UPDATE: John Rayne Rivello, 29, of Salisbury, Maryland was arrested this morning on a criminal complaint filed in filed in the Northern District of Texas. Rivello was arrested for tweeting a strobe light .gif at the journalist Kurt Eichenwald, triggering a seizure.
As part of a search warrant, the FBI found direct messages Rivello sent to other Twitter users saying “I hope this sends him into a seizure,” “Spammed this at [victim] let’s see if he dies,” and “I know he has epilepsy.”
They also found an iCloud account which contained a screenshot of a Eichenwald’s Wikipedia page, which had been doctored to show a fake obituary with the date of death listed as Dec. 16, 2016. It also contained screen shots from epilepsy.com with a list of common epilepsy seizure triggers and from a Dallas Observer article discussing Eichenwald’s original police report.
Investigative journalist Kurt Eichenwald announced Friday that the FBI has arrested his Twitter troll assailant. The FBI confirms to Heat Street that an arrest has been made.
After a 3 month investigation, the FBI this morning arrested the man who assaulted me using a strobe on twitter that triggered a seizure.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 17, 2017
In December, a Twitter user using the handle @jew_goldstein tweeted a strobe light .gif at Eichenwald who is an epileptic. Eichenwald claimed the .gif gave him a serious seizure and vowed to track down his anonymous attacker.
The man will face federal charges and possibly be indicted by the Dallas District Attorney, Eichenwald said on Twitter. He also said that 40 other people who sent him strobe .gifs have been identified by the FBI.
The person behind “Jew Goldstein” has not yet been publicly named, nor have the charges he or she is now facing. And despite the criminalization of the matter, trolls continue to send “seizure .gifs” to Eichenwald over Twitter.