Chris Hannah

Something Funny Called ZoomBombing

Josh Constine, writing about ‘ZoomBombing’ over at TechCrunch:

The world is vulnerable to a new type of trolling as people turn to Zoom video calls to feel connected amidst quarantines. Jerks are using Zoom’s screensharing feature to blast other viewers with the most awful videos from across the internet, from violence to shocking pornography.

That’s just what happened today on the WFH Happy Hour, a popular daily public Zoom call hosted by The Verge reporter Casey Newton and investor Hunter Walk. Suddenly, dozens of attendees were bombarded with disturbing imagery. A troll entered the call and screenshared Two Girls, One Cup and other horrifying sexual videos. Attempts to block the attack were thwarted as the perpetrator simply re-entered the call under a new name and screenshared more gross-out clips. The hosts ended the call rather than subject viewers to the assault until they could stop it.

To be honest, this is a clear example of why you shouldn’t really have communication channels freely open to the public internet, if you don’t want to risk the chance of seeing something you don’t like. However, I probably would have found it pretty funny. But then again, I do enjoy a bit of dark humour.

While I found the situation pretty funny, there was something I would like to point out in the article that I do not agree with:

The problem stems from Zoom’s policy that “The host does not need to grant screen share access for another participant to share their screen.”

Surely that’s not the source of the problem, the “problem” is simply allowing unrestricted access for participants to share any source of video. Who’s to say you couldn’t offend[1] someone via a webcam.

  1. Not that offence actually matters. It exists solely in the offendees head, and that is the only place where it has any effect.  ↩

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