In the age of social distancing, racist trolls have to find inventive new ways to spread their hate and ignorance.
Black students at the University of Texas at Austin were holding an online Zoom meeting for Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males when uninvited users crashed their session and began yelling obscene racist slurs.
In another incident, Jewish worshippers were attending a virtual Synagogue when in a similar fashion to UT incident, several people entered the chat and began typing obscene anti-Semitic messages in front of the congregation that included many children.
A BBC employee who attended the meeting at a synagogue in London explained what happened: “There were about 205 of us logged on – including lots of families with little kids – and suddenly the numbers went up to 243.”
The group chat, which appears on the right-hand side of the screen, rapidly filled up with “vile abuse”, she said.
Here’s what ZOOM had to say for themselves:
In response to the incident, Zoom told the BBC: “We take the security of Zoom meetings seriously and we are deeply upset to hear about the incidents involving this type of attack.”
It said that for large public group meetings, its advice would be to adjust the settings so only the host can share their screen. In addition, it suggested the use of a password to prevent uninvited guests from being able to gatecrash a chat.
People ain’t isht.