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March 30, 2020 4:12 pm

ADL Issues Advice on Preventing ‘Zoom-Bombing,’ as Extremists Troll Online Video Platforms During Coronavirus Crisis

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Illustrative. Photo: Reuters / Kacper Pempel / File.

One of the leading US Jewish civil rights organizations issued advice on Monday on how to deal with “zoom-bombings” — the disruption of virtual meetings by online trolls who upload racist, pornographic and other offensive images.

Named in reference to the videoconferencing platform that has soared in popularity with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, all that is presently required for a user to engage in “zoom-bombing” is the URL of the targeted meeting.

In one of many instances of extremists abusing the platform, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) briefing on the problem highlighted how a March 24 webinar about antisemitism hosted by a Massachusetts Jewish student group was interrupted by a convicted white supremacist who pulled down his shirt to reveal a swastika tattoo on his chest.

The individual was identified by the ADL as Alan Auernheimer — also known as “weev” — who “has a long history of publicly expressing his antisemitic and racist views and exploiting technology in order to gain attention.”

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Auernheimer’s act demonstrated “the potential for extremists to exploit these systems,” the ADL observed.

An ADL guide on preventing “zoom-bombing” published on Monday included several pieces of practical advice for foiling offenders. Among the suggestions: don’t enable a “waiting room,” do mute all participants, and do disable remote control.

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