Coronavirus: Teacher legal advice webinar 'zoombombed'

Trolls invade webinar on school closures and post abuse in latest case of 'zoombombing'

Tes Reporter


An online seminar providing legal advice to teachers was flooded with abusive messages and foul language in a nasty case of "zoombombing".

The "webinar", hosted this afternoon by Edapt, an organisation providing legal support to teachers, was targeted by online trolls posting inappropriate questions, swear words, and homophobic and racist slurs.

It was streamed on video conferencing app Zoom, which has been at the epicentre of a brand new internet phenomenon known as "zoombombing".

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This involves online trolls gaining access to other people's conferences and using the app's screen-sharing feature to post disturbing content.

The news comes on the same day that Tes published a warning to teachers about the risks associated with hosting lessons on Zoom.

Edapt quickly disabled the chat function after it was flooded with racial slurs, but messages in both the chat and question and answer sections were still available to view until the end of the webinar.

Some of the offensive language posted in the webinar included repetitions of "nigger" and the message: "joshua you fucking egg answer me you round faggot".

Zoombombing in Edapt webinar

A spokesperson for Edapt said: "The Q&A webinar was designed to be open to as many teachers as possible to support them during this difficult time, and deliberately not just restricted to Edapt subscribers. As such we didn’t require people to pre-register.

"Disappointingly, we witnessed some unacceptable language in the chat, which we shut down immediately.

"More generally, the session was a very positive and constructive one, and we hope that participants found it informative and helpful.

"We will be running further webinars over the coming weeks for the benefit of the profession."

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