"Inappropriate and disturbing."
You have, in this quarantine week three, been forced onto a Zoom call. The video communication remote conferencing service freely downloaded and easily used. Were you impressed by the technology? Wowed at how the person speaking would automatically have their image pushed to the front whilst everyone else, nodding and chin rubbing, were made smaller?
A snapshot of the future, certainly but danger lurks just below the fancy exterior danger lurks.
Danger and discomfort.
Shall we turn to National Public Radio for more?
Dennis Johnson fell victim last week to a new form of harassment known as “Zoombombing,” in which intruders hijack video calls and post hate speech and offensive images such as pornography. It’s a phenomenon so alarming that the FBI has issued a warning about using Zoom.
Like many people these days, Johnson is doing a lot of things over the Internet that he would normally do in person. Last week, he defended his doctoral dissertation in a Zoom videoconference.
He had a big audience — he estimated it was about 40 people, including “my closest friends, family and my classmates and my dissertation committee” at California State University, Long Beach, he said.
It was in the middle of presenting when someone started drawing male genitalia on the screen. At first, Johnson said, he was not sure what was happening.
“I’m like, ‘Whoa!’ And then I freeze, and everyone who’s watching the screen freezes,” he said.
Zoombombers have disrupted an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in New York, Sunday school in Texas, online classes at the University of Southern California and a city meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich.
With schools closed and millions of people working from home, Zoom has become wildly popular. The company said 200 million people used the app on a daily basis in March, up from just 10 million in December. But that newfound popularity is bringing new scrutiny.
The FBI is warning schools, in particular, to be careful.
“The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language,” the bureau’s Boston office said this week.
But we all know who finds male genitalia the most funny. We also know who suddenly has the most time on their hands.
Banned and bored in New Zealand, much of California, parts of Australia, South Africa and France.
When the FBI gets involved, though, it is no longer a laughing matter lest we allow Bodhi to have died in vain.