Epilepsy campaigners today criticised YouTube clips of people having seizures.

Although many are posted for benign reasons, the National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) said today that some videos were voyeuristic - and 'the modern equivalent of the Victorian freak show'. (You thought that was 'Deal or No Deal', right?)

This may be news to you as it was news to me, but YouTube features many clips of people having seizures. Some movies have been watched by more than 70,000 people. Truly, all of life is here. Or there, rather.

The NSE believes some of the seizure clips on YouTube may have been posted without the consent of the person involved. Dr Sallie Baxendale, a consultant neuropsychologist with the NSE, told the BBC that several videos were clearly filmed in the street using mobile phones.

Clearly, that is wrong. Of course, anyone whose privacy has been invaded via a posting on YouTube can file a privacy notice and get the clip removed, but it takes a certain kind of cretin to film a person when they are at their most vulnerable.

Happily, many epilepsy clips are placed online with good intentions. But the NSE is worried that epilepsy sufferers are intentionally posting footage of themselves without being fully aware of the consequences. And the NSE is not convinced such exposure is beneficial.

Dr Baxendale said that although posting footage of epileptic seizures may play a role in helping to raise awareness of the condition, she wasn't sure whether the videos were a good thing.

I instinctively dislike the idea of not posting information for fear of ridicule. It's the extreme end of the spectrum that starts with well-meaning ladies of a certain age saying 'ooh, it's a shame' when they see someone with a learning disability. It's not a shame, it's a person's life.

Epilepsy is a major part of millions of people's lives. The less mystery there is about the condition, the better. One of the worries the NSE expressed about YouTube is that some people had been posting comments about 'evil spirits' and 'being possessed'. Hiding away isn't going to stop ignorance, but robustly engaging with such idiots might.

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