Section 5: Harm and Offence

Flashing Images, Strobing and Images of Very Brief Duration

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  1. Flashing Images, Strobing and Photo-Sensitive Epilepsy
  2. Images of Very Brief Duration

Flashing Images, Strobing and Photo-Sensitive Epilepsy


To minimise the risk to viewers who have photo-sensitive epilepsy we should follow the Ofcom guidance referred to in Rule 2.12 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.  On rare occasions it may not be reasonably practicable to follow this guidance, for example when flashing content is unavoidable, such as in a press event or a live news report when it cannot be remedied technically.  In such cases, when inclusion of the content is editorially justified, we should give a verbal and, if appropriate, a text warning at the start of the programme or item. 

Any proposal to include flashing images or strobing sequences in recorded programmes which fail the Transmission Review technical checks must be approved by the relevant output controller.

Images of Very Brief Duration


We must not use any techniques which exploit the possibility of conveying a message to viewers or listeners, or otherwise influencing their minds, without their being aware, or fully aware, of what has occurred.  Such techniques could include images of very brief duration.

Anyone who has reason to believe their content might contain such a technique must refer to a senior editorial figure, or for independents to the commissioning editor, who may wish to consult Editorial Policy.

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