Home Coronavirus Coverage Holding Class on Zoom? Beware of These Hacks, Hijinks and Hazards – EdSurge

Holding Class on Zoom? Beware of These Hacks, Hijinks and Hazards – EdSurge

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On Tuesday, Kristina Ishmael was watching a webinar about how coronavirus will impact K-12 education policy, when the screen was suddenly flooded by pictures of pornographic images and racial slurs.

The moderator turned off the video—but to no avail. The perpetrator later took control of the audio, and Ishmael, a senior policy manager of education policy at New America, recalls a male voice spewing misogynistic epithets.

What she and about 100 other participants experienced now has a name: “Zoombombing.” It’s essentially internet trolling on video conferencing, involving somebody who takes over the audio and video controls to broadcast inappropriate materials and remarks.

The term was virtually nonexistent until last week, when the shuttering of schools and business places across the country led many people on try video-conferencing tools. The most popular has been Zoom, which has reported a surge in new users. Among them are educators, who have taken up the company’s offer to remove the 40-minute limit normally imposed on Basic accounts for all K-12 schools.

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