It’s time to know your rights!

If you have ADHD, and you come across a website or app that is playing an animation (video or gif, or any other type), and you live in the US (you don’t need citizenship), you can complain to your government that someone is breaking the law and violating your rights.

Yes, you could just use ad-blockers, but you can easily help solve the problem too for everyone just by filling in a form online.

The people you complain about might only get nasty legal letters that annoy their lawyers and cost them time and money to defend or fix, but for like 10 mins of effort on your part, that’s a pretty good deal. There could also be fines for them, especially if people have complained before about them. You can even complain anonymously!

How?

To be considered a valid complaint, the animation must:

  • start without you triggering it (so on page load, not clicking on something)
  • last for longer than 5 seconds (yes, looping counts as lasting forever)
  • be alongside other content (like videos in articles, not like a video as the main thing on a page)
  • not allow you to pause, stop or hide it with your mouse and/or keyboard and/or touch (or whatever else you use to get around).

For your complaint to be most effective:

  • both you and the site should be in the same general location. (US located people complaining to the US Government about a US company is always more helpful than trying to do international stuff.)
  • you should probably mention that you have a medical condition that makes it difficult to focus when there are distractions
  • you could mention they are not following this rule: “WCAG Pause, Stop, Hide (SC 2.2.2)”
  • screen recordings are helpful evidence, but don’t let this stop you, you can’t upload them to the form and they might not request them anyway

Complaining about any organisation that gets government money is bonus points, they have even less room to wiggle out of it. Anyone from big business to small police department or anything in between has to follow this rule. They might also give some extra weight to complaints from US veterans?

If you think you tick all of those boxes you can fill out the online form on the Civil Rights Division site, but you should read first this ADA info about what happens when you complaint.

So if you find yourself getting annoyed by yet another distraction when you’re just trying to get shit done in the US online, you now know you have an option to channel that frustration.

EU residents will be better able to channel their frustration June 2025. Some countries do have options now

A little extra info for the intrigued:

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, feel free to verify or refute this info with your own hyperfixation

  • August27th@lemmy.ca
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    2 months ago

    So you’ve got me thinking about a potential dark browser pattern relating to this that I think was introduced by Google in Chrome.

    Wayyyy back in the day, you might have a page full of animated gifs all doing their thing, and what you could do once the page was loaded was to hit the stop button (or hit the stop button twice if the page was still loading), and all of the gifs would stop animating. Today you couldn’t do that, because the stop button has been intertwined with the refresh button; once the page loads, the stop button turns into the refresh button.

    I bring this up, because there used to be a simple universal mechanism to indicate that you wanted to stop things from moving/animating, and it would do so, but now there isn’t. Funny how that mechanism has been subtly removed from an advertiser’s browser, where it is in their best interest to keep the ads blinking and changing to draw your attention to them.

    It’s too bad that there is no longer a mechanism that is as simple and universal that can stop movement. Now every site has to devise its own way to handle stopping movement, and there will be competing standards and methods, and it will no doubt end up being a pain intentionally, just like cookie popups.

    Maybe browsers should bring back universal stop for animated gifs, SVG, video, and (some) CSS, with an event to notify the page script.