Don’t use flashing images or emoji!

⚠️ Please don’t use flashing images or animations in posts or profiles! This includes attachments and emoji, anything which produces a rapid series of flashes. Flashing images can be dangerous to people with certain neurological conditions ⧉, and it makes your post or profile inaccessible to them.

If you absolutely have to post something containing flashes, hide it behind a content warning which says that it contains flashes.

Is there any way I can prevent animated GIFs from playing automatically?

If you’re using the Mastodon web interface, you can optionally prevent animated GIFs from automatically playing:

  1. Log in through your server’s website or the web app
  2. Click on ⚙️ Preferences
  3. Scroll down the page and UN-tick the box Auto-play animated GIFs
  4. Click the Save Changes button

Some apps may also have options for this, check their settings menus.

But if people can switch off autoplaying of GIFs, why does it matter if I use flashing images?

It matters because a lot of people may not be able to prevent autoplay:

  • Some people may be viewing your public posts or profile through your server’s website, they may not even be members of the Fediverse. A lot of content on Mastodon and the Fediverse is shared elsewhere through web links.
  • Some people use non-Mastodon platforms which lack options about autoplay.
  • Some people are on Mastodon apps which lack options about autoplay.

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