How to Prevent “Zoom-bombing”

Two weeks ago, a campus organization’s Zoom meeting was disrupted


Elizabeth Kaiser graphic

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, students received an email on behalf of the chancellor from the Chancellor’s Office email account addressed to the university community reporting that, late in the week before, “a Zoom meeting held by one of our student organizations was intentionally disrupted by unknown people yelling targeted racial, sexist and homophobic slurs.”
This email continues to make clear that this behavior is “deserving of our strongest condemnation as not representative of our university community’s values.” The chancellor made clear that he was sending the email to assure that the university was investigating the incident, and he urged anyone with information on the identities of the perpetrators to fill out a bias incident reporting form.
“Hate is not a UW-Platteville value,” Chancellor Shields said.
According to Communication and Training Coordinator for UW-Platteville ITS Support Services Deb Meyer, there are many things that meeting organizers can do before their group’s meeting, when scheduling the meetings and while hosting the meetings to make sure that their Zoom calls are secure and uninterrupted. Meyer is currently working with the Pioneer Involvement Center on a communication to help student organization leaders create and maintain secure meeting spaces online.
“ITS posts instructions for securing a meeting and managing unwanted guests in the ITS Knowledge Base under “Zoom security … These and other Zoom-related how-tos can also be found by searching through the Pioneer Portal and selecting the Knowledgebase tab on the results page,” Meyers said.
In his email to the UW-Platteville community, Chancellor Shields clarified that “Respect for the dignity of every human being means we do not target anyone based on theirrace, gender, sexual orientation or religion for derision or mocking. The reprehensible activity engaged in by these individuals last week has no place in our university. It does not represent the values of UW-Platteville.”
Chancellor Shields concluded his message to the university community by repeating that hate is not a value at UW-Platteville and by thanking those who “stand up, speak out, report and are allies to creating better inclusivity and support for our campus community.”