency, but cover a screen area of less than the allowed 25%.
Other recent complaints
can be found on
the "Ofcom" UK broadcast regulator's Web site
An episode of Pokémon
was banned worldwide in 1997 after its airing in Japan caused so-called "Pokémon Shock" in at least 600 people, mostly children
. "News reports blamed a scene in the cartoon that featured an exploding "vaccine bomb" set off to destroy a computer virus, followed by five seconds of flashing red light in the eyes of "Pikachu," a rat-like creature that is the show's most popular character. Some other children were stricken later, when watching excerpts from the scene in TV news reports on the earlier victims."
"PSE compliance" is currently industry-enforced in the UK, with broadcasters, advertising agencies and games studios complying voluntarily, but should be coming to a broadcaster near you soon
Elsewhere on the epilepsy front: previously on Metafilter, Hip-hop artist Sean Paul suspected to cause grand mal seizures in woman.